University of Utah

Conference Championship Hopes Slip Away as Utes Fall to UCLA, 17-9

With Pac-12 South division title hopes on the line, the #13 Utah Utes (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) were unable to hold off UCLA (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

SALT LAKE CITY—With Pac-12 South division title hopes on the line, the #13 Utah Utes (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) were unable to hold off UCLA (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The 17-9 Bruins victory puts UCLA in a position to win the division next week after a rocky start to conference play.

UCLA came into Salt Lake averaging 35.2 points per game in their first 10 games. Despite holding the Bruins to their lowest scoring total of the year, the Utes were unable to generate enough offensive firepower to ever take a lead.

Three Andy Phillips field goals were all Utah could muster in 11 total drives. The only two times the Utes entered the UCLA red zone resulted in a fumble and Phillips’ third field goal. Utah finished with 2 lost fumbles and 5 punts.

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson finished completing just 13 of 26 passing attempts for 110 yards. Wilson also rushed for 67 yards on 18 carries. Running back Joe Williams amassed 121 yards on 26 carries in place of injured Devontae Booker, who will miss the remainder of the season. Standout freshman receiver Britain Covey exited the game in the 2nd quarter with an injury.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen opened the game leading his offense on a 1 minute, 47-second scoring drive that included passes of 33, 16, and 28 yards.

Wilson responded by leading his Utes on a 12-play, 61-yard drive that halted early with a Williams fumble. UCLA took the opportunity down the field for a Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal. The Utah defense settled in, allowing the Bruins to score only once more in the third quarter.

Rosen finished 15-of-30 passing for 220 yards and touchdown. Bruins running back Paul Perkins rushed for 98 yards on the Utes and a touchdown.

Utah responded with 3 Phillips field goals on consecutive drives, but was never able to capitalize on chances inside UCLA territory. Utah’s hopes for a victory and a division championship came to a silent halt at the UCLA 36 yard line with 1:01 left in the game when Wilson and Williams miscommunicated on an option read. Williams’ elbow jarred the ball out of Wilson’s arms and into the hands of the UCLA defense.

The Utes will close the regular season next Saturday, November 28, against the Colorado Buffaloes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Kickoff will be at 12:30pm MT with coverage on ESPN700.

Kyle Whittingham Postgame:

Joe Williams, Andy Phillips, Travis Wilson, and Kylie Fitts Postgame:

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