DALLAS (FWAA) The Utah Utes
won the Pac-12 South title for the third time in four years and
took No. 3 Oregon out of College Football Playoff contention with
a convincing 38-7 win Saturday, a historic win in front of a packed
house of 52,724 against the highest-ranked team to ever fall at
Rice-Eccles Stadium. For scoring the most points Oregon has given
up this season while holding the Ducks to a single touchdown for
the first time since 2018, Utah earned the Cheez-It Bowl
National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend
of Nov. 20, as selected by the Football Writers Association
This is the third time for Utah (8-3) to earn this honor from
the FWAA and first since 2015 when it won at then-No. 13 Oregon,
62-20, to win its first Pac-12 opener since joining the conference
in 2011. The other honor came in 2004. All Division I FBS and FCS
schools are eligible to be selected.
Utah flipped the stat sheet on both sides of the ball. Oregon
entered the game leading the Pac-12 in rushing defense at 121.2
yards per game, but the Utes stuck to their ground game to grind
out 208 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore running back Tavion
Thomas ran 21 times for 94 yards and three touchdowns and now has
a school-record 17 rushing touchdowns this season, tied for fourth
in the FBS. He has scored three or more touchdowns in the last three
games he's played (missed the Arizona game).
On defense, Utah faced the nation's 10th-best rushing offense
but held the Ducks to only 63, Oregon's fewest in three seasons.
Junior linebacker and All-America candidate Devin Lloyd had one
tackle for loss among his six total stops, bringing his season totals
for 21 TFL's and 42 for his career.
The Ducks were held scoreless in a half (trailed 28-0 at halftime)
for the first time this season and gave up one of the day's highlight
plays on special teams. Britain Covey returned a punt 78 yards for
a touchdown as time expired in the first half, his second of the
season and fourth of his career. The Utes also blocked an Oregon
field goal attempt.
"We did a nice job of running the football. The offensive
line was outstanding," said Kyle Whittingham, who became Utah's
all-time winningest coach (142-69) with the victory. "No turnovers
again for us. That's been a huge part of our success in recent weeks
is taking care of the football. (On defense) Oregon only got 63
yards rushing. They came in here averaging about 231 per week. That
was the primary objective of this game was to stop the run, and
we felt if we did that we had a good chance for a good outcome."
Utah has now won or shared the Pac-12 South title four times
(2015, '18, '19, '21) since joining the conference in 2011.
The Utes host Colorado at 2 p.m. MT Friday on FOX to close the
regular season before facing the North Division winner in the Pac-12
Championship Game on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas.
The other National Team of the Week nominee for the weekend of
Nov. 20 is:
Ohio State (10-1): Quarterback
C.J. Stroud rewrote some school records and changed the Heisman
Trophy conversation with six first-half touchdown passes en route
to a 49-0 halftime advantage as Ohio State steamrolled No. 7 Michigan
State, 56-7. Stroud finished 32-of-35 for 432 yards and the six
touchdowns and had three receivers Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson
and Jaxon Smith-Njigba top 100 yards. At one point he completed
17 passes in a row, setting an Ohio State record.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America
consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives
in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday
operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive
Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Cheez-It Bowl
The Cheez-It Bowl takes place on
Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5:45 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. The postseason contest is hosted
by Florida Citrus Sports, a Central Florida-based nonprofit, and annually features
top teams from the Atlantic Coast and Big 12 Conferences. Cheez-It®, the best-selling
cracker brand in the United States, signed on as the game's title sponsor in 2020
as part of its season-long support of college football. Last bowl season, No. 21
Oklahoma State beat No. 18 Miami 37-34 in front of an audience of Cheez-It "Wheel
Live Fans." This year's Cheez-It Bowl will be the 32nd edition of the game and its
21st in Orlando.
All-time FWAA National
Teams of the Week
Download Cheez-It Bowl National Team
of the Week logo:
|2021 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
||Memphis Commercial Appeal
||American Athletic Conference
||Bryan-College Station Eagle
||Pick Six Previews
||Big Ten Conference
||Big Ten Conference
||Sun Belt Conference
||Big 12 Conference
||Big 12 Conference
||Last Word on College Football
||Phil Steele Publications
||Mountain West Conference
||Toledo Blade retired