After a slow start, the Utes were eventually able to strengthen their hold on the Pac-12 race with a 41-10 victory over the UCLA Bruins. The Utes stumbled out of the gate and fell behind 7-3 before kicking it into gear and getting out of Pasadena with the win. It was a balanced attack in every aspect of the game as the Utes were able to dominate the Bruins in every facet. With that said, it’s time to get to the game balls for Utah.
Offense - Zack Moss
The last time the Utes played in the historic Rose Bowl, Utah running back Joe Williams ran for 332 yards in Utah’s victory. Two years later, Zack Moss picked up right where he left off. The standout running back needed only a quarter and change to break the 100-yard mark for the XXth time this season. Ultimately Moss ended with a career-high 211 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Much had been made of the Utah passing game over the past three weeks, but it was good to see that the Utes could still be successful and put up a ton of points without needing to rely on the arm of Tyler Huntley to win ball games. Zack Moss should be sure to rest up this week because the Utes will be relying on him heavily to close out the season.
Defense - Cody Barton
Cody Barton had a very impressive night as the junior captain tallied 7 tackles along with an interception that gave Utah the ball deep in UCLA territory. Barton has had a tremendous season for the Utes and has played a major role in why Utah has one of the top defenses in the country. There are pros and cons for playing on one of the nation’s top defenses and one con is that it may be difficult to stand out and make a name for yourself when you are surrounded by All-American caliber talent. But Barton has certainly stood out despite playing alongside some NFL caliber players on the Utah defense.
Special Teams - Britain Covey
Initially, I wanted to go with Connor Haller here after the freshman tight end recovered a muffed punt to give the Utes the ball at the UCLA 5-yard line. And then I wanted to give the award to Matt Gay after the Utes kicker went 2-2 on field goals. But at the end of the day, I had to give the award to Britain Covey. The standout WR/punt returner/kick returner had a pair of electrifying punt returns that came dangerously close to going all the way. Having Covey back to return kicks give the Utes another element to their explosive scoring attack. If Covey can continue to generate impressive returns that give the Utes good starting field position than it isn’t out of the question that Utah continues to put up 35+ points per game.