SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Bo Nix spent four quarters picking apart one of the Pac-12’s toughest defenses.
Nix threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 8 Oregon to a 35-6 victory over No. 13 Utah, snapping the Utes’ 18-game home winning streak.
The senior completed 77% of his passes, finishing with a 70% or better completion rate for an eighth consecutive game dating back to the 2022 Holiday Bowl.
“I want to go out here and make sure that it’s not me tripping up the team,” Nix said. “I want to go out there and put our team in the best situation possible. I feel like when I do that, they have my back and they go out and perform at a high level as well.”
Troy Franklin tallied 99 yards and a touchdown on eight catches for the Ducks. Bucky Irving added 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) won in Salt Lake City for the first time since 2016. The Ducks racked up 390 total yards and forced two turnovers.
Bryson Barnes threw for 136 yards and had two interceptions. Devaughn Vele had a season-high 80 yards on seven catches for the Utes (6-2, 3-2), who tallied 241 total yards.
Utah averaged 3.7 yards per play while surrendering 6.7 yards per play to Oregon.
“When you get beat like that, you don’t want to berate your team and browbeat them,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “What happened out there was enough.”
Nix sliced through Utah’s defense with surgical precision during both halves. He totaled only two incomplete passes over Oregon’s first six drives. The Ducks had no trouble moving the chains behind his steady passing.
Nix threw an 18-yard dart to Jordan James and a 3-yard strike to Troy Franklin and rushed for a 1-yard score to help Oregon jump out to a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter. The Ducks averaged 9.0 yards per play on their first three scoring drives.
“He thinks he’s Goliath and at times he performs like it,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “The proof’s in the pudding. We got an elite quarterback.”
Gaining ground proved much more cumbersome for the Utes. Utah forced Oregon to lose a fumble for the first time this season when Junior Tafuna stripped the ball from Irving as he tackled him and recovered it at the Oregon 27. The Utes turned the turnover into a 32-yard field goal from Cole Becker, who later added a second field goal from 30 yards to cap Utah’s final first-half drive.
Irving ran in untouched from 9 yards out to extend Oregon’s lead again early in the in the third quarter. Tysheem Johnson then intercepted Barnes a second time to set up a 5-yard run from Traeshon Holden to put the Ducks up 35-6 midway through the third quarter.
“I am absolutely upset,” Barnes said. “Interceptions are never fun.”
Oregon: The Ducks’ offense caught Utah’s defense flat-footed early and their defense made enough consistent stops to keep the Utes from knocking off a second consecutive ranked opponent.
Utah: An inability to generate a consistent running attack prevented the Utes from generating much offensive momentum. Utah tallied just 28 rushing yards through the first three quarters and averaged 1.2 yards per carry in that span.
Oregon started off its first drive of the game with a delay of game penalty. The Ducks soared on offense immediately after that snafu. Nix completed four straight passes to get Oregon in the red zone and set up his team’s first touchdown two plays later.
“It didn’t faze us,” Nix said. “We went right down the field. We overcame it.”
Utah finished with five rushing first downs. Four of those plays came during the Utes’ final two drives. Oregon lived in the backfield, racking up six tackles-for-loss and a pair of sacks. Utah averaged 282 rushing yards in wins over California and USC before finishing with 99 yards on the ground against the Ducks.
“They kind of had to play with two left arms because they really got out of their game,” sophomore cornerback Jahlil Florence said. “They really wanted to keep running but we shut the run down. It was hard for them to keep going.”
NO SACKS ALLOWED
Oregon excelled at protecting Nix against a normally punishing Utah defense. The Utes finished without a sack for the first time since their Week 2 win over Baylor. Connor O’Toole provided Utah’s lone tackle-for-loss.
A dominant win over a fellow top-15 opponent will boost Oregon in the AP Poll.
Oregon hosts California on Saturday.
Utah hosts Arizona State on Saturday.
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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football