Utah authored arguably the most impressive win of the season this past weekend, dismantling the Ducks in Eugene, 62-20. The Utes led 20-13 late in the first half before putting up 42 unanswered points.
Did we mention this came against Oregon: the team that last year played for the national championship, the team that pushed No. 2 Michigan State to the brink in East Lansing just a couple of weeks ago, the team that was playing at home at Autzen in prime time?
No? Okay, well now we did.
And yet, Utah (4-0), which went from No. 18 to No. 10 in the AP Poll, is still not getting enough love – at least not in the eyes of Scott Ferrall. The Utes may not have the name brand of a USC, but they’re one of the best teams in the country, no?
“Look, I think they should be in the top 10,” Pac-12 Network host Mike Yam said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I don’t know how many other teams can boast a win like Utah was able to do – to go to Eugene (and win the way they did). I understand that they lost to Michigan State, but if Vernon Adams is completely healthy and Byron Marshall is running down the sidelines and he’s not overthrown, we could be talking about Oregon going to East Lansing and taking out Sparty, and now how does that win look? They played as well as any other team. I don’t think we said Oregon’s a bad football team because of that loss. It was, ‘Boy, they’re still a really good football team that lost to another good football team.’”
Those are all true statements.
Only Oregon looked helpless this past Saturday.
Utah quarterback Travis Wilson was 18-of-30 for 227 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 100 yards and a score, while running back Devontae Booker had 98 yards on the ground and added a 25-yard touchdown pass on a trick play in the third quarter to make it 41-13.
The rest was formality.
“The fact that Utah went there and dropped 62 on them at home, in my mind, speaks volumes of how good this team is,” Yam said. “I think that they are mimicking what Stanford has been able to do the last few years. I know Stanford is coming off a bad season. But West Coast football, you think about the Pac-12, you think about skill players. That toughness factor is maybe not necessarily there in terms of the perception. But Stanford’s got guys that are in the trenches that are physical, they’re going to run the football with you, against you, run it down the gut.”
The Utes, who joined the Pac-12 in 2011, went 5-7 in 2012 and 2013. They improved to 9-4 last year and look even better this season.
“Every singe year, they continue to get better and better players, more athletic skill players, and a guy that we’re talking about potentially as a Heisman candidate, Devontae Booker,” Yam said. “They win with defense, and yet it was their offense that really carried them in that win. To me, it was an awe-inspiring performance – one of the better wins we’ve seen for that program.”