Blackout. Fourth quarter. Down three points, one last chance, and the whole field to go.
SALT LAKE CITY—Blackout. Fourth quarter. Down three points, one last chance, and the whole field to go.
When have we seen this before? 2008 against TCU? 2014 against the same USC team?
This time, it was Troy Williams’ turn to take his team downfield in a drive not to be soon forgotten against his favorite team from his childhood.
“That was my dream,” said Utah quarterback Troy Williams. “To go to SC, being an LA kid, It’s a dream come true just going out there, competing, and beating them.”
The 24th-ranked Utes (4-0, 1-0 Pac 12) defeated the USC Trojans (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12), 31-27.
Down 27-17 after the Utah defense held the Trojans to a field goal just moments into the fourth quarter, the Ute offense needed a spark if they wanted to start off on the right foot in conference play.
The Utes drove down the field in 11 plays for 75 yards, including a conversion on fourth-and-one by Zack Moss on the USC 10-yard line. Williams found Raelon Singleton on the left side of the end zone to put the Utes within seven.
Utah’s defense struggled relative to their recent success, allowing 14 plays throughout the game of over 11 yards. USC converted two first downs, and crossed over to the Utah 12-yard line, but a penalty put the Trojans back to the Utes’ 49-yard line.
This time, Utes didn’t allow another first down. On fourth-and-3, USC head coach Clay Helton elected to punt and let his defense try to win on the road.
It was time for another late fourth quarter drive to win in a blackout game.
The Trojans’ defense that had slowed Utah’s offense for three quarters fell victim to the Utes’ revamped passing attack. Williams led his team for 93 yards in 15 plays, taking 5:21 of the final 5:37 in the game. Within three points and one of the best field goal kickers in the nation, the Utes elected to try for a fourth-down conversion on two separate occasions, and the offense delivered.
“Our offensive line was playing so physically,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “SC defenders weren’t getting in the backfield. We weren’t missing blocks up front. We had a great deal of confidence in them. That was the real reasoning behind going for it. They did a great job converting them over and over and over.”
The Rice-Eccles Stadium crowd exploded when Utes receiver Tim Patrick shook off the Trojans’ star utility man Adoreé Jackson, fell into the front corner of the end zone, and cradling the ball for the winning touchdown.
With just 16 seconds left on the board, the Trojans were unable to put together any threat of a comeback. When the clock showed zero, Utah players stormed the field in joy, having overcome a major hurdle in their quest to win the Pac-12 south.
The Utes will hit the road again next Saturday to face the explosive California Bears. Game time is set for 4:00p.m. MT. Pregame coverage will begin at 12:00 noon on ESPN 700.
Kyle Whittingham Press Conference:
Troy Williams, Chase Hansen, Isaac Asiata Press Conference:
Kyle Whittingham Utah Sports Radio Network Postgame:
Troy Williams Network Postgame:
Chase Hansen Network Postgame:
Pasoni Tasini Network Postgame:
Tim Patrick Network Postgame:
Final Utah Touchdown:
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