Utah seeks Pac-12 title, playoff berth vs. Oregon

NCAA Football
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No. 5 Utah (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12, No. 5 CFP) vs. No. 13 Oregon (10-2, 8-1, No. 13) in Santa Clara, California, Friday at 8 p.m. EST (ABC).

Line: Utah by 6 1/2.

Series record: Oregon leads 22-10.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

A win would give the Utes their first Pac-12 championship since joining the conference in 2011 and a possible spot in the four-team playoff. The Ducks are seeking a berth in the Rose Bowl and their third win in the Pac-12 title game.

KEY MATCHUP

Oregon QB Justin Herbert vs. Utah”s D. Herbert is one of the top QBs in the nation and a projected first-round pick. His 94 TD passes are the most of any active player and the Ducks are averaging 37.5 points per game in his 40 starts. He faces a tough challenge against a Utes defense that ranks fourth in the FBS with 4.2 yards per play allowed, leads the Pac-12 with 185.3 yards passing allowed per game and has held six opponents to seven points or fewer.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Utah: QB Tyler Huntley. He missed last year’s Pac-12 title game with an injury but is playing in peak form this year. He has completed 75.5% of his passes for 2,773 yards with 16 TDs and only two INTs. He also has rushed for five TDs.

Oregon: LT Penei Sewell. The No. 1 high school prospect out of Utah in 2018 has lived up to his billing in two years with the Ducks. He has allowed only one sack in two years and is a key part of perhaps the country’s top offensive line that also includes seniors Shane Lemieux and Calvin Throckmorton, who have both made 50 consecutive starts.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Ducks have won eight of the past 11 in the series but lost 32-25 last year on the road. … Oregon has held six opponents to less than 10 points, tied for the most in the nation. … The Ducks lead the nation with 19 players having scored TDs. … Oregon’s last win against a top-5 team came in the 2015 Rose Bowl against No. 2 Florida State. … The Utes seek their first nine-game winning streak since going 13-0 in 2008. … Utah has outscored the opposition 193-61 in the second half. … The Utes lost last year’s Pac-12 title game 10-3 against Washington.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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