After a pair of Pac-12 title defeats, Britain Covey said his squad has learned its lessons. With a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line, can the favored Utes beat the Oregon Ducks for a second time in two weeks.
The Utes dominated the Ducks again, winning 38-10.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham choked up as he spoke with ABC’s Holly Rowe on the field after the game.
“It’s tough to describe,” Whittingham said, taking a moment to compose himself. “Just so proud of these guys. They have great leadership on this football team. They hung in there, they went through incredible adversity. We love our boys Ty [Jordan] and Aaron [Lowe]. We miss them, and they were here with us tonight.”
Whittingham said it was a “surreal” feeling to know the Utes had finally broken through and were headed to their first Rose Bowl.
“So proud of our guys and they deserve that experience,” he said. “They absolutely deserve that.”
Linebacker Devin Lloyd was named the MVP of the game.
Quarterback Cam Rising and running back Tavion Thomas keyed the Utes’ offense.
“It’s an unreal feeling,” Rising said in his walk-off interview. “I can’t wait to get there [to the Rose Bowl]. It’s going to be fun. But I’m going to celebrate this one right now and look forward to that coming up.”
Dye dives in for Ducks’ first TD
Travis Dye’s 15th touchdown of the season took longer to come by than Oregon fans would have wanted. With 5:17 left on the clock, the Dye extended the ball across the goal line for the Ducks’ first touchdown of the night.
Rushing toward the Roses
Tavion Thomas times two.
The Utah running back’s second score of the game has Utes fans thinking about the Rose Bowl. With 10:21 to play, it’s Utah 38, Oregon 3.
Rising on the run
TJ Pledger’s 4-yard touchdown puts Utah up 29-3 with 6:33 to play in the third quarter.
But give Cam Rising — and Rising’s legs — a lot of credit here. On a designed run, the QB ripped off a 41-yard gain to set Utah up for what might be a knockout punch.
Rising then scored on the 2-point conversion, another run for the quarterback, to make it a 31-3 game.
Oregon gets on the board
The Ducks have made their first dent in Utah’s lead. A field goal makes it 23-3 with 10:32 to play in the third quarter.
Halftime: Utah 23, Oregon 0
Looking to make something, anything, happen for the Ducks offensively, Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown jumped toward the sideline and threw into traffic. The interception, with just seconds to go in the half, gave the Utes a chance for a field goal to make 23-0 at the break.
Rising finds Kincaid: Utah 20, Oregon 0
It looked like Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux had finally made his mark. The star defensive lineman broke through the Utah pass protection and sacked Rising, taking outside of field goal range.
Rising answered right back with a 29-yard strike down the middle to tight end Dalton Kincaid on 3rd-and-14. A few moments later, Rising and Kincaid connected again, this time for the Utes’ third touchdown of the game.
After a botched snap on the PAT, the score is 20-0 with halftime seconds away.
Noah Sewell intercepts Cam Rising
The Utah high school football star looked like he had given the Ducks the spark they’ve been looking for. Sewell put an end to a promising Utah drive by picking off Rising, the Utes’ first turnover of the game.
But the Ducks missed a 43-yard field goal attempt, hooking the kick left, to keep the score 14-0 in the second quarter.
Devin Lloyd’s pick-six puts Utes up 14-0
Winning a conference championship is exactly why star linebacker Devin Lloyd came back to Utah for one last season.
And the Butkus Award finalist has come up big for the Utes early.
The linebacker read Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown’s eyes, intercepted the pass, and raced in for a touchdown to put Utah up 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Utes strike first
Tavion Thomas just walked into the end zone, untouched on a 2-yard run, for the game’s first score.
Utah extended its opening drive by converting on 4th-and-1 from their own 48. The touchdown was then set up by a pass interference call in the end zone on 3rd-and-12.
Utah leads 7-0 early in the first quarter.
A family divided
Gabe Sewell knows his son is going to win tonight.
He also knows his son is going to lose.
Brothers Nephi Sewell and Noah Sewell will square off tonight, helping anchor the Utah and Oregon defenses.
Read about the Sewell family’s path to the title game here.
Sea of red
Kickoff is just minutes away, and the Utah faithful are out in full force.
Our beat writer, Josh Newman, estimates Utes fans outnumber Ducks about 2-to-1 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.