Fittingly enough, Week 12 of the 2022 college football season is a massive one for the Pac-12. The conference has two huge games, although both lost a bit of luster thanks to some upsets last week. The USC-UCLA game at 8 p.m. ET looks like the headliner, but the Utah-Oregon game a couple hours later may be even more interesting.

The winner of this game will likely go to the Pac-12 championship, while the loser’s hopes for a New Year’s Six bowl will go out the window. If not for Oregon’s untimely loss to Washington last week, this game may have been a top 10 matchup.

Meanwhile, Utah has won four straight games since losing to UCLA on Oct. 8. That winning streak includes a win over USC, early the Utes best win this season. Even with Oregon’s loss, this should still be an outstanding game and one of the day’s best.

This game also has a bit of a revenge factor, as Utah crushed Oregon twice last season. The Utes won 38-7 at home late in the regular season, then 38-10 in the Pac-12 championship a few weeks later. Utah will look to maintain that dominance, while Oregon will look to change the narrative.

With that said, let’s go over what Utah must do to win on Saturday night.

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3. Take the home game on the road

The Utes are a very different team at home than they are on the road. At home, Utah is one of the best teams in the country and can beat nearly any foe. The Utes have not only beaten USC at home, but also blown out teams such as Oregon State and Arizona.

On the road, though, the Utes haven’t been as convincing. They lost to both Florida and UCLA on the road, and the UCLA game wasn’t particularly close. Utah could also have three losses on the road, as the Utes barely scraped by Washington State in a 21-17 win.

On the other hand, Oregon has been one of the most dominant home teams in recent seasons. Prior to the Washington loss, Oregon had won 23 straight games at home, a streak that dated back to 2018. Even with the loss, one could argue that the Ducks were the better team.

To win this game, Utah must take its dominant home game with them to Eugene. Autzen Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the country, and it will be a very difficult task. If there’s a time for the Utes to prove they can win anywhere, this is it.

2. Pressure the quarterback

A major key to Oregon’s success this season has been the dominant play of its offensive line. The Ducks have allowed just two sacks all season, three fewer than the next-closest team in the country. Bo Nix took a sack in the season-opener against Georgia, while backup QB Ty Thompson took the other in the Washington loss.

On the other side, Utah has been able to get after the quarterback consistently this season. The Utes have 29 sacks on the season, which ranks second in the Pac-12 behind USC. Five different Utes have three or more sacks this season, with defensive end Van Fillinger leading the way with five.

The Ducks win when they protect the quarterback, so the Utes have to get to him. Whether Nix is good to go or not, Utah has to get to the quarterback to win this game.

1. Throw the ball well

The Ducks are a very good team, but they have one fatal flaw holding them back. That flaw is a very poor pass defense, as they allow 289.7 passing yards per game. For reference, Oregon not only has the worst pass defense in the Pac-12, but the third-worst in the entire Power Five.

In both games the Ducks lost this season, they failed to contain the pass and it cost them dearly. Georgia threw for 439 yards in the Week 1 beatdown in Atlanta, with Stetson Bennett throwing for 368 yards and two scores himself. Then in the Washington game, Michael Penix Jr. threw for 408 yards and two touchdowns by himself to lead the Huskies to the upset.

The Utes are a run-first team, but Cameron Rising is a very capable quarterback. The junior has 2,225 yards and 19 touchdowns this season with only four interceptions. He also rose to the occasion on the biggest stage, throwing for 415 yards and two touchdowns in Utah’s win over USC.

The biggest key to the Utes winning this game is Rising being able to expose the Ducks’ secondary. If he can have another big performance, Utah has a great chance to win this game.