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Utah beats West Virginia 30-14 to win the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl

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NCAA Football: Heart of Dallas Bowl-Utah vs West Virginia Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

It was a rainy, ugly day in at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and often times Utah played like the rain, sloppy and sluggish. At the end of the day though, Utah won their 11th bowl game under Kyle Whittingham 30-14 over West Virginia, and really the game was never really in doubt. The Mountaineers were without much of their offense due to injury or sitting out, and once Zack Moss went 58 yards for a touchdown, the game was over.

Utah held WVU to 153 total yards, with most of those coming on the final couple plays of the game. Utah dared the backup QB Chris Chugunov to beat them, and he couldn’t. Utah held WVU to 1.4 yards per carry, so the run game wasn’t going to happen for WVU. WVU was also 2 of 14 on 3rd downs which is awesome for the defense not to allow the ‘Neers to get any momentum, and to fight behind the chains. Just watching the game, WVU was never an offensive threat, which is something strange for them.

On offense, it was a hit or miss day. Utah did hit 30 points, but had chances for 40 or more. Tyler Huntley returned after missing the CU game, but he was very erratic going 12 of 26 with 165 yards — but a couple of drops hurt him too. The weather wasn’t very helpful, but he missed some open guys, and his offensive line didn’t do him many favors at times, which continues the theme for much of the year with the guys up front. The aforementioned Moss ended the game with 150 yards on 20 carries. That’s one thing that was a problem, 20 carries for Moss is a few too few, while Huntley had 25. It seemed like Huntley and Moss were fighting for the ball on some read-option plays, which is a problem. Huntley has to give the ball to Moss more, and when Shyne is back next year, and DHC, feed the backs, they’re a QB’s best friend. As for the line, hopefully with 4 of them coming back, and all the experience, they can continue to gel in this system, and become a well oiled machine through spring, summer and into the fall. Utah is have 363 yards, with almost 200 on the ground, so that was nice to see, just wanted to see more of it, because Troy Taylor got a bit too cute at times. Hopefully that is something he can learn from going into next season.

Now Utah loses some great seniors, like Darren Carrington, Kylie Fitts, Lowell Lotulelei, Filipo Mokofisi among many more. Those seniors will leave big holes, and it appears Utah may be filling those holes well with some incoming recruits and some red shirts. The big one that will be very hard to replace is Carrington, that dude is so good. At the end of the day, it’s good to get another bowl win, and hopefully that propels this team forward to what could be a big 2018.