Pac 12 Championship: Oregon vs Utah prediction, game preview, how to watch: Friday, December 3
Pac 12 Championship: Oregon vs Utah How To Watch
Date: Friday, December 3
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
How To Watch: ABC
Record: Oregon (10-2), Utah (9-3)
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Pac 12 Championship: Oregon vs Utah Game Preview
Why Oregon Will Win
Can Utah possibly generate the same energy, the same effectiveness, and the same sort of production twice?
That 38-7 loss in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago was almost too obvious.
Oregon had been winning, but it wasn’t consistent and it wasn’t quite as sharp as a College Football Playoff team should look, it had a few problems on the road after the Ohio State win – losing at Stanford and needing to battle to get by UCLA and fight too hard in bad weather against Washington – and …
The Utes ripped through the Ducks clean.
But the running game still works. It was humming along before the Utah loss, and it showed up after in the win over Oregon State to get here.
The talent on both sides is undeniable, the O can match Utah’s third down conversion for third down conversion, the defense should come out and play like it’s personal.
Oregon’s run defense has been a rock over the second half of the season, but Utah ran for over 200 yards. Expect a quick adjustment in energy and production up front, and expect the defense to start taking the ball away a bit.
Missing in the first meeting were takeaways – that’s not normal for Oregon.
The Ducks went without a takeaway four times, and two of those games were the two losses. The offense hasn’t lost the ball in the last two games, but …
Why Utah Will Win
Utah doesn’t turn the ball over.
It doesn’t come up with takeaways – none in the last three games – but it has just two turnovers in the last six games.
No, Utah isn’t going to have the same juice it showed in the first meeting, but the idea is still the same.
Dominate the time of possession battle, own third down conversions, and swarm around the running backs and make Anthony Brown make big plays. Everyone tries that, but Utah was able to actually do it.
This is still a brutish team on the lines, it’s great in pass protection and it leads the Pac-12 in sacks and tackles for loss, and Utah has to prove that its talent can overcome the pure power Utah brings.
It’s not that the offense went off in the first meeting. It’s that the offense just kept moving. It never let the Ducks offense get into any sort of a groove outside of the opening drive of the second half, and that was answered by a dominant finish.
Utah didn’t get any less nasty and physical over the last few weeks.
What’s Going To Happen
The script is playing out like it’s supposed to.
Oregon plays well, Oregon loses November road game to screw up College Football Playoff chances, Oregon gets into the Pac-12 Championship, Oregon wins Pac-12 Championship over Utah, Oregon goes off to win the Rose Bowl.
At least that was how 2019 played out.
It’s so, so hard to be a talented team like Oregon twice. It’s even harder to try recreating the magic that got the win the first time around.
However, Utah is going to do what Utah does. It’s going to slug Oregon with the best running game in the Pac-12 and dare the D to hold up. Only this time, the Ducks will get its own O going.
Expect an entirely different Oregon.
The speed and flash will show up, the offensive line will play like it’s been challenged – because it has been – and Oregon takes its third straight Pac-12 Championship helped by two key takeaways in the second half.
Pac 12 Championship: Oregon vs Utah Prediction, Lines
Oregon 30, Utah 24
Line: Utah -3, o/u: 59.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Get a 2nd opinion on the Oregon vs Utah game from Winners and Whiners. Click here for their in-depth analysis and predictions on the side,total, 1st half, and exotics.
Must See Rating: 4.5
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