The goal for No. 11 Utah was clear this season – win the Pac-12 South Division. The Utes have trended upward since joining the league in 2011, but have yet to play in the championship game.
Their hopes of doing so this season ended Saturday.
Justin Herbert hit Darren Carrington for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds remaining to give Oregon a 30-28 upset victory over the Utes in Salt Lake City.
“A chance to win the South, that’s the next step for our program,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “We won nine games two years ago, 10 games last year. We’re winning games. We’ve won more games in the Pac-12 than any team in the Pac-12 over the last three years. But the next hurdle, the next step is to win a South title. That’s what we need to do.”
Herbert led the Ducks (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12), who have struggled all season and suffered several lopsided losses, on a 10-play, 75-yard drive in just over two minutes, capping it with the TD pass to Carrington. Carrington was initially called out of bounds but that call was reversed after a replay showed he got a foot down in bounds.
The Utes (8-3, 5-3) blitzed on the final play and left man-to-man coverage on the outside.
“Disappointing to say the least,” Whittingham said. “(Oregon) made the plays when they had to be made. We were not able to make those plays.”
The Utes had taken a 28-24 lead with 2:18 remaining off a Troy Williams 30-yard touchdown pass but the Ducks then began their comeback drive.
Royce Freeman led the Ducks’ ground game with 129 yards.
Joe Williams rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown for Utah. The normally stout Utes defense gave up 575 yards of offense to Oregon.
USC 36, UCLA 14: Ronald Jones rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns as the Trojans pulled away from the host Bruins.
Sam Darnold added a pair of scoring strikes to De’Quan Hampton for USC (8-3, 6-2) which kept alive its hopes of a Pac-12 South title.
Jordan Lasley caught two touchdowns from Mike Fafaul, but UCLA (4-7, 2-6) lost any chance to become bowl-eligible.
Oregon State 42, Arizona 17: Marcus McMaryion threw for 265 yards and five touchdowns as the Beavers snapped a four-game losing streak with a comfortable win over the Wildcats in Corvallis, Oregon.
Ryan Nall ran for 124 yards and another score while Jordan Villamin caught six passes for 124 yards for OSU (3-8, 2-6).
Brandon Dawkins threw for 106 yards and a touchdown for Arizona (2-9, 0-8).
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.