A month ago, Utah was 4-0 and fresh off a bye week. But a home loss to Stanford would then spark a miserable stretch through the Pac-12 that has now resulted in four straight losses, the latest of which came Saturday in Eugene.
Oregon held the Utes to just three yards on the ground, and out of the end zone in the first half, and outshined Utah offensively to secure a 41-20 home win.
Darren Carrington was effective in his return to the school where he once suited up for three seasons before a summer DUI sent him packing for Salt Lake City.
The senior caught 9 balls for 130 yards, but also was involved in a play that would have a heavy effect on the game. Utah was down 10-3 when Carrington caught a screen pass in the second quarter, only to fumble and watch Ugo Amadi return it 47-yards the other way for a score.
Utah was down 17-6 going into the locker room.
Utah’s offense was more efficient moving the football in the second half, and found the end zone after Tyler Huntley’s tipped pass near the goal line somehow ended up in the outstretched hands of a lineman, Darrin Paulo, a play that got the Utes to within four points at 17-13.
But then the Ducks would rip off 17 unanswered points, including a trick play that saw Oregon receiver Charles Nelson, on his birthday, evade a tackle after a reverse and throw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Breeland.
The sophomore Huntley, in his second game back from injury, finished 25-43 with a couple of touchdowns and no interceptions but couldn’t keep up with a Ducks offense that was effective moving the ball all game on the Ute’s defense.
(4-4) Utah is back home to host UCLA on Friday night.