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Second Half Thread: Oregon Ducks Dominate Opening Half of PAC-12 Title Game

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Go Ducks!

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Conference Championship-Oregon vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

GO DUCKS!

Halftime Score: Ducks 20 - Utes 0

1ST QUARTER: Utah started with the ball after a Camden Lewis kickoff. Zack Moss picked up seven yards on the opening carry, then earned the first down on the next play. Tyler Huntley hit Jaylen Dixon on a slant for another first down on a 20-yard gain, then completed two consecutive passes for a gain of nine, but on third down Austin Faoliu stuffed Moss at the line. Coach Kyle Wittingham elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 at the Oregon 33 and an unblocked Brady Breeze was able to snatch the leg of Moss as Duck defenders swarmed the running back for a loss.

Johnny Johnson III was rocked on a tackle behind the line when Justin Herbert hit him on the reverse. The Ducks were able to regain some yardage when Utah committed and offside, then Herbert got the first down with his legs, and another on the following play with a 13-yard run. Jaylon Redd caught a short pass and took it eight yards, then a Cyrus Habibi-Likio carry gained ten more. Herbert attempted a shot in the end zone, but the receiver was well covered, Travis Dye nearly earned a first down with a big carry and Redd nearly earned the score before stepping out of bounds at the Utah three-yard line. CJ Verdell ran it in for the game’s opening score.

Ducks 7 - Utes 0

Huntley shoveled the ball to Brant Kuithe for a short gain, then on second down, the quarterback escaped the pocket and was lucky to earn positive yardage, while Oregon’s Breeze was fortunate not to be ejected for targeting. An impressive catch by Kuithe was ruled out of bounds on third down, resulting in Utah’s first punt of the night.

Herbert hit Johnson III on a quick slant off the rpo for a nine-yard gain on first down, then he found Juwan Johnson down field for a 50-yard play that put them at the Utah one-yard line. Herbert continued to carry the ball more than usual, and after a stiff arm he was brought down inches from the score. Verdell also failed to reach the end zone, and after a false start, a pass to offensive lineman Penei Sewell didn’t gain the necessary yardage despite a nifty spin move. Lewis hit the 23-yard field goal to give the Ducks a two-score lead.

Ducks 10 - Utes 0

Huntley ripped off an 18-yard run on first down after the field goal, but after three consecutive carries by Moss for a total of nine yards, a false start on 4th-and-1 forced another punt, which an unblocked Kayvon Thibodeaux was able to get a hand on and nearly take to the house.

Oregon went three-and-out due to a couple incompletions and a rare penalty on Sewell. Utah’s next possession opened with a 42-yard Moss run when the back was able to escape pressure and reverse to the open side of the field, but on the very next play Huntley was picked off in the end zone by Breeze.

Another false start was called on the Ducks, and both Juwan Johnson and Johnny Johnson III were unable to pick up positive yardage before the end of the first quarter.


2ND QUARTER: Verdell was two yards shy of converting on 3rd-and-18 so the Ducks punted. Moss received carries on first and second down to setup a 3rd-and-7, and Thibodeaux successfully caught Huntley as he attempted to escape the pocket.

After the punt, Herbert returned to the rpo game and hit Bryan Addison for a five-yard gain, then a Utah offside gave them the first. Julian Blackmon left the game after a non-contact injury. Redd caught a pass for 15 yards, then a wide-open Johnson III brought in a deep pass for a 45-yard score.

Ducks 17 - Utes 0

A 20-yard pass to Kuithe started things off well for the Utes’ next possession, but the next first and second down accumulated only two yards, and on third Jordon Scott brought down Huntley before he reached the first-down marker.

Verdell picked up 13 yards on Oregon’s next possession, and after gains of four and five yards by Verdell and Hunter Kampmoyer set up a 4th-and-1, Verdell earned the first down and then some with a five-yard carry. Johnson III had another big catch by using the back of a defender to help cradle the ball for a 33-yard reception. A couple false starts greatly disturbed the momentum of the Ducks, and they were forced to settle for another field goal in the red zone. Lewis made the 30-yard attempt.

Ducks 20 - Utes 0

Moss barreled forward for an 8-yard gain, then picked up the fresh set of downs on the next play. Huntley completed passes to Demari Simpkins and Samson Nacua for a total of 24 yards, but Moss was taken down a loss of five yards on the following play. Then, Troy Dye got to the QB as the ball left his hands and Dixon was injured on the incompletion. Huntley botched the throw on third down, resulting in another Utah punt.

Oregon started their final possession of the first half deep in their own territory, but a Verdell nine-yard gain gave the Ducks some breathing room and they were able to run out the clock.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Conference Championship-Oregon vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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