With just two weeks left before the end of the 2022 college football regular season, the top of the standings in the Pac-12 are still not clear. Five teams with either one or two losses in league play still have a shot at reaching the conference title game. Two of those teams still alive, No. 10 Utah and No. 12 Oregon, will meet Saturday night in a pivotal game between teams with identical records of 8-2 and 6-1 in the Pac-12.
Two of the last three meetings between these teams have been in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and though a title is not on the line this time, it's a big matchup nonetheless. Utah is seeking back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances, and Oregon is trying to finish strong under first-year coach Dan Lanning following last week's heartbreaking loss to Washington.
The Utes dominated Oregon twice last season by a combined margin of 76-17, including a 38-10 beatdown in last year's Pac-12 Championship Game. That turned out to be the last game for the Ducks under coach Mario Cristobal, who left for the Miami shortly thereafter. Utah has kept on chugging under 18th-year coach Kyle Whittingham, and this game will provide Oregon a chance to see if it has closed the gap in one season under Lanning.
How to watch Oregon vs. Utah live
Date: Saturday, November 19 | Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Autzen Stadium -- Eugene, Oregon
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Oregon vs. Utah: Need to know
Bo Nix's health: The status of Oregon star quarterback Bo Nix is up in the air for this game after he appeared to suffer a knee injury late in last week's loss. Nix missed a key series after the injury, though he did return for the Ducks' final possession of the game. Lanning explained this week Nix is "preparing himself as if he can go," but added that "we also got some other guys ready to go if needed."
Nix has completed completed 72.8% of his passes for 2,774 yards, 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions while enjoying a renaissance season after three up-and-down years at Auburn. He's also run for 512 yards and 14 touchdowns. If he can't play, redshirt freshman Ty Thompson would likely step in. Thompson has completed 18 of 35 passes for 159 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in nine career appearances.
Win and you're in: The Pac-12 scrapped division standings this season and for the first time will send the two teams with the best league record to its title game. For Oregon and Utah, it's simple: Win your last two regular-season games and you're in. That will be more challenging for the Ducks, however, as they must play at No. 23 Oregon State next week in a rivalry showdown. Utah is on the road next week as well, but it's against a Colorado team that is just 1-9 entering Week 12 action.
Oregon's poor pass defense: Oregon's pass defense is a glaring weakness; the Ducks rank No. 127 nationally in passing yards allowed at 289.7 per game. Washington capitalized on Oregon's weak secondary last week, but doing so may be more challenging for Utah. While 6-foot-4 receiver DeVaughn Vele and tight end Dalton Kincaid are excellent pass-catchers, the Utes aren't known for airing it out. But if quarterback Cam Rising can hit some deep balls in this game and open up the box for Utah's rushing attack, it would go a long way toward helping the Utes rack up points.
Oregon vs. Utah prediction, picks
Utah dominated Oregon in two meetings last season, and it's not clear whether the gap has closed. While first-year Ducks' coach Dan Lanning and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham have quarterback Bo Nix playing at an elite level, the Utes will be the most physical team Oregon has faced since a Week 1 loss to Georgia. Nix's status is also uncertain after he suffered an injury in the fourth quarter of last week's loss to Washington. That defeat eliminated Oregon from the College Football Playoff conversation, and it will be interesting to see if the Ducks remain highly motivated to play for a Pac-12 title. Prediction: Utah -2
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