Utah at Oregon: 5 things to know

Utah at Oregon: 5 things to know
Oregon Ducks play the Washington State Cougars at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., Sat, Oct 19, 2013. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Thomas Boyd)

Here are five things to look for when Utah visits Oregon on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game at Autzen Stadium:

DAT TIME?: Slowed by injury that kept him out of nearly four entire games, De'Anthony Thomas is still looking for a breakout conference game this season. After he infamously decreed Oregon would drop 40 on the Cardinal — he had six carries for 30 yards and four catches for 45 yards, but also fumbled at the Stanford 2. Thomas needs two touchdowns to match Derek Loville (45) at No. 3 on Oregon's career list.

NEW KICKER: True freshman Matt Wogan is taking over as Oregon's kicker for the final three games of the season. Wogan unseats senior kicker Alejandro Maldonado, who missed a 37-yard field goal before halftime of the Ducks' game against UCLA. Wogan is 30-of-31 on extra points this season.

STAYING WITH WILSON: Utah QB Travis Wilson dealt with a hand injury for two weeks before struggling against Arizona State, throwing two late interceptions. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham stood by his starter earlier this week. "He gives us the best chance to win. There's no debate," he said. Wilson has thrown for 16 touchdowns this season, but he's also thrown 16 interceptions. He's averaging 203 yards passing and nearly 43 yards rushing a game.

MURPHY'S RECOVERY: Utah may see the return of tight end Jake Murphy, who had surgery on his wrist following the Utes' Oct. 3 loss to UCLA. The junior had 10 catches for 179 yards and one touchdown before he was injured. It was thought that Murphy might miss the regular season, but Whittingham said he's made a quick recovery.

BLUEPRINT FOR A WIN?
Did Stanford give Utah the key to beating Oregon? Whittingham, who first watched the game live last Thursday night, had some observations: "Stanford pounded them with the run game and converted a bunch of third downs. It seemed like every third down they had was 3rd-and-1 because they had done such a good job running the football on first and second down. That's the best way to defend that offense, is to keep it on the sidelines. Stanford did a great job of that and played exceptionally well on defense in addition."

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