Game prediction: Oregon limps into No. 11 Utah looking for something to cling to

What does Oregon get for its difficulties after a 52-27 reduction a week at home against Stanford? : A road game against a better variant of this Cardinal.
The Ducks play in No. 11 Utah Saturday at Salt Lake City, Utah, and on paper have zero chance to win, or even stay close. So much so that the 14-point spread appears to be an insult to Utah by about ten points.
Oregon (3-7, 1-6 Pac-12) will roll into Utah (8-2, 5-2) using the second-worst rushing defense in the Pac-12 in 255.4 yards allowed per game to face the hottest racing attack in the conference.
“Same thing as last week, actually,” Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said. “You have got to stop the run. There is little doubt about it.”
Uh oh!
Oregon hasn’t stopped the run . Not against UC Davis and Virginia in what seems like ions ago. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran rampant last week, scoring three touchdowns as the Cardinal, owners of the worst crime in the conference, averaging 340 yards per game, place up 540 yards of total offense on the Ducks.
Utah, averaging 433.7 yards per game is much better on offense than Stanford thanks to the wonderful performances of running Joe Williams. He”retired” for four games to begin the season only to be talked back into enjoying. Since his return, Williams has averaged 216 total yards and 156.5 yards rushing per game. He’s gained 939 rushing yards on 7.0 yards per carry.
“He is possibly the most explosive and also the quickest of some of the backs we’ve had here up to a house run-type back that could extend the distance away from anywhere on the field,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham told colleagues this week.
To make matters worse for Oregon, Williams runs behind a veteran offensive line.
“They’re physical upfront,” Hoke said. “Quite senior-oriented offensive line with three men up there that have played a great deal of football.”
The Ducks would be the opposite with one senior starting on a young defense that has rotated through 14 defensive linemen this year.
“We had a good week of training precisely the same thing we did the week before,” Hoke said. “Our men have come out and struggled and been physical every time we go on the area.”
That intensity hasn’t translated into strong performances on game titles. Saturday will probably be no different.

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