Those who saw that coming, raise your hand. Now put your hands down you liars. Utah went into Eugene, Oregon, Saturday night and out Ducked the Ducks to the tune of 62-20. And to be honest with you, it wasn't even that close. The Utes squandered great opportunities in the 1st quarter, as they got into the red zone and stalled out for field goals.
It was the most balanced victory for the Utes since possibly the 2009 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Offensively, the Utes took advantage of the suspect Duck defense over and over again. The team racked up a total of 530 yards, was 6-of-13 on 3rd downs 2-of-2 on 4th downs and had no turnovers. Co-offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick called a gem of a game, and Jim Harding helped rally the crew to an explosive game.
Travis Wilson was nails all night long, coming off of a shoulder sprain, and sitting out the Fresno State game. On the night, Wilson was 18-of-30 for 227 yards and 4 touchdowns, to go along with 100 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Wilson continued to show the progress he has made this season in the blow out win, with his patience in the pocket, the ability to hit the open man, and the great reads on the read-option plays.
Wilson's running mate in the backfield, Devontae Booker, had his usual stat stuffing night with 22-carries and 98-yards to go along with 23-yards on one reception. However, Devontae's best play was in the passing game. Booker took a handoff from Wilson and hit Britain Covey with a 25-yard touchdown pass.
After a quiet couple of games to open the season, senior captain Kenneth Scott had a very nice night catching the ball, pulling in 6 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Scott was big all night long, helping Wilson move the chains on big 3rd downs. He was joined by freshman Britain Covey in the end zone, as well as freshman Caleb Repp whose two catches were both touchdowns.
Defensively, the Utes were also on point, holding the vaunted Oregon offense to 400 total yards, 20 points, 3 turnovers and 3 quarterbacks. The Utes held the Ducks to 4-of-13 on 3rd down, which is a huge feet versus the Ducks. Every time the Ducks started to threaten, the Utes would toughen up and force an interception. While Oregon was driving in the 3rd quarter, the Ducks were in the red zone threatening to score when Jeff Lockie forced a throw into the end zone that was picked off by Dominique Hatfield. Lockie was forced into duty when Vernon Adams Jr. was proving to be ineffective for the Ducks, as the only offensive touchdown that he led was on a short field setup by a big kick return by Byron Marshall, who had to leave the game later with an injury.
Special teams wise, Utah was special again. Andy Phillips opened up the scoring for the Utes with a couple field goals to take a 6-0 lead early in the game. But things got really wacky special teams wise in the second half. Tom Hackett was his usual self, knocking down some punts within the 5-yard line, but you knew it was the Utes night on one specific punt. Hackett punted the ball over to the Ducks, but the ball hit the camera cable forcing a re-punt. What happened next? Well, Tom Hackett fielded a high snap and runs the ball for a first down on a fourth and long! The Utes went on to score that drive. Not to be outdone, a couple series later, after another Oregon punt, Britain Covey appeared to be calling a fair catch, drawing the attention of almost everybody on the field (not to mention the TV cameras), meanwhile, on the other side of the field Boobie Hobbs was fielding the actual punt and heading down field for a touchdown!
It was just that kind of night in Eugene for the Utes. When the dust settled, Utah hung more points on Oregon than any other team ever has at Autzen Stadium. The 62 points are the most Utah has scored on an FBS opponent since they huge 68 points on Iowa State in 2010. Oregon had no answer for the Utes, and for the first time in Utah football history, the Utes start 1-0 in Pac-12 play. Utah starts 4-0 for the first time since 2010. It was a butt kicking from from kick off to the final gun, and some demons were exercised for the No. 18 Utes. Utah gets a well earned bye this week, which will give the Utes a chance to get healthy and prepared for the Bear Raid offense of the Cal Bears, who will take on Utah on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Homecoming Game.