College football loves to brag about its traditions, and in recent years one of its best traditions has been the weekly Saturday night football game that airs in prime time on ABC. Featuring one of the best games of each week, Saturday Night Football is a go-to for college football fans.
Saturday Night Football travels the country to broadcast these games, often including the ESPN College Gameday pre-game that airs in the mornings. The Saturday Night Football squad for the 2021 seasons will fire Chris Fowler as play-by-play announcer, Kirk Herbstreit as color commentator, as well as the new addition of Holly Rowe as touchdown reporter.
This week’s edition of Saturday Night Football is making its way to Utah, where the No.3 Oregon will face the No.24 Utah.
Match preview Oregon vs Utah
Quietly, the Oregon Ducks have been one of the best teams in college football all season. They made waves early on with a win over Ohio State at Ohio State, but then suffered a tough loss to rival Stanford. However, since then, they’ve taken care of business in the west, scoring five straight wins that put them in first place for a Pac-12 title and a possible college football playoff spot. However, Utah is the first in their path.
It’s not quite the Oregon offense it was in Chip Kelly’s heyday, but head coach Mario Cristobal’s team posted some respectable numbers (the country’s top 35 in attack), coached by quarterback Anthony Brown and running back Travis Colorant. Brown threw for 2,030 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 551 more rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Dye, meanwhile, could very well eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in the game against Oregon (currently at 908) and add to his 12 rushing touchdowns. The Ducks have a few other solid supporting players (CJ Verdell is a big playing threat), but the top priority for the Utah defense will certainly be stopping the Brown and Dye show.
As for the Oregon defense, they are much more in the middle of the road, ranking 57th in the country in total defense and 42nd in scoring defense. Where they particularly struggle is in the pass defense, as they allow an average of 248 passing yards per game, which places them 95th in the country. But like offense, they have a pair of star players who can make a big difference in the game, lead tackle Noah Sewell and lead Sacheur Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Utah should be a good test for Oregon. The Utes’ offense ranks just a few places lower in total offense and over 20 places ahead in total defense. The only problem is that Utah’s offensive strength, the ball race, is Oregon’s best defensive zone. The Ducks are allowing 121.2 yards per game rushing, while Utah is averaging 214.5 yards per game behind their trio of running backs Tavion Thomas, TJ Pledger and Micah Bernard, who total 1,672 yards and 21 touchdowns. So it should be an intense battle in the trenches in this game.
If Utah were to rely on passing play, quarterback Cameron Rising hasn’t set the world on fire, but he’s been effective, especially in minimizing turnovers. He only threw two interceptions out of his 14 touchdowns; he’s also only been sacked three times this season.
Fun-wise, this game between Oregon and Utah will also see brothers Noah Sewell and Nephi Sewell go head to head, but not physically as they both play defense. Like his brother, Nephi Sewell is a defensive leader for the Utes, totaling the team’s second-highest number of tackles. He is supported by fellow linebacker Devin Lloyd (85 tackles, six sacks, three interceptions) and defensive end Mika Tafua (7.5 sacks).
Utah is the home team and they are the betting favorite at the moment, with 2.5 points over the Oregon Ducks.
At the time of publication, only three Saturday Night Football games have been confirmed, which is because they like to figure out what the most intriguing clashes will be based on how the season unfolds. What to Watch will update the Saturday Night Football schedule as upcoming games are announced.
Here is the schedule we currently know:
September 4: Georgia 10 to Clemson 3
September 11: 10 Washington, 31 Michigan
September 18: Auburn 20, Penn State 28
September 25: West Virginia 13, Oklahoma 16
October 2: Indiana 0, Penn State 24
October 9: Michigan 32, Nebraska 29
October 16: TCU 31, Oklahoma 52
October 23: Ohio State 54, Indiana 7
October 30: Penn State 24, Ohio State 33
November 6: Oregon 26, Washington 16
November 13: Notre Dame 28, Virginia 3
While ESPN produces the Saturday night football shows, the games are broadcast on ABC, making it easy for domestic audiences to connect to the game. This includes watching the game via a traditional cable subscription, where ABC is included in virtually all local channel programming, or with an antenna to receive the local ABC signal. There are also vMVPD streaming services, such as Fubo TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu with Live TV, which allow subscribers to access their local broadcast channels, including ABC.
However, ESPN will broadcast the Saturday night soccer game through its Watch ESPN website and app. To view the game on these platforms – with your computer, mobile phone or tablet – you will still need a subscription to a traditional or compatible vMVPD service in order to watch the action of the game live.
Select college football matches will be broadcast weekly to the UK public on BT Sport, usually on BT Sport ESPN. For Â£ 10, BT TV subscribers can add BT Sport to their package, or consumers can add BT Sport as a stand-alone service for Â£ 25.
No matter where you are in the world, if you are looking to watch Saturday Night Football, it is possible, with a great option being a Virtual Private Network. A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted stream on a computer.