Oregon gets exposed in loss to Utah as Pac-12 CFP hopes crumble
Oregon was the last remaining hope the Pac-12 had at making the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2016. That hope completely crumbled with an embarrassing 38-7 loss at Utah on Saturday night.
The previously 1-loss Ducks were completely exposed by the Utes. Utah got out to an early 21-0 lead. As if that weren’t enough, Utah called a timeout to force an Oregon punt right before halftime. The decision couldn’t have worked out better, as Britain Covey returned the punt 78 yards for a touchdown as time expired.
Britain Covey to the house!
The Utes return specialist takes this one 78 yards to extend a 28-point halftime lead over No. 3 Oregon
— Porter Larsen (@Larsen_ESPN) November 21, 2021
Oregon surprisingly came out of halftime with a touchdown, but that was all they could manage. They rushed for just 63 yards, while allowing Utah to rush for 208 yards and four touchdowns.
Oregon entered the game ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings. They were riding on the strength of a shocking road win over Ohio State in their second game of the season, as well as wins against an extremely weak Pac-12 North. They did have some respectable wins beyond the Ohio State victory, such as their home win over Fresno State and their close road win at UCLA.
Overall, Oregon never had the look of a dominant team that deserved a playoff spot. They were mostly just getting by against poor Pac-12 competition — and even lost to a 3-win Stanford team.
Saturday’s slaughtering at the hands of Utah was just a formality. If it wasn’t Utah that was going to beat them, Oregon almost certainly would have lost the Civil War game or the Pac-12 Championship Game. They were never CFP material.
Photo: Nov 23, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports