What does Oregon get because of its difficulties after a reduction a week at home against Stanford? : A road game against a much better version of this Cardinal.
The Ducks play in No. 11 Utah Saturday at Salt Lake City, Utah, and on newspaper have zero chance to win, or perhaps remain close. So much so that the 14-point spread seems to be an insult to Utah by about ten points.
Oregon (3-7, 1-6 Pac-12) will roll into Utah (8-2, 5-2) using the second-worst rushing defense in the Pac-12 in 255.4 yards allowed per game to face the hottest rushing attack in the conference.
“Same thing as last week, actually,” Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said. “You have got to stop the run. There’s little doubt about it.”
Oregon hasn’t stopped the run . Not against UC Davis and Virginia in what seems like beams ago. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran rampant a week, scoring three touchdowns as the Cardinal, owners of the worst offense in the conference, averaging 340 yards per game, put up 540 yards of total offense on the Ducks.
Utah, averaging 433.7 yards per game is better on offense than Stanford thanks to this amazing performances of running Joe Williams. He”retired” for four games to begin the season just to be spoken back into enjoying. Since his return, Williams has averaged 216 total yards and 156.5 yards rushing per game. He has gained 939 rushing yards on 7.0 yards per carry.
“He’s possibly the most explosive and the fastest of some of the backs we’ve had here up to a home run-type back that can extend the distance from anywhere on the field,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham told reporters this week.
To make things worse for Oregon, Williams runs behind a veteran offensive line.
“They’re physical upfront,” Hoke said. “Very senior-oriented offensive line with three guys up there that have played a lot of football.”
The Ducks would be the contrary with one senior beginning on a young defense that has rotated through 14 defensive linemen this year.
“We had a good week of training , same thing we all did the week before,” Hoke said. “Our guys have come out and struggled and been physical every time we go to the field.”
That intensity has not translated into powerful performances on game titles. Saturday will likely be no different.
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