No. 24 Utah defeats No. 4 Oregon, ends Ducks’ CFP hopes
Salt Lake City Briton Kofi returned a 78-yard kick for the touchdown in the first-half final, giving Utah 14 points in 27 seconds and leading 28-0, and No. 24 Utes ended Oregon’s playoff hopes in football. Victory 38-7 Saturday night.
Tavion Thomas ran for 94 yards and three touchdowns to help Utes (8-3, 7-1 Pac-12) finish a share of the Pac-12 South title and a place in the Conference Championship game. Utah has won four times in a row.
Thomas ran to score 17 touchdowns in Utah this season. The previous mark was 15, shared by Zach Moss and John White IV.
Cameron Rising threw for 178 yards. His first goal, Brant Kuwaiti, collected 118 yards in five catches in game two from just 100 yards of his career. Covey had a 191-yard multi-purpose.
Anthony Brown threw for 231 yards and a touchdown for Oregon (9-2, 6-2 Pac 12, No. 3 CFP). Oregon rushed for 63 yards and had 294 yards of offense.
In the only scoring campaign in the first quarter, Utah ran the ball 11 times in 13 games — culminating in a 10-yard blast in the middle from Thomas.
The ascent found rhythm in Utah’s post-record campaign. Complete three consecutive passes to unlock the lead and head out by dancing across the goal line at 1 yard in the second quarter.
His biggest pass of the first half – a pass from 49 yards and managed by Kuithe – set up a 4-yard pass by Thomas who put Utah ahead 21-0 with 27 seconds left.
Utes forced another kick in Oregon after 16 seconds, and Kofi returned it to TD to make it 28-0.
Oregon finally got on the board in the third quarter when Devon Williams faltered for 36 yards. Utah ended any possibility of a comeback when Thomas ran 5 yards for his third touchdown. Jadon Reading scored a 26-yard field goal to put Utes ahead 38-7 midway through the fourth quarter.
Oregon: Aside from a 50-yard catch by Chris Hutson, the ducks barely did anything noteworthy against the Utah defense until the third quarter. Oregon’s inability to move the chains knocked him off the board in the first half and ultimately crushed the Ducks’ hopes of going to college football playoffs.
Utah: Utes did practically everything right in attack in the first half. Utah converted 8 of 10 third touchdowns and averaged 6.1 yards per game. In addition to the Yotis attack, the defense did a better job of grounding the ducks when it mattered.
The repercussions of the opinion poll
Oregon will crash in the latest AP Top 25 poll, and Utah should see a big jump.
Oregon: Oregon hosts Saturday.
Utah: Hosts Colorado on Friday.
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