Oregon Opponent Early Detection Report: Utah
We take a look at Oregon’s opponents for the 2021 regular season. This 12-part series will feature analysis and ideas from beat journalists covering the teams Oregon will be playing this year.
Date and time of the game: Rice-Eccles Stadium, November 21
2020 review: (3-2)
Coach: Kyle Whittingham, Grade 17 (134-66)
Return Entries: 10 attack, 9 defense
Most important returning players: WR Britain Covey, TE Brant Kuithe, LB Devin Lloyd, LB Nephi Sewell, DB Nate Ritchie
Most critical departures: QB Jake Bentley, RB Ty Jordan, RB Devin Brumfield
A preview of the Salt Lake Tribune Utah defeated journalist Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman):
1) How does Charlie Brewer raise the minimum outlook for the Utah season?
New man: “It depends on whether or not Kyle Whittingham is willing to break out of his DNA, which has long run the ball, play defense and control the clock. Utah has its share of good QBs, but Whittingham has never had anyone. “One like Brewer at his disposal. If Brewer wins the job, I said 8-4 is the floor, with 10-2 certainly plausible.”
2) Will the Utes go with a committee in RB for the first time since 2013 or will it emerge from it?
New man: “In all fairness, last season started as a committee RB before Ty Jordan turned into a force of nature in week 2 and week 3. Smart Money says this season starts with a committee with at least Micah Bernard, Chris Curry. Four-star freshman Ricky Parks could be a factor, while Tavion Thomas, a late hire from JUCO, is an x-factor.
3) Why will this be Britain Covey’s last college season or not?
New man: “My personal opinion, yes, this will be Covey’s last college season. This view was backed up on Pac-12 media day when he told reporters it would “probably” be his last season, but he did not make up his mind. Covey is 24, turns 25 in March, with a history of injuries. He wants to be a pro, and considering his age, he should probably move.
4) What is Mika Tafua capable of in terms of rushing over a full season?
New man: Entrenched as a DE starter, Tafua 2020 offered optimism that, given a full 12-game roster, he is capable of approaching double-digit sacks. He has been quite disruptive for a defense of the Utah which performed better last season than any reasonable expectation would indicate. “
5) Why will the South race be decided October 9-16 or will the Ducks be the deciding factor since USC and ASU will not face Oregon?
New man: “Difficult question, no easy answer. The Pac-12 South winner never goes undefeated, but if Utah can win at USC on October 9 and at home against Arizona State on October 16, the Utes no longer have control of the South at that time. still early stage. Will the South then be DECIDED? No, but Utah should feel good if he gets those two games. Even a split is manageable if there are no more hiccups.
Glimpses of Oregon’s Early Opponents: State of Fresno | Ohio State | Stony stream | Arizona | Stanford | Cal | Colorado | UCLA | Washington | Washington State | Utah | Oregon State
This will be the last time Oregon faces a real road environment and it’s such a hostile crowd as in the Pac-12.
If the division is not decided yet, it could certainly be this weekend. UO and UW are both at mountain schools this week.
Even if the Utes need to reload in the backfield, ground play will still be a mainstay of their offense and the Ducks will need to be good.
Chances are the South Division has already been decided, but if not, this weekend should for sure do as USC ends against UCLA.
Charlie Brewer was an efficient and prolific quarterback at Baylor and his move to Utah has been somewhat under the radar. If he has the Utes vying for a division title, it won’t be a surprise. There is a chance for him to have Utah’s most productive quarterback season since Alex Smith.
A victory in Oregon would mean:
There is a chance that the northern race will be decided this week. It could also determine the winner of the South and therefore of the Pac-12 Championship game. If the Ducks are still alive for the CFP, a road win in Utah in November should be a boost to their resume.
A loss of Oregon would mean:
This could tip the North towards Washington or Stanford. The Utes could win the South in the process, but that will be settled long before this game. If it is a second or third loss, the Ducks are excluded from the CFP race.