EUGENE, Ore. — Utah celebrated its first victory in a Pac-12 opener with a resounding 62-20 win over defending conference champion Oregon at Autzen Stadium.

The 17th-ranked Utes (4-0) made a splash in kicking off their fifth season in the league. Contributions were plentiful as they overpowered the 13th-ranked Ducks (2-2).

“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and how they responded,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

Senior quarterback Travis Wilson, who was sidelined for six quarters with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, paced the effort in his return as the starter by passing for 227 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 100 yards and a score in guiding an offense for third quarters that wound up with 530 yards by game’s end.

“There’s not a lot to be said,” noted Oregon coach Mark Helfrich. “Utah played great. Give them a ton of credit.”

Leading 27-13, the Utes blew things wide open with 28 unanswered points in the third quarter. Their offense, defense and special teams all got into the act.

Wilson scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Repp during the outburst. Devontae Booker, who finished with 98 yards rushing, took a handoff from Wilson and added a 25-yard scoring strike to Britain Covey. Boobie Hobbs later contributed a 69-yard punt return for a TD — the first such score surrendered by Oregon in 101 games.

In the midst of things, safety Marcus Williams and cornerback Dominique Hatfield intercepted passes. Punter Tom Hackett even picked up a first down with a 33-yard run on a fake that followed a chance to re-kick the ball after it struck a camera device over the field.

The momentum carried over into the fourth quarter as well, completing a Utah run of 42 straight points over the last three periods. Ute linebacker Jared Norris forced an Oregon fumble and Gionni Paul recovered it on the Ducks’ 6-yard line. Backup quarterback Kendal Thompson then covered the distance on first down. Andy Phillips followed with his eighth PAT.

Oregon put an end to its drought with a 14-yard TD run by Taylor Alie with just under four minutes remaining.

It was obviously too little, too late to help the Ducks avoid the improbable lopsided loss at home. For the Utes, it was the most points they’ve put on the board since a 68-27 victory at Iowa State on Oct. 9, 2010.

“We had a great game-plan,” Wilson said. “I’m really happy with the overall performance.”

Utah held a 20-6 lead with 6:15 to go in the second quarter after Wilson teamed with Kenneth Scott on a 7-yard touchdown pass. The Utes held sizeable advantages at the time in total offense (209-67), first downs (13-4) and time of possession (15:16-8:29).

Although Oregon responded with a change of quarterbacks (replacing starter Vernon Adams with backup Jeff Lockie) and a 68-yard scoring drive on the ensuing possession, Utah’s offense fired right back.

Just over three minutes after Lockie completed a 6-yard scoring strike to Bralon Addison, Wilson answered with a 9-yard TD toss to Repp. Phillips added the PAT to cap all scoring in the half, giving Utah a 14-point edge at the break.

Phillips gave the Utes an early 6-0 advantage by connecting on field goals from 28 and 44 yards out. The Ducks pulled even on a 13-yard touchdown throw from Adams to Royce Freeman with one minute remaining in the first quarter. A failed two-point conversion attempt followed, leaving the score tied.

It didn’t stay that way for long, though. With 11 minutes left to play in the half, Covey put Utah ahead for good when he hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Wilson.

The outcome proved to be a big reversal from last season when Oregon topped Utah 51-27 in Salt Lake City. The Ducks went on to win the Pac-12 title and eventually reached the national championship game.

The Utes, who are undefeated through four games for the first time since 2010, have a bye next week. They return to action Saturday, Oct. 10 at home against California.

Email: dirk@desnews.com

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