EUGENE – Oregon running back Royce Freeman said he was in shock as the No. 13 Ducks’ loss to Utah snowballed into a rout.
The mood in the locker room was understandably quiet.
“A lot of guys questioning a lot of things that went on, on the field, and just wondering where we went wrong and what we need to correct,” Freeman said.
Utah quarterback Travis Wilson returned from a shoulder sprain and threw for 227 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another in the No. 18 Utes’ 62-20 victory on Saturday night.
A lanky senior, Wilson completed 18 of 30 passes, hitting nine receivers, a week after sitting out Utah’s victory over Fresno State.
Oregon hadn’t lost as badly at home since falling 54-0 to Washington in 1977. Utah’s 62 points were the most the team has scored against a Pac-12 opponent since joining the league in 2011, and also the most the Ducks have ever allowed in Eugene.
“Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said.
Vernon Adams Jr. started at quarterback for Oregon (2-2) despite a broken index finger that kept him out of the Ducks’ victory last weekend over Georgia State, but he didn’t last long and was replaced by backup Jeff Lockie in the second quarter.
But it was Oregon’s besieged defense that had no solution for Wilson and the rolling Utes, who amassed 530 yards of total offense. The defense went into the game ranked 105th among FBS programs for overall defense, allowing an average of 456.3 yards. The scoring defense was 104th.
Adams struggled, too. The senior, who transferred to Oregon from Eastern Washington for his final season of eligibility, broke his finger in the season opener against his former team. He completed just 2 of 7 passes before he was replaced by Lockie, Marcus Mariota’s backup last season.
Lockie briefly sparked the offense, completing his first three passes and earning a “Lock-ie! Lock-ie!” chant from the Autzen Stadium crowd. His first drive finished with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bralon Addison.
But the enthusiasm from the crowd was short-lived and Utah answered with Wilson’s 9-yard scoring pass to true freshman Caleb Repp to make it 27-13 going into the half.
Lockie completed 10 of 20 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown and was intercepted twice.
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