The No. 10 Utah Utes (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) became the fourth top 10 team to fall on Saturday when they lost 37-30 in double overtime at the Arizona Wildcats (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12). The loss marks the fourth straight loss to the Wildcats for Utah. Arizona backup quarterback Jerrard Randall completed only one pass in the game, but it was a 25-yard touchdown on the first play of the second overtime period, which proved to be the difference for the Wildcats to pull the upset. The game ended when Utah quarterback Travis Wilson's pass intended for wide receiver Kenneth Scott fell incomplete on fourth and 16 in double overtime. With the loss, Utah no longer controls their own destiny in the Pac-12 South.
After three straight years of allowing an Arizona running back to top 200 yards rushing, the Utes held Arizona to only 158 total yards rushing. It was quarterback Anu Solomon who led Arizona in rushing yards with 86 and the lone rushing touchdown for the Wildcats. The Utah rushing attack faired well against Arizona, totaling 223 rushing yards, with running back Devontae Booker leading the way with 145 rushing yards on 34 carries and one touchdown. Booker did have one fumble at midfield that ended a promising Utah drive in the fourth quarter. The Utah offense topped 400 yards for only the third time this season (the Oregon and Cal games were the other two).
Arizona did most of their damage through the air, passing for 302 yards with three passing touchdowns and two interceptions between Solomon and Randall. Arizona seemed to have a game plan to target the receiver covered by Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield most of the game. The Utah passing attack moved the ball as well behind the arm of Wilson. Wilson finished the night 20-of-31 with 219 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception.
The turnover margin in the game was even with each team turning the ball over twice. Utah cornerback Brian Allen recorded his first career interception, picking off a Solomon pass in the end zone. Utah won the time of possession battle by a large margin (37:24 to 22:36). Total yards were similar with Utah gaining 442 and Arizona totaling 460. First downs were even with each team gaining 24. One key stat in the game was penalties. Both teams were flagged quite a bit, but Utah's 10 penalties for 112 yards is uncharacteristic for a Kyle Whittingham coached team. Arizona was flagged eight times for 72 yards.
Arizona jumped out to an early 10-0 lead early in the first quarter. Utah answered with a one-yard Booker touchdown run, but Arizona answered quickly, marching down the field to take a 17-7 lead. The teams traded field goals in the second quarter before Utah scored a touchdown when Wilson found Scott for a two-yard touchdown pass and catch. Utah would go into halftime down 20-17.
The Utes scored quickly on a two-play touchdown drive capped by a 59-yard Wilson pass to tight end Harrison Handley, giving Utah their first lead of the game at 24-20 on their first drive of the second half. Utah would add another field goal from Andy Phillips to extend the lead to 27-20. The lead would hold until Solomon scampered six yards into the end zone for a game-tying touchdown. Neither team managed to score in the fourth quarter, so the teams headed to overtime tied at 27-27.
Utah started the first overtime period with the ball. After their drive stalled, they were forced to call on Phillips to make a 40-yard field goal. It bounced off the right upright and was good, giving Utah a 30-27 lead. Arizona's ensuing drive also went nowhere, and kicker Casey Skowron nailed a 35-yard field goal to force a second overtime. Arizona struck fast when Randall found wide receiver Nate Phillips for a 25-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second overtime. Utah converted one fourth down in the second overtime, but a second fourth down, this time needing 16 yards proved too much for the visiting Utes, causing the Utes to fall to the Wildcats 37-30.
Utah fans got to see a glimpse of the future at running back with Joseph Williams seeing his most action of the season. Booker missed time due to what appeared to be a knee injury, so Williams filled in and proved to be serviceable. He run for 37 yards on seven carries (5.3 yards per carry) and hauled in three passes for 13 yards.
With his three made field goals in the game, Phillips is up to 58 in his career, a new school record. His special teams compatriot, punter Tom Hackett, averaged 49.0 yards per punt on four punts with a long of 66 yards. Wide receiver Britain Covey also had a career-long 36-yard kickoff return that helped set-up a Utah touchdown. Booker also tied a school record (with running back John White IV) with his 14th career 100-yard rushing game. Booker sits at 1,116 rushing yards on the season.
The Utes will look to bounce back from the loss this Saturday with a home game against the No. 19 UCLA Bruins (7-3 4-3 Pac-12), who are coming off a heart-breaking loss in the final seconds to WSU at home.