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Utah shuts out Cal 35-0

NCAA Football: California at Utah Gabe Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports

This game was over just moments after it started. Ok, maybe like 15 minutes after it started. The Utes ended up smashing Cal by a score of 35-0 Saturday night, and believe it or not, it started with a three and out by the offense to open the game. One question coming into this game was how healthy would Tyler Huntley be, and would he play? Earlier in the week, he stated he was going to play, so there was little doubt in that regard. After the defense stopped Cal, the Bears had a terrific punt downed at the Utah one to put a 99 yard field in front of them. Huntley ended up hitting Brant Kuithe for a big 21 yard gain, and then he followed that up with a 69 yard pass to Zack Moss, where he made a huge play out of potential disaster. The snap got to Tyler when he wasn’t expecting it, then he fielded the ball off the ground, rolled to his right, and dumped off to Moss, who was wiiiiide open, and he matriculated the ball down to within the five yard line. Moss capped off that drive with a four yard touchdown run. And from that point on, the Utes were off to the races.

The next offensive possession for Utah started at the 10 yard line, and what did they do… go 90 yards in 10 plays and punch that in. That drive was capped by a perfect play action play call where Huntley sold a dive, and went over the top to Bryan Thompson for a 40 yard touchdown pass.

Following another Cal punt, the Utes went 72 more yards in 13 plays. This drive is the one that really sucked the soul out of Cal, as the Utes just gashed the vaunted Bears defense play after play. Utah hit 3rd down conversion after 3rd down conversion to keep the drive moving, and really burned Cal’s secondary on multiple drag routes to keep the chains moving. In an effort to preserve Huntley, the Utes used Jason Shelley is many running situations, and he did just that this drive, with a one yard touchdown run.

To wrap the half, the Utes went on an 11 play, 76 yard drive to go up 28-0. This one was capped with Jason Shelley again, but this time with his arm, as he hit Kuithe for a 1 yard touchdown pass. The 28 point mark ended a streak of almost a season worth of games for Cal where they haven’t surrendered more than 24 points. At this point, it was basically a running clock.

To open the 3rd, Tyler Huntley’s night was over, but Zack Moss’s wasn’t, he had more records to break. On the opening possession of the 2nd half for the Utes, he had 50 yards on four plays to give him 100 yards on the night, breaking the Utah all-time 100 yard rushing game mark. Of course, similar to last week’s record, he broke this record on a touchdown run as well, giving the Utes the 35-0 lead. At this point, the Utes really called off the dogs.

And how about that defense? This was Utah’s first shutout of a Pac-12 opponent since joining the league. Utah held Cal to 43 total plays on offense, which ranks third in school history for fewest total plays in a game by an opponent. Also, Cal was held to 83 yards of total offense, which is fifth in program history for fewest yards by an opponent. Utah held the Bears to 23 rushing yards and 60 passing yards. Utah has hunting Cal on every down, and that poor freshman QB had no chance against this team. There are not enough positive things to say about this group.

All in all, just pure domination, and got many of the key starters very important reps and rest to get ready for Washington next week in Seattle.