Sports

Freaky fumble return TD helps Mariota and No. 5 Oregon get out of Utah with 51-27

  • Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) carries the ball in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game against Utah on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) carries the ball in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game against Utah on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  (The Associated Press)

  • Oregon linebacker Derrick Malone (22) tackles Utah quarterback Kendal Thompson (1) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Oregon linebacker Derrick Malone (22) tackles Utah quarterback Kendal Thompson (1) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  (The Associated Press)

  • Utah defensive back Justin Thomas (12) tackles Oregon running back Byron Marshall (9) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah defensive back Justin Thomas (12) tackles Oregon running back Byron Marshall (9) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  (The Associated Press)

Joe Walker returned Kaelin Clay's careless goal line fumble 100 yards for a touchdown, Marcus Mariota threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score and No. 5 Oregon turned back No. 20 Utah 51-27 on Saturday night.

Mariota ran for 114 yards and was 17-for-29 passing for 239 yards, keeping the Ducks (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12, CFP No. 4) in the thick of the College Football Playoff race.

Clay had 152 yards on five catches, but it was the 1 yard he let slip away that will be remembered most.

The Utes (6-3, 3-3) were on their way to taking a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter when Wilson connected with Clay, who was cruising to long touchdown when he casually dropped the ball a yard before he crossed the goal line. As the Utes celebrated, Walker grabbed the ball and chugged down the sideline for a touchdown.