No. 12 Oregon earns a 20-17 win over No. 10 Utah, on-track gains to Pac-12 game


Oregon defensive back Bennett Williams (4) celebrates an interception against Utah with linebacker Kasey Rogers, left linebacker and defenseman Triquessy Bridges (11) on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Eugene, Oregon (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

Oregon defensive back Bennett Williams (4) celebrates an interception against Utah with linebacker Kasey Rogers, left linebacker and defenseman Triquessy Bridges (11) on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Eugene, Oregon (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

Oregon State may have seen its playoff chances collapse last week, but hope is still alive and well for a Pac-12 title.

No. 12 Oregon took No. 10 Utah 20-17 Saturday in Eugene to move into a prime spot in the conference title game.

All the Ducks need to do is beat rival Oregon State next week to advance to the Pac-12 Championship, where they will face USC in Las Vegas.

Saturday’s win was a huge rebound for the Ducks (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12) after a devastating loss to Washington a week earlier at the same stadium. That loss knocked Oregon out of playoff contention, and at the time, it looked like it might have knocked out star quarterback Bo Nix as well.

But despite the ankle injury he picked up the last time in the Washington game, the Knicks made the start against Utah and came away shooting. He and the Ducks walked the field for a rushing touchdown on the kickoff to build a 7-0 lead.

That lead swelled to 17-3 by halftime as the Oregon defense stifled Utah.

That made things easier for the Knicks, who looked less mobile than usual because they weren’t 100% healthy, but they largely avoided errors — other than a fourth-quarter interception — and kept the offense mostly on schedule.

He completed 25 of 37 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown and a pick.

The biggest mistake the Ducks offense made came when the Knicks weren’t on the field. On their first offensive play of the second half, Oregon brought backup QB Ty Thompson onto the field to run a difficult reverse run, but the pass was botched and Utes linebacker Karen Reid fumbled the fumble and scored. Cut Oregon’s lead to 17-10.

Then Utah tied it up at 17-17 later in the third quarter on an 18-yard Jaylen Dixon run.

Despite it all, Oregon answered with a long, methodical drive that culminated in a Camden Lewis field goal with 12:07 to play. That ended up being the difference as the Ducks picked off Utah QB Cam Rising twice in the second half to help hold him tight.

Rise struggled all night, finishing with 21 of 38 passes for 170 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. Bennett Williams grabbed two of those picks for Oregon State.

The Utes (8-3, 6-2) will now likely miss a chance to repeat as conference champions.



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