University of Utah

Defense Carries Utes to Victory on Senior Day

This snowy, cold afternoon, it was the seniors that pushed their team to one final 20-14 victory over Colorado at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

SALT LAKE CITY—Some Senior Days go quietly, more or less insignificantly. Sometimes, the seniors are indeed the centerpiece in the final home game of their college career. This snowy, cold afternoon, it was the seniors that pushed their team to one final 20-14 victory over Colorado at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

For defensive tackle Seni Fauonuku, it came in the form of four sacks. The unsung hero of the Utah football team, as head coach Kyle Whittingham described Fauonuku, snagged his last sack on Jordan Gehrke, forcing the ball out and safely into Utah’s hands.

Jared Norris recovered that fumble, his first fumble recovery of the year, though he’s been involved in forcing others. Gionni Paul came up with another interception, picking off yet another slant route across the middle.

For Kenneth Scott, Senior Day called for one more touchdown catch from quarterback Travis Wilson. Scott later suffered a leg injury, forcing the Utah trainers to carry him across the field to the sideline. Norris and Paul met the medical staff halfway to carry their teammate and fellow captain the rest of the way.

Tom Hackett, after receiving a pregame ovation most punters can probably only dream of, punted seven times for an average of 50.6 yards, landing three inside the 20 yard line.

Wilson was effective in the run game while being limited by the weather in the throw game. He finished with 32 rush yards on 13 attempts, as well as 108 pass yards on ten completions with a touchdown and an interception.

For the senior class that pioneered Utah’s journey into the Pac-12, experiencing highs and lows few, if any, can relate with, it was a fitting final home victory—slow, grinding, gusty, clutch, with the defense standing up to the challenge time and time again, carrying the Utes to another win.

It’s the final home game for this class, but the reward of a bowl game is in short sight. The Utes do not know their destination, whether it be the Sun Bowl, Foster Farms Bowl, or Holiday Bowl, but these Utes will make one final appearance before it’s all said and done.

Kyle Whittingham Postgame:


Travis Wilson, Joe Williams, Seni Fauonuku, and Gionni Paul Postgame:


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