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Pac-12 Championship Prediction and Preview: Oregon vs. Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 26: Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising (7) during a game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Utah Utes ended the Oregon Ducks dream of a college football playoff appearance as they humiliated the Ducks in Utah just two weeks ago. This will be the second time in the past three years that these two teams have battled it out for a Pac 12 title, and two years ago, it was Oregon who prevailed with a 37-15 win. Can Utah duplicate what they did two weeks ago? Find the best place to bet on the PAC 12 Championship right here.

What can Oregon do to get revenge?

That’s easy. They need to stop the run but maybe more critical will be the play of the Ducks starting Quarterback Anthony Brown. Brown was a catalyst for an outstanding Ducks offense passing for over 3,000 yards. Two weeks ago, the Ducks signal-caller had his worst game of the season. He completed only 48.6 per cent of his passes and mustered eight yards on nine carries.

Devon Williams and Kris Hutson are capable of making big plays downfield. The duo will need to do it to loosen up the defensive pressure on the run game. If they can play well, it will open up the run game that was non-existent in the game two weeks again. Utah shut down Travis Dye and Byron Cardwell, and the key here will be, can the Ducks rush for 100 yards or more? If they can, the Ducks will be in good shape to get the revenge they so desperately want.

Utah’s running game

Utah has multiple running backs who are threats to rip off game-changing second-level runs at any moment. In the previous matchup with the Ducks, the Utes dominated on the ground, rushing for over 200 yards in the 38-7 victory. Tavion Thomas is coming off his fifth 100-yard game of the season after running for 142 yards and a touchdown against Colorado. Thomas totalled 94 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon a week earlier.  TJ Pledger enjoyed his fourth 100-yard game of the year when he tallied 103 yards against the Buffaloes. Pledger averages 7.1 yards per carry, which ranks second in the Pac-12. That two-headed running attack will make this an extremely tough game for Oregon.

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Utah dominated the line of scrimmage in the last game, and something like that is hard to turn around in just two weeks. The game will not be a blowout this time around as I believe the Ducks have the talent to make some changes to give them a shot in this game. The Utes found the blueprint to beat the Ducks in the last meeting and look for them to follow that blueprint once again. From what I saw two weeks ago, I have a hard time believing that Oregon could flip a switch and beat Utah. It’s hard to pick a team that was dominated so thoroughly on the line of scrimmage the last time out. Utah will be inspired to reach their first-ever Rose Bowl, and they will win this again with a two-headed running attack. Take Utah and give the 2.5 points. Pick Utah 31  Oregon 24


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