Uh-oh Pac-12, has Utah found an offense to compliment a dominating defense and special teams? For the third straight games, and the first time since 2010, Utah has scored 40 points in three straight games, and this time it was against Stanford, Arizona and USC. The score doesn’t even begin to show how dominating Utah was in this game. Utah gifted USC 21 of their points, including 14 points to open the game where Utah was in a 14-0 hole. From that point on it was all Utes.
Utah finished the game with a 541 yard to 205 yard advantage, with Tyler Huntley being lethal going for 341 yards, 4 touchdowns on 22 of 29 passing and adding one more touchdown on the ground. It was rough sledding in the run game to open things up, but Huntley was there to make serious plays, many jaw dropping. He sliced up USC all game long, and when USC scored a late TD to many make things a bit interesting, Huntley hit Dixon for a 50-yard bomb that was essentially the back breaker. Once Huntley had USC punch drunk, Zack Moss asserted himself with 136 yards on 25 carries. Throughout the second half Moss was slashing USC, as the Trojans were basically tapping out at that point. Utah’s receiving corps and tight ends had one heck of a game as well. Samson Nacua had 55 yards, Covey had 79 and a touchdown, that got Utah rolling, Brant Kuithe had 4 catches for 68 yards, Jaylen Dixon 56, Demari Simpkins had 24 yards and a dart of a touchdown catch, and Solomon Enis had a touchdown after a perfectly executed free play after USC jumped into the neutral zone. Utah attached USC in all phases of the game tonight.
On defense, I mean, wow. They were nasty. USC only really drove on the defense one time, late in the game, other than that, they were living in the Trojan backfield. Holding USC, yeah that USC, to 205 yards is an impressive feat. The Utes held USC to 3 of 14 on 3rd down, and USC only had 73 yards on the ground. The one time USC scored, to open the game, was when the ball should have been intercepted by one of two Utes, but rather it slipped through both of their hands for a touchdown to Michael Pittman. JT Daniels was running for his life all night long, which Utah only got 2 sacks, they were rushing him the whole game. The Utes were led on defense by Chase Hansen’s 11 tackles, 3 TFLs, and one highlight interception that gave Utah all the momentum. You can pretty much pick out a name on defense and they made a highlight play. At the end of the game, Utah actually concussed Daniels on a brutal blitz that led to a Jaylon Johnson INT, which ended a Trojan scoring threat. They also lit up backup QB Matt Fink on a QB scramble that made him slow to get up.
All-in-all, another great game by the Utes, but there is plenty to clean up still, especially on special teams. Covey muffed a punt at the 10 yard line, giving the Trojans some hope, and Mitch Wishnowsky got a punt blocked giving USC the ball in the redzone again, where they actually scored. Also, Huntley had a strip sack that led to USC’s second score, and he was sacked five times tonight, way too much.
The Utes are now 3-2 and atop the Pac-12 South, and 5-2 overall. The schedule is still brutal with Oregon, an improving UCLA next week, ASU in Tempe and Colorado near the end. Utah just needs to keep this up and they’ll get where they want to go.