By 750 THE GAME STAFF
Each week our staff at 750 The Game and fellow Pac-12 experts predict the score of every Oregon Ducks game. This week the No. 8 Oregon Ducks (6-1) travel to Salt Lake City to take on the No. 13 Utah Utes (6-1) which is the site of College Gameday. The Vegas line has Oregon -6.5.
Utah hasn’t lost at home since Washington State and Mike Leach beat the Utes there in September of 2018. But Oregon is the better and more balanced team in this matchup. The Ducks win by a touchdown and cover.
Oregon 31, Utah 23
Utah is a 7-point underdog for the second consecutive week after the mammoth road win over USC, but the injuries continue to pile up. (The latest player lost for the season: star linebacker Lander Barton.) Oregon is far more complete than USC along the lines of scrimmage and one of the few teams capable of holding up against the ultra-physical Utes. The Ducks also will create more challenges for Utah’s inexperienced quarterback, Bryson Barnes. The Utes haven’t been a home underdog since early in the 2018 season, when they lost to Washington. We like Oregon to win but will happily take the points.
Pick: Utah +6.5
I think having Jestin Jacobs playing at linebacker is a nice piece to have for Dan Lanning’s defense this week. Utah’s defense is going to make life difficult for the Ducks, but their challenge is to contain them as best they can. Oregon’s offense has been really, really good this year. I love their weapons, and I love their balance.
Utah hasn’t lost a home game with fans in the stands since 2018 against eventual Pac-12 champion Washington. I think that ends on Saturday.
Oregon 31, Utah 20
I don’t buy into Bryson Barnes making enough plays to win this game. Utah can get by other teams with a mediocre quarterback. But against an Oregon team who has been a top 10 offense and defense this season is a different matchup. The home field advantage is the tough part. Utah has won 18 games in a row at home and if you don’t include Covid they haven’t lost since 2018. But the Ducks are the better team and with the improved defense out of Oregon. I think the Ducks win by double digits.
Oregon 30, Utah 17
Underestimate Andy Ludwig and Morgan Scalley at your own risk. Oregon’s run defense will be seriously tested, and Bo Nix will have to make plays outside the pocket. The Ducks win, but there will be tension in the fourth quarter.
Oregon 24, Utah 20