The Oregon defense has come under scrutiny for allowing 33.6 points per game and 456.3 yards per game in total offense allowed, which is last place among conference schools. While the Ducks have struggled during the first three games of the season, the Duck defenders have made steady improvement. In the first two games of the season against Eastern Washington and Michigan State, Oregon only had one sack among the 10 total tackles for loss. Against Georgia State last Saturday, the Ducks had four sacks from the 11 tackles for loss.
On Saturday, the Utah Utes come to Autzen Stadium for a 5:30 kickoff and Oregon hopes the improvement continues against a team that is averaging 31 points per game and only 18.3 ppg. Oregon is averaging 51 ppg and it remains to be seen if Utah quarterback Travis Wilson is able to start.
Last year, Oregon cruised to a 51-27 win in a game that included one of the most bizarre moments of the season when Wilson hit Kaelin Clay on a long pass. Clay was on his way into the endzone, but dropped the ball in celebration just before cross the goal line. Oregon's Joe Walker alertly picked the ball up after players from both teams look at the referee waiting for the whistle to blow the play dead. The whistle didn't blow and Walker ran the entire length of the field for a touchdown. The swing in momentum was monumental as Utah had taken an early 7-0 lead and would have gone up at least 13-0 if Clay hadn't dropped the ball.
Saturday's game will be carried on Fox with kickoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Pacific.