Well, I knew Stanford had some issues, but what happened Friday night is not something I saw coming. Utah took a quick 14-0 lead, and I flashed back to Oregon State a little bit, but then Utah took that 14-0 lead and just took it to another level. The Utes dominated Stanford in almost every way imaginable.
Utah took a 38-0 going into halftime and had over 400 yards of offense. Let that sink in for a minute. They did all that in the first half. Utah ran and ran and ran at Stanford over and over again, and the Cardinal couldn’t stop it. Tavion Thomas had 177 rushing yards on the night and four touchdowns. Most of those in the first half. TJ Pledger had had 107 yards rushing, including a 96-yard touchdown run. Micah Bernard had 110 yards rushing and a touchdown. Three Utes, three 100 yard rushing games. Insane. Cam Rising had to do next to nothing tonight other than hit a couple passes downfield on some 3rd downs and then hand off to his backs to go to work. Cam was 13 of 22 for 140 yards, and that’s all they needed. Utah averaged 9.6 yards per rush for the 441 rushing yards. Wow. And how about the offensive line. They were pushing the Cardinal like crazy. It was fun to watch. And maybe what I like the best from the offense, even if it’s a negative in the game, was the offense did mess up a couple of drives leaving points on the field. That’s good coaching film for the week going into Arizona.
Now, Stanford has been challenged offensively, and now they were down their starting QB, and a couple of other playmakers and the Utah defense took them to task. Utah held them to just 167 yards in the game. Most of those came in the first drive of the second half when Stanford put together a good drive for their only score of the game, and then their last drive where Utah came up with a strip-sack and turned them over. The Utes were living in the backfield, pushing the Cardinal into 3rd and long all game. The play of the game came from Devin Lloyd after the offense failed to punch it in from the three-yard on 4th down. At the line of scrimmage, Lloyd jumped at a West pass, picked it off, and just fell forward three yards for the pick-six. It happened so fast I had no idea what happened.
What a game for the Utes, who picked up their 6th win on the season, making them bowl eligible, and takes Utah’s magic number down to two to clinch the Pac-12 South. Next up is a trip to Tucson to take on Arizona to try and get another step closer to Vegas.