I expected it. But it’s kind of ridiculous, especially how many plays I made in here —Darren Carrington
EUGENE, Ore. — Utah receiver Darren Carrington II made a game-high nine receptions for 130 yards in Saturday’s 41-20 loss to Oregon. He also caught some flak from booing fans at Autzen Stadium.
Carrington played three seasons for the Ducks before transferring to Utah as a graduate student over the summer. He made the move after being dismissed from Oregon following a driving under the influence of intoxicants arrest in downtown Eugene.
Aside from the final score, Carrington said it was great to face his former teammates.
“It just felt like a high school game, playing against my boys down the street,” he said before leaving the field. “No hostility. Never.”
Although several Oregon coaches, players and support staffers embraced Carrington after the game and wished him well, the fans didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet.
“I expected it,” Carrington said. “But it’s kind of ridiculous, especially how many plays I made in here.”
In his postgame press conference, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham weighed in on the reception Carrington received from the crowd.
“It’s too bad. He’s an athlete trying hard, playing hard. It’s the nature of the world, I guess. It’s how we operate. So, too bad, but he’s a good kid, and he played hard.”
Offensive coordinator Troy Taylor, in the white hat, coaches from the box during a football game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. Utah lost 41-20. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
IN THE BOX: Utah offensive coordinator Troy Taylor coached from the box instead of the field for the first time this season. He said it might have been his first time since coaching at the high school level.
“You get a little bit better vision and you can lay all your call sheets out a little bit,” said Taylor, who added that seeing is a little bit easier. “(You’re) just not connected with the players as much.”
Taylor noted that he made the decision to switch game-time positions with tight ends coach Freddie Whittingham.
“I do think it’s good,” Taylor said. “I think it’s a good thing for our offense.”
ANOTHER DECADE: Utah athletics director Chris Hill eclipsed 30 years at the helm on Tuesday. His first day featured a 41-36 loss to Utah State in Salt Lake City on Oct. 24, 1987.
Hill had hoped to get his fourth decade off to a stronger start when it came to football.
“I want it to start off great,” he said before Saturday’s game. “That’s what I want to do. Not like the first one.”
Hill noted that it doesn’t feel like 30 years have passed.
“Like everybody says, it’s game-to-game and when you add it all up — people hate that expression — it’s one game at a time,” Hill said. “It’s like one challenge at a time, and you just keep going.”
For the record, Utah football is 228-146 with the Hill as the athletics director.
EXTRA POINTS: Former Oregon star Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans attended the game. Scouts from the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers were credentialed for the game. The attendance was 56,154. A pair of special exhibition basketball games featuring the Ducks and Idaho, plus the Oregon women against Portland State, helped raise $17,465 for the Oregon Wildfire Relief Fund earlier in the day at Matthew Knight Arena.