Nov 16, 2022 - Sports

Here's what's at stake when the Utes face the Oregon Ducks

University of Utah football team

Devin Kaufusi, No. 90 of the Utah Utes, celebrates their win over the Stanford Cardinal. Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images.

The University of Utah Utes have an outside chance, at best, of making the College Football Playoffs this year.

  • Yes, but: It all comes down to Saturday's matchup against the Oregon Ducks.

Why it matters: With two games left in the regular season, the Utes are running out of real estate to prove to the CFP selection committee they deserve a shot at a national championship.

  • Having already lost two games, they need as many signature wins as they can get to bolster their resume.

State of play: Enter the Ducks. They are currently ranked No. 12 in the AP's top 25 and CFP rankings.

  • Utah is No. 10, according to AP and committee rankings.
  • A win on the road against a ranked team looks good on paper. Utah's lone win against a ranked team came against USC about a month ago. (A candidate for game of the year.)
  • That won’t get the job done given they lost to a ranked UCLA and an unranked Florida to start the season.

What's at stake: Everything. The Utes won the Pac-12 championship for the first time in school history last year. A win at Oregon gives them a chance to defend their title.

  • A Pac-12 championship also bolsters their chances of getting into the aforementioned CFP.
  • Of note: They would need a lot of other scenarios to play out too.

What we're watching: How well they respond to the challenge. Utah has had a recent knack for making big games exciting. They lost a nailbiter to The Ohio State University in last year's Rose Bowl and won an exhilarating game against USC.

  • But they need to be more than exciting in Eugene, Oregon. If they want to play in a major bowl game or compete for a national title, Saturday's game is a must-win.

How to watch: Kickoff is at 8:30pm on ESPN.


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