What does Oregon get because of its troubles following a reduction last week at home against Stanford? : A road game against a much better variant of the Cardinal.
The Ducks play at No. 11 Utah Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and on paper have no chance to win, or even stay close. So much so the 14-point spread appears 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 all the second-worst rushing defense in the Pac-12 in 255.4 yards allowed per game to face the hottest racing attack in the seminar.
«Same thing as last week, actually,» Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said. «You’ve got to stop the run. There’s little doubt about it.»
Oregon has not stopped the run . Not against UC Davis and Virginia in what appears like ions ago. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran wild last week, scoring three touchdowns as the Cardinal, owners of the worst crime in the conference, averaging 340 yards per game, place up 540 yards of total offense on the Ducks.
Utah, averaging 433.7 yards per game is much better on offense than Stanford thanks to the wonderful performances of running back Joe Williams. He»retired» for four games to begin the season just to be talked back into enjoying. Since his return, Williams has averaged 216 total yards and 156.5 yards rushing per game. He’s gained 939 rushing yards on 7.0 yards per carry.
«He’s possibly the most volatile and also the fastest of some of the backs we have had here as far as a home run-type back which 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. «Quite senior-oriented offensive line with three men up there that have played a lot of football»
The Ducks are the opposite with one senior beginning on a young defense that has rotated through 14 defensive linemen this year.
«We had a good week of training precisely the same thing we all did the week before,» Hoke said. «Our guys have come out and foughtand been physical each time we go to the field.»
That intensity hasn’t translated into strong performances on game days. Saturday will likely be no different.
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