Stephen Vilardo’s Pac-12 Championship Game Notes

Posted on December 2, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

Oregon and Utah will meet for the second time in the last three weeks in Friday’s Pac-12 Championship game.

The first meeting in Salt Lake City went to the Utes in dominant fashion 38-7 in Salt Lake City.

Oregon’s CJ Verdell scores in 2019 Title Game. | Alika Jenner/Getty Images

This will be the second time the teams have met in the Conference title game with the first coming in 2019, when the Ducks were 37-15 winners.

The Ducks have a 4-0 mark all-time in the Pac-12 Championship game while Utah’s is 0-2 with the loss to Oregon preceded by a 10-3 loss to Washington in 2018.

Utah Utes vs Oregon Ducks

ABC | Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit & Holly Rowe | Friday, 5:14 pm PT

Allegiant Stadium-Las Vegas, Nevada

Series: Oregon leads 23-11 and 1-0 in neutral site games

Oregon owns championship game records for most rushing yards with 352 vs UCLA in 2011, most points scored with 51 in 2014.

UO’s 38-point win over Arizona in 2014, along with 627 total yards and 327 passing yards vs the Wildcats in that game, was also a record.

The Ducks are looking to become the first team to win three-straight title games.

Ducks celebrate 2020 over the USC | Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Utah will look to become just the second team from the south to win the game, as the north is 9-1 in the title game. The lone win for the south was in 1017 when USC knocked off Stanford.

The fifth appearance in the championship game for the Ducks is the most of any team.

A key stat to watch: Oregon is third in the nation with a third down conversion rate of .529; in Conference play, the Utes are getting teams off the field on 62.4% of third downs.

In the first meeting the Ducks converted on just 42.9%, not terrible, but below their season average for sure.

Past Pac 12 Championship Games

2020: Oregon 31, USC 24 (MVP—Kayvon Thibodeaux)

2019: Oregon 37, Utah 15 (MVP—CJ Verdell)

2018: Washington 10, Utah 3 (MVP—Byron Murphy)

2017: USC 31, Stanford 28 (MVP—Sam Darnold)

2016: Washington 41, Colorado 10 (MVP—Taylor Rapp)

2015: Stanford 41, USC 22 (MVP—Christian McCaffrey)

2014: Oregon 51, Arizona 13 (MVP—Marcus Mariota)

2013: Stanford 38, Arizona State 14 (MVP—Tyler Gaffney)

2012: Stanford 27, UCLA 24 (MVP—Kevin Hogan)

2011: Oregon 49, UCLA 31 (MVP—LaMichael James)

Some Individual Single Game Records

Longest Play from Scrimmage: 78-yard pass Kevin Hogan to Devon Cajuste, Stanford vs. Arizona State, 2013

Highest Completion Percentage (min 20 att): 74.2% Brett Hundley, UCLA vs. Stanford, 2012 (23 of 31)

Most Passing Yards: 325 Sam Darnold, USC vs. Stanford, 2017

Most TD Passes: 3 Darron Thomas, Oregon vs. UCLA, 2011

Most Rushing Yards: 219 LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA, 2011 (25 rushes)

Most Rushing TDs: 3 CJ Verdell, Oregon vs. Utah, 2019;  Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Arizona, 2014; Tyler Gaffney, Stanford vs. Arizona State, 2013; LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA, 2011

Most Receptions: 11 JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC vs. Stanford, 2015 (87 yards)

Most Receiving Yards: 146 Michael Pittman Jr., USC vs. Stanford, 2017

Most TD Receptions: 2 Kaden Smith, Stanford vs. USC, 2017 (4 receptions); Nelson Rosario, UCLA vs. Oregon, 2011 (6 receptions)

Most Tackles: 19 Kenneth Olugbode, Colorado vs. Washington, 2016

Most TFL: 4.0 Chris Young, Arizona State vs. Stanford, 2013

Most Sacks: 2.5 Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon vs. Utah, 2019

Most Interceptions: 2 Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon vs USC ,2020; Byron Murphy, Washington vs. Utah, 2018; Taylor Rapp, Washignton vs. Colorado, 2016

Pac-12 Championship Game Appearances
Arizona State10-1

*Appearances include this season

Team Notes

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12Oregon Ducks

• Oregon ranks fourth in the nation with a 52.9 third-down conversion percentage.

• The Ducks have outscored opponents 89-64 in the opening quarter this season.

• Oregon is 18-1 under head coach Mario Cristobal when rushing for at least 200 yards and 11-0 when reaching 250 yards.

• This season the Ducks offense had a three-and-out on just 11.57% of drives, the fourth-lowest of any team in the nation.

• Oregon has allowed just four runs of 20+ yards this season, the second fewest in the nation.

• Verone McKinley III is tied for the national lead with five interceptions this season.


• Oregon is 17-1 when Travis Dye scores a touchdown.

• Anthony Brown led the Pac-12 during the regular season with 3,178 total yards of offense (264.8 per game).

• Anthony Brown has nine rushing touchdowns, tied for the ninth-most among FBS quarterbacks.

• Anthony Brown had eight runs of at least 20 yards this season, the fourth most in the Pac-12.

• 25 of Devon Williams’ 34 receptions this season have picked up a first down.

• Since the start of 2019, Kayvon Thibodeaux has recorded 34.5 TFL, the fifth most of any Power 5 player during that time.

• Kayvon Thibodeaux has a combined 18 quarterback pressures, 10 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in two career Pac-12 Championship Games.

• Noah Sewell is six tackles away from becoming the first Oregon player since Troy Dye in 2018 to reach 100 total tackles in a season. 

• Noah Sewell ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 94 total tackles.

• Travis Dye is second in the Pac-12 and tied for 17th nationally with 14 rushing touchdowns this season.

Utah Utes

• Utah is 17-7-1 all-time when playing on ABC.

• The Utes five-game win streak is tied for the ninth longest in the nation.

• Utah has lost four-straight neutral site games, tied for the eighth longest in the nation.

• Utah averaged a Pac-12-best 37.2 points per game in conference play this season.

• The Utes also averaged a Pac-12-best 454.9 yards per game in nine conference games.

• Utah is 2-0 against AP-ranked opponents in 2021.

• The Utes have reached 450 yards of offense in six of their last eight games.

• Utah has 32 rushing touchdowns this season, which ranks sixth among Power Five teams this season.


• The Utes led the Pac-12 in conference play with a defensive third down rate of 37.6%.

• Devin Lloyd has 42.0 TFL since the start of 2019, the most of any Power 5 player in the nation.

• Devin Lloyd is second in the nation with 1.8 TFL per game.

• Britain Covey is third in the nation with a punt return average of 16.0 per return.

• Cameron Rising is just the sixth Utah quarterback to rush for 300+ yards in a season since at least 1996 with Rising reaching the 300-yard rushing mark in the least number of games.

• Britain Covey has caught at least one pass in 42 of his 45 career games, including in 14 straight games.

• Brant Kuithe and Dalton Kincaid have combined to score 12 of Utah’s 20 receiving touchdowns.

• Tavion Thomas ranks fifth in the nation with a Pac-12 best 18 rushing TDs.

• Dalton Kincaid is 10th nationally among TEs with 13.93 yard per reception.

• Tavion Thomas had three rushing touchdowns and 94 yards on 21 carries in the first meeting.

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