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Oregon downed by Utah in Pac-12 Championship game

Travis Dye ran for the Ducks' only touchdown in their 38-10 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 3, 2021.
Travis Dye ran for the Ducks' only touchdown in their 38-10 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 3, 2021.

Oregon’s quest for a third straight Pac-12 Championship was over nearly from the start of their Friday night match-up with Utah. The Utes took control of the game from the get-go, handing the Ducks a 38-10 loss.

No. 10 Oregon entered the championship game looking to redeem themselves after an earlier trouncing by Utah just 13 days before in Salt Lake City. But after the No. 17 Utes scored on their first drive, it was all uphill for the Ducks who just couldn’t make gains against Utah’s physical play.

Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown went 14 for 34 with 127 yards passing, and was -5 on carries. Utah’s Devin Lloyd pulled down a Brown pass and returned it for a touchdown. Utah’s defense held Travis Dye to 82 yards and the Ducks’ only TD for the night.

Oregon’s defense grabbed two interceptions on Utah’s Cameron Rising, but couldn’t capitalize on either of those opportunities.

Speaking with media after the game, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said “we played and coached very poorly.” He reflected on the season and noted the injuries that have plagued the team. Cristobal said “we had a couple of disappointing losses, but to have 10 wins on the season and then win the North Division and give ourselves an opportunity to win our third straight Pac-12 Championship. We didn’t get it done, but the other team earned it, so congratulations.”

Rumors and speculation have surrounded Cristobal’s future with the Ducks. When asked if he expects to be approached by other schools, Cristobal said "Yeah, I do. It happens every single year." Cristobal said he hasn’t yet talked to any other programs, and that “Oregon is working on some stuff for me.” He also said “I would say if there’s something to report, I will report it. I always have.”

Oregon looks to be headed to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, while Utah earned a trip to their very first Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Copyright 2021, KLCC

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Sociology.