They did it again, the Utes broke the 40 point barrier again, this time against UCLA 41-10. It didn’t start all that pretty, though, as the Utes came out sluggish in the 1st quarter and trailed 7-3 after the 1st frame. They got a turnover on a punt after their first possession, but a couple of poor plays and Utah had to kick a field goal. The defense was also a bit flat footed, as they allowed UCLA to mark down the field to take that 7-3 lead on a 4th down run for a 25 yard TD run. After that 1st quarter, however, the Utes took off.
Utah retook the lead on a trick play in the red zone, on a Britain Covey reverse pass to Cole Fotheringham on a highlight catch to give Utah the 10-7 lead, and they never looked back. The defense did dodge some bullets in that 2nd quarter, with UCLA dropping three passes in one possession, and a couple others at different points.
Utah only led this game 17-7 at half, but it was all Zack Moss in the 1st half, and for most of the game. He had about 150 yards in the 1st half alone, and he ended the game with 211 yards and three touchdowns. Utah just kept running at the Bruins all game long, and controlled the line of scrimmage. The Utes ended the game with 325 do on the game, and UCLA just couldn’t slow them down.
The back breaker for the Utes over UCLA came in the 1st two series of the 2nd half. Utah received the ball and just methodically drove down the field, largely with Tyler Huntley through the air, including a gorgeous 3rd down conversion to Jaylon Dixon for about 20 yards on the sideline, where Huntley didn’t panic and just sat in the pocket and threw a dime down the sideline to move the chains. After that touchdown, Cody Barton, who was a machine tonight, picked off Wilson Speight to setup a 35 yard field for the Utes to move down there to score again, essentially putting the game away with 5 minutes played in the 3rd quarter.
Huntley was pretty solid tonight, and did what was needed by going 13 of 21 for 138 yards and one interception, which came in the end zone... but I kind of feel Samson Nacua gave up on that route a bit, or maybe it was PI, either way. Maybe not. On offense, the Utes ended with 470 yards, and just kept running at UCLA all night long.
Defensively, giving up 10 points is nothing to be ashamed of. Cody Barton, like I stated ways an animal. He should have had maybe 3 picks, but only came up with the one. The defensive line was pretty solid most of the night, they finally shut down Josh Kelley after a strong 1st quarter, only giving him 90 yards on the game. They struggled getting home for much of the night. They were harassing Speight most of the night, but he would wiggle free and pick up some tough yards and move the chains. The play that just made no sense was Marquise Blair’s targeting. It was a bone headed play on him, and everyone saw it coming from a mile away. He needs to be smarter.
Covey was a stud on special teams, with some really big returns to flip the field for the Utes. UCLA’s punter out kicked his coverage one time, and Covey made him play. Covey will take one to the house at some point, but he was great in all phases of the game tonight.
The Utes are now bowl eligible, and are still alone at the top of the Pac-12 South. I’m not going to lie, next week terrifies me, but for now the Utes are rolling after their 4th straight 40 point game, and another blow out.