Oregon is Back in the National-Title Hunt

by Steve Mims


University of Oregon vs. Utah Football Game 2023, Photo by Morgan Smith

The eighth-ranked Ducks dominated number 13 Utah 35-6 Saturday afternoon in Salt Lake City. The performance moved the Ducks up two spots to Number 6 in the AP poll where they are the highest ranked one-loss team.

Oregon (7-1) returns home for three of its final four games beginning Saturday against California. The Ducks also host USC and Oregon State with the lone road trip remaining at Arizona State.

If Oregon can win out in the regular season and capture the Pac-12 title game, the Ducks look like a sure bet for the College Football Playoff.

Quarterback Bo Nix is in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy after going 24-for-31 for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Troy Franklin had 10 catches for 99 yards and a score while Tez Johnson caught seven passes for 51 yards.

University of Oregon vs. Utah Football Game 2023, Photo by Morgan Smith

Bucky Irving ran for 83 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries as UO improved to 4-1 in Pac-12 play.

Nix opened the scoring with a 1-yard run before Utah connected on a field goal. Jordan James caught an 18-yard scoring pass from Nix before Franklin put the Ducks ahead 21-3 on a 3-yard touchdown catch. Irvin ran for a 9-yard score in the second half and Traeshon Holden had a 5-yard scoring run.

University of Oregon vs. Utah Football Game 2023, Photo by Morgan Smith.

Oregon had 390 yards of offense compared to 241 for Utah, which fell to 6-2 and 3-2 in conference play. Jahlil Florence led Oregon with nine tackles while Evan Williams added seven.


University of Oregon Volleyball 2023, Photo by GoDucks.com

The Ducks moved up two spots to No. 7 in the national ranking after beating Washington State and Washington on the road. Oregon improved to 19-4, including a 9-3 record in conference play.

The Ducks defeated sixth-ranked Washington State 19-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-23 on Friday night. Gabby Gonzales had 13 kills to pace Oregon while Kara McGhee and Mimi Colyer each added 11.

Two days later, Oregon defeated Washington 25-20, 25-22, 25-15. Morgan Lewis had a team-high 15 kills while Hannah Pukis had 43 assists and six digs.

Oregon returns home to face Utah and Colorado this weekend.


University of Oregon Cross Country 2023, Photo by GoDucks.com

Oregon’s men placed third and the women were fourth during the final Pac-12 Cross Country Championships in University Place, Wash. on Friday.

Elliott Cook led the Ducks with a fifth-place finish in 23:00.03 followed by Josh Edwards and Quincy Norman in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Maddy Elmore paced the women in fourth place at 19:23.8 followed by Izzy Thornton-Bott in 11th.


University of Oregon Soccer 2023, Photo by GoDucks.com

Oregon is still seeking its first victory, but secured its third tie with a 2-2 result against Washington State on Sunday. Ryann Reynolds and Ajanae Respass each scored a goal with Alice Barbieri assisting on both scores.

The Ducks opened the weekend with a 1-0 loss to Washington. Oregon is 0-15-3 and 0-9-1 in conference play as it prepares to wrap up the season at Oregon State on Friday.

Steve Mims has spent 25 years as a sportswriter, including 21 years at The Register-Guard. He covered University of Oregon athletics from 2013-2020. He works in Eugene as a registered representative and insurance agent at PBC Insurance. He can be reached at smims@pbcins.com.

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