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Utah dominates Arizona 42-10 in Pac-12 South opener for Utes

NCAA Football: Arizona at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone was wondering how Utah would respond after a very nice win over Stanford a week ago, well, we got a resounding answer Friday night against Arizona, by getting the 42-10 win over the Wildcats, and it was over early.

Utah got off to a great start going 75 yards in 15 plays on their opening drive for a touchdown, capped by an eight yard Tyler Huntley pass to Samson Nacua. The drive ate up over seven minutes of clock. Utah would force a stop on Arizona’s next drive. Utah again marched down the field, going 69 yards in eight plays, when Zack Moss punched it in from the one-yard line on fourth and goal to give Utah the 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. On Arizona’s next drive, Chase Hansen sacked Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate on second down, who looked hobbled after the play, and Tate was clearly hurt on Arizona’s third down play. He would not return to the game. Utah had to punt on their next drive, the only drive where they did not score a touchdown in the first half. Arizona trotted out true freshman Jamarye Joiner, who could not get the Arizona offense moving. Utah would again score a touchdown to go up 21-0 on a three play, 83-yard drive, capped by Huntley’s beautiful 68-yard touchdown pass to Demari Simpkins. Joiner would lead Arizona into Utah territory for the first time all night, but Arizona would turnover the ball on downs after a deep pass fell incomplete on fourth and two. A 58-yard Utah drive would give Utah the 28-0 lead after Huntley found the end zone on a three-yard run on fourth and one. Arizona would drive to the Utah 16-yard line and attempt a 34-yard field goal, but Josh Pollack would miss. Utah went into half up 28-0.

Utah would start the second half forcing an Arizona three and out. Utah again found the end zone when Britain Covey threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Huntley. Yes, you read that correctly, Covey to Huntley on a reverse pass trick play that gave Utah the 35-0 lead. At that point, the game was officially over, if it wasn’t already. Arizona would finally get on the scoreboard on their next drive with a 37-yard field goal from Pollack. On the third down, Javelin Guidry dropped an interception that might have gone for six for Utah, allowing Arizona to attempt and make the field goal on fourth down. On Utah’s ensuing drive, Huntley would throw an interception to Colin Schooler, who took it back to the Utah 24-yard line. The Utah defense would stop Arizona on fourth down to avoid giving up any points after the turnover.

Arizona did get a touchdown on the board in the 4th quarter, when Jaylon Johnson went out with a leg injury (hopefully it was a cramp), they attacked Josh Nurse and got a 40 yarder over the top. The fireworks weren’t over for the Utes, though, as after a couple of 3 and outs by a Jason Shelley led offense, the Utes were lined up for a 4th and long with a Mitch Wishnowsky punt coming up. Mitch had other ideas, however, as he pulled the ball down and picked up 28 yards for a 1st down. He sliced through the ‘Zona special teams and was pulled down with a horse collar tackle by a frustrated Arizona player out of bounds. The very next play Armand Shyne took it to the hose from 22 yards out, putting Utah over the 40 point mark for the 2nd straight week.

It was another complete effort from the Utes, as they won in dominating fashion to even their Pac-12 record to 2-2 and overall record to 4-2. Now the Utes get an extra day to prep for USC next Saturday, for a huge Pac-12 South matchup. If Utah keeps this up, watch out Pac-12.

Final stats for, you know, fun:

Click to listen to Alex with Jaylon Johnson after the game