Utah and Oregon State both sit atop their respective Pac-12 divisions heading into their matchup in Corvallis, Ore., on Saturday.
The Utes (4-2, 3-0 Pac-12) are all alone in first place in the Pac-12 South and are riding a three-game winning streak after dismantling then-No. 18 Arizona State 35-21. Utah scored 28 unanswered points after halftime to beat the Sun Devils.
Since Cameron Rising took over as starting quarterback, Utah’s offense has become difficult to contain. Ten of Utah’s last 13 scoring drives have covered 65 yards or longer with an average time of 3:26 per drive. The Utes are averaging 430.3 yards per game in their last three games with Rising at the controls after averaging 372.3 total yards in their first three contests.
“Offensively, I think we’re just starting to hit our stride,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “We sputtered the first few games, but the last two or three we’ve started to figure out who we are, who we got to get the ball to, and how we’ve got to get them the ball.”
The Beavers (4-2, 2-1) are tied for first in the Pac-12 North with Oregon. Oregon State is coming off a bye week after falling 31-24 to Washington State two weeks ago.
So far, the Beavers have been one of the league’s surprise teams because of a high-powered offense. Oregon State is scoring a Pac-12-best 34.0 points per game and the Beavers rank second in the league in total offense with 441.7 yards per game. B.J. Baylor has been the main catalyst for that success. Baylor leads the Pac-12 with 112.8 rushing yards per game.
Still, Oregon State is looking for improvements on the defensive end after squandering a 10-3 halftime lead to Washington State.
“We’re going to need to improve and play better because our opponents are doing the same thing,” Beavers coach Jonathan Smith said.
The series between Utah and Oregon State is tied 11-11-1. Utah has won five straight in the series dating back to 2014. The Beavers are seeking their first win at home over the Utes since 2012.
–Field Level Media