Cal Football: Utah's Loss Makes Redbox Bowl More Likely for Cal
Utah’s 37-15 loss to Oregon on Friday night increased the likelihood that Cal will wind up in the Dec. 30 Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara against a Big Ten foe.
Oregon’s win puts the Ducks in the Rose Bowl and eliminated Utah’s chances of getting into the four-team College Football Playoff. The Utes will drop to the Alamo Bowl, which has the next pick of a Pac-12 team after the Rose Bowl.
This is the sixth year of the College Football Playoff, and this will be the fourth time the Pac-12 will not have a team in it. The last Pac-12 team in the CFP was Washington in 2016.
The next bowl to have a selection of a Pac-12 team after the Alamo Bowl is the Holiday Bowl, which is expected to take USC (8-4).
The next pick goes to the Redbox Bowl, which will have its choice of Washington, Arizona State and Cal, all of whom finished with identical 7-5 overall records and 4-5 conference marks.
It’s hard to imagine the Redbox Bowl inviting a team other than nearby Cal, which presumably would bring a sizable fan contingent since Berkeley is a just an hour’s drive from Santa Clara. Of course, you can never be sure what bowl officials are thinking, and bowl bids will not be announced until Sunday.
Indiana, Illinois and Iowa would be the most likely Big Ten opponents for Cal in the Redbox Bowl, and Iowa seems to be the favorite.
In the Pac-12 title game, Utah reduced a 20-0 halftime deficit to 23-15 by the end of the third quarter, but a 70-yard touchdown run by CJ Verdell midway in the fourth quarter stopped Utah’s comeback.
Verdell finished with 208 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
NO. 13 OREGON 37, No. 5 UTAH 15
RECORDS: Utah (11-2), Oregon (12-2)
PLAYER OF THE GAME: CJ Verdell rushed for 208 yards, and his 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter broke the game open.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Verdell’s 70-yard touchdown run.
TURNING POINT: On Utah’s first possession, Oregon stopped Zack Moss on third-and-1 and again on fourth-and-1 at the Oregon 33-yard line. The Ducks then scored a touchdown on their resulting possession to take a 7-0 lead and were in control from there.
STAT OF THE GAME: Oregon amasses 432 yards and 37 points against a Utah defense that was ranked third in the country in both total defense and scoring defense.
STAT OF THE GAME II: Oregon ran for 239 yards against a Utah defense that led the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 56.3 yards per game until Friday.
UGLY STAT OF THE GAME: Utah QB Tyler Huntley threw two interceptions. He had only thrown two interceptions all season until Friday.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTAH: The Utes apparently will be headed to the Alamo Bowl.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR OREGON: Ducks are headed to the Rose Bowl. (How did they lose to Arizona State in the next-to-last regular-season game?)