Pac-12 Football - Page 2

Utah vs. Oregon Complete Game Preview

Oregon begins their Pac-12 title defense on Saturday, and things do not start off with an easy conference opener as Utah comes to town for a battle of Top 20 teams.

If you’re looking for a strength vs. strength matchup, then look no further than this contest, as the Ducks’ high-powered offense should be fun to watch against a stout Utes defense that doesn’t appear to have had much of a drop-off despite loosing a host of draft picks over the years.

It remains to be seen if Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams is 100 percent ready for game action after breaking his finger in the season opener, but his likely second start will need him to be in quality form if he’s to lead the team against a salty squad intent on pulling the road upset.

While Adams’ Heisman hopes took a bit of a hit after the loss to Michigan State two weeks ago, this game could mark the second stop of an under-the-radar Heisman campaign for Utah running back Devontae Booker, the headliner of the Utes offense. He’s averaging 115 yards per game and will have his hands full trying to run around a fairly solid defense that is designed to stop the run more than it is to slow down the passing game.

Either way, Week 4’s best action seems to be centered on the Pac-12, and this game is a big reason why.

Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 5:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. ET)
Location: Autzen Stadium; Eugene, Oregon
TV: Fox
Radio: Sirius 126/XM 198; ESPN 700, Salt Lake City; Oregon IMG Radio Network
Line: TBD

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Pac-12 football: All-century players, coaches, teams and games

The Tuesday editions of the Mercury News and Bay Area News Group papers will feature an abridged version of the Pac-12 football all-century series published on the Hotline over the summer. The series is re-posted here, providing readers with one-stop-shopping for… Continue Reading…

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Pac-12 football power ratings: Oregon remains No. 1 (plus info on kickoff time selections and a few words from Tammy from Alabama)

Before we get to the Pac-12 power ratings, let’s talk kickoff times: There have been plenty of questions on my Twitter feed the past two weeks about when and how the kickoff times are established by the league and its… Continue Reading →

The post Pac-12 football power ratings:…

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Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks Betting Odds, Analysis, College Football Pick

Utah is 0-2 straight up against Oregon since joining the Pac-12, but the Utes are also 6-1 both SU and against the spread in their last seven road contests. Utah shoots for the upset when it challenges the Ducks in Eugene Saturday.

Pac-12 Round Up: USC upset by Stanford, UCLA escapes with win against BYU

What a week for the Pac-12.

Stanford shocked then no. 6 USC in the Coliseum. Arizona ran for 499 yards and seven touchdowns. Cal and UCLA won by a single point in the final moments of their games.

Here’s a recap of each Pac-12 game from week three (Pac-12 team in CAPS.)


New Mexico 10 — ARIZONA STATE 34: Senior quarterback Mike Bercovici tossed three touchdowns  and ran for a score against the Lobos. His leading receiver of the night, running back Demario Richard, tallied 2 touchdowns and 151 yards, while also rushing for 104 more yards. ASU accumulated 449 yards of offense compared to UNM’s 295-yard performance. The Sun Devils defense also improved, keeping UNM out of the end zone the entire first half.


Utah State 17 — WASHINGTON 31: Washington relied on true freshman quarterback Jake Browning, who threw for 368 yards and a touchdown in the win. UW’s leading rusher, Myles Gaskin, ran for just 42 yards. Additionally UW struggled to protect the ball, turning it over three times. Defensive backs Kevin King and Brandon Beaver led the defense, each making an interception, while Utah State was kept to 254 yards of offense.

COLORADO 27 — Colorado State 24: Colorado State jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. But, Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau led a comeback. Liufau threw two touchdowns without an interception, a key factor in this game. The Rams beat up on the Buffaloes defense, running for 218 total yards in a game where CSU’s offense totaled 500 yard — 155 more than CU. However, an overtime field goal by Diego Gonzalez foiled any upset to be.

CALIFORNIA 45 — Texas 44: Both teams entered halftime with 24 points, and the high-scoring theme didn’t change in the second half. Yet, the third quarter was dominated by Cal, and seemingly ending the game in blowout fashion. But as the fourth quarter began 45-24 with the Bears leading, Texas got rolling with freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard. Heard’s 527-total-yard effort deserved to force Cal into overtime, as the Bears defense was gasping for air with time dwindling. All the Longhorns needed to do was convert an extra point to tie the game, but Cal’s Darius White rushed the kick form the outside and, according to White, got a piece of the ball (the box score didn’t credit him with a block).

STANFORD 41 — No. 6 USC 31: Stanford played its first two games of the season looking like a much weaker Cardinal team than expected, failing to depend on the touted, heavy running game. In the same time span, USC seemed unbeatable. Week three didn’t abide to the same tone. In the final 3:53 of the first half, Stanford scored twice to take a 24-21 halftime lead. Then with 2:27 left, Stanford’s Conrad Ukropina hit a 46-yard field goal to make it a 41-28, and essentially seal the game. Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan beat USC for the first time in his career after a solid performance — 18/23, 276 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. Senior running back Remound Wright added three more touchdowns, and feature-back Christian McCaffrey ran for 115 yards on 26 carries. Neither team turned the ball over.

San Jose State 21 — OREGON STATE 35: Oregon State freshman quarterback Seth Collins had himself a decent passing game, but excelled when he ran with the ball, picking up 114 yards and two touchdowns. The Beavers’ Storm Woods led the team with 151 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries. OSU ran for over 300 yards in the game — a heavy punch SJSU couldn’t take. SJSU used three different quarterbacks, none of who threw for more than 75 yards, and its running game wasn’t much better. Two punt returns kept SJSU in the game.

Wyoming 14 — WASHINGTON STATE 31: Something not heard often: WSU’s defense stepped up. But they did just that against Wyoming, forcing two turnovers and keeping the Cowboys off the scoreboard in the final three quarters. Quarterback Luke Falk led the Cougars, tossing two touchdowns in a 303-yard performance. Both touchdown passes were thrown to Dom Williams.

No. 19 BYU 23 – No. 10 UCLA 24: Where BYU entered the final quarter with 7-point lead, and able to add 6 more in the fourth, UCLA’s running game stunned the Cougars in the final minutes. The Bruins feature back Paul Perkins made up for freshman quarterback Josh Rosen’s three interceptions, running for 219 yards and a touchdown. When Perkins tired, Nate Starks picked up right were Perkins left off. Stark ran for 81 yards on seven carries and the game-winning, 3-yard touchdown run.

No. 21 UTAH 45 — Fresno State 24: Utah’s pass defense was outmatched by Fresno State quarterback Zack Greenlee, who tossed for three touchdowns. But Utes running back Devontae Booker was ever-more influential in the game, running for 156 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. Cory Butler-Byrd and Britain Covey helped Utah further, both scoring on special teams with a kick return and punt return, respectively.

Northern Arizona 13 — No. 20 ARIZONA 77: It’s hard to ignore the one-sided score, but to make it more impressive from a Wildcat perspective, at halftime it was 42-13. Meaning, in the second half, Arizona scored 35 unanswered points. Arizona’s rushing attack, itself, ran for 499 yards and seven touchdowns. Yes that really happened. Backup quarterback Jerrard Randall ran for a team-leading 149 yards on three carries, and two touchdowns. Running back Nick Wilson added another 143 yards on the game, also with two touchdowns. Quarterback Anu Solmon threw four Arizona touchdown passes, collected 285 yards from the air. The Wildcats also picked off three passes in the game never in question.

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Vernon Adams Must Get Up to Speed If Oregon’s to Stay in Playoff Contention

When Vernon Adams arrived at Oregon last month, one of the biggest questions surrounding his move from FCS program Eastern Washington involved how quickly he could pick up the Ducks’ fast-paced scheme.

The answer? Fast enough to satisfy Oregon’s coaches. Despite not earning his degree from Eastern Washington until after Oregon’s preseason practices began, Adams quickly passed veteran backup Jeff Lockie to earn the starting quarterback role.

However, as Saturday’s 31-28 loss at No. 5 Michigan State showed, Adams still has work to do to take Oregon to the levels it reached under Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.

Adams flashed positives, completing 22 of 39 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown against a very tough defense, adding a rushing touchdown as well. But he also threw a pair of interceptions that hurt No. 7 Oregon’s hopes of getting a key road win under its belt.

Down 31-21 in the fourth quarter, Adams kept the Ducks alive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Byron Marshall with 3:25 to go.

And after Oregon got the ball back at the Michigan State 48, a pair of Royce Freeman runs pushed the ball to the Spartans 33 with plenty of time to get in position for a potential game-tying field goal.

Marshall got open in the flat past his defender, and a good throw would’ve likely led to a game-winning score. But Adams overthrew him. On the next down, he scrambled too long, and Michigan State sacked him for a crucial 10-yard loss that ultimately took the Ducks out of field-goal range.

Both plays exposed his inexperience in the system. Adams is a marvelous athlete, and his athleticism helped him win a pair of Big Sky Player of the Year honors at Eastern Washington.

He studied the Oregon playbook all summer, but there’s no substitute for getting in rhythm with teammates and knowing where they’ll be at a particular moment.

A month of workouts is fine, but it’s no substitute for the sweat equity built with receivers on hot summer days—learning what they like, what they don’t and why.

Adams is learning that on the fly, and that steep learning curve hurt Oregon Saturday night.

Oregon’s playoff hopes took a hit Saturday night, but the team is far from dead. After all, last fall, Florida State was the only team to enter the College Football Playoff undefeated, and the Ducks demolished the Seminoles with ease in the Rose Bowl.

Few CFP committee members would begrudge a narrow loss in a tough environment like Spartan Stadium, but Oregon can’t afford another slip-up. Next week’s tune-up against Georgia State, one of the worst teams in the FBS, will help. And Sept. 26’s Pac-12 opener against Utah is at home.

The next big test will be an Oct. 17 trip to Washington, followed by an Oct. 29 trip to Arizona State. If Adams can get rolling by then, the Ducks stand an excellent chance of finding their offensive groove.

Until then, Adams needs to hit the playbook and pick up his offensive pace—quickly.

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Ducks’ Schedule Stacked for Winning

Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out Duck fans saw their fondest dreams and deepest fears unfold Saturday night in a victorious offensive battle against FCS Eastern Washington. The Ducks tied the NCAA record for most consecutive games (69) with at least one touchdown…

QB Recruit Terry Wilson Flips from Nebraska to Oregon

As Oregon started life without Marcus Mariota on Saturday with new starting quarterback Vernon Adams, the Ducks got a huge win for their future at the position with 3-star 2016 signal-caller Terry Wilson.

The 3-star Nebraska commitment visited Oregon for its season-opening 61-42 victory against Eastern Washington on Saturday and wasted no time in flipping his pledge to the Ducks.

Andrew Nemec of the