If ever there was a team in a small market that the country rallied around it's the Utah Utes. They had their share of difficult times this year losing two of their brothers to senseless crimes yet somehow they banded together and focused on #22 and set personal goals to improve everything they stood for and did while on or off the field. The State of Utah was in shock and the university was reeling. They all held hands and minds through the weeks that shaped their future ahead of the team. Fans from around the country took notice and supported the team in ways that Hollywood makes epic movies around.
On a Friday night in Las Vegas, the Oregon Ducks took on the Utah Utes. The Ducks had something to prove as they were embarrassed in Utah during the last head-to-head game earlier. It was no contest then and last night in Vegas it was no different. Oregon never really showed up. Coach Mario never came up with that halftime speech to rally his troops to energize their minds and bodies. They came out flat and ended the game as they started. Take nothing away from the Utes. They were on a mission as a collective soul still paying tribute to two fallen brothers and nothing would stop them on their trek to the Rose Bowl.
Lot's of question marks on the season for these two teams. The Ducks were the darlings of the PAC-12 but showed they could play in the limelight at the horseshoe but then the departure of Pittman and the rumors surrounding Coach Mario Crystabal and it seemed to kick the Ducks into a spiral. The locker room appears to be a hot mess and this team quite frankly looked like it was kicked in the mouth and quit.
Congratulations to the UTAH UTES and best of luck representing the PAC-12 in the storied Rose Bowl. I know this, right now this is a team that no one wants to play today.