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The Ducks fall to the Utes in rematch for conference title, held scoreless in first half

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Kayvon Thibodeaux (pictured at a home game this season) and the Oregon Ducks had no answer for the Utah Utes in Friday's, losing the Pac-12 championship game 38-10.

It was a rough night for the University of Oregon football team, which once again was dominated by the Utah Utes on Friday, Dec. 3.

This time around, the Ducks fell 38-10 in the Pac-12 title game held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas after falling to Utah 38-7 two weeks prior.

Big picture: Oregon entered the Pac-12 championship game 10-2 overall and 7-2 against Pac-12 competition. The Ducks only lost to Stanford on Oct. 2 and the Utes on Nov. 20, the latter in blowout fashion. Utah, meanwhile, entered the contest with a 9-3 overall and an 8-1 record against the Pac-12 and dominated the Ducks 38-7 the first time around. In between the first meeting of these teams, the Ducks edged rivals Oregon State 38-29, and Utah defeated Colorado 28-13.

Utah improved to 10-3, while Oregon fell to the same record. The Utes move on to the Rose Bowl.

Storyline: The Ducks struggled to put together offense from the jump. The first half was marred by ineffectual offense and turnovers. Quarterback Anthony Brown was picked off twice in the first two stanzas, including one for a Utah pick-six that would double the Utes lead over the Pac-12 North's top team. Oregon kicker Camden Lewis also missed a 44-yard field goal at the 12 minute mark of the second quarter.

Utah raced out to a 23-0 lead by the end of the first half. The Utes' Tavion Thomas scored first with a two-yard run to cap off a 9-play drive. Less than three minutes later Utah's Devin Lloyd recorded the aforementioned pick-six, taking the ball 34 yards for the second touchdown of the night. Utah kicker Jadon Redding nailed both point-after attempts.

In the second quarter Utah's Dalton Kincaid hauled in a pass from quarterback Cameron Rising from 11 yards out to extend the lead. A botched PAT and subsequent 2-point conversion followed, and Utah led 20-0. The final score of the first half was Redding sending a field goal between the uprights from 50 yards out.

Oregon finally got on the board in the second half thanks to a 42-yard Camden Lewis field goal, trailing 23-3 at the 10:32 mark of the third quarter.

Utah once again found the endzone, this time courtesy of TJ Pledger, who punched the ball in from four yards out. Rising ran the ball in on the 2-point conversion attempt, and Utah led 31-3 with 6:33 to go in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Utah scored one last touchdown with 10:21 to go. Tavion Thomas recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game, this time from three yards out, and Redding put away the extra point to give the Utes a dominant 38-3 lead.

Ultimately, Oregon would not be denied the endzone. The Ducks offense put together a 12-play drive that chewed up a little more than five minutes off the clock, and punctuated the effort thanks to a Travis Dye two-yard touchdown run. Lewis made the PAT and the final score ended up 38-10.

Notable numbers: Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown was 13 for 24 throwing for 147 yards with two interceptions. Brown also had 10 carries for -5 yards. Travis Dye had 15 carries for 82 yards and the lone Oregon touchdown of the night.

The Oregon receiving corps were led by Isaiah Crocker, with three catches for 51 yards, the longest of which was 33 yards. Dye had four catches for 27 yards. Seven McGee had one catch for 19 yards; Devon Williams had one catch for 17 yards; and Troy Franklin had one catch for 16 yards.

The Ducks converted on just 4 of 12 third down attempts and were held to 221 yards of total offense. Utah and Oregon each had two turnovers and a pair of interceptions, and neither team lost the ball on a fumble.

Up next: Oregon will face off against a bowl opponent to be announced Sunday, Dec. 5. Utah will head to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on New Year's Day to play the Big Ten champion, unless the winner is selected for the College Football Playoff. If so, the Utes play the next highest ranked Big Ten squad.


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