The Utah Utes emerged victoriously in the most recent Battle of the Brothers at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday night by a score of 24-14. Utah starting quarterback Travis Wilson and starting defensive end Hunter Dimick both left the game with injuries.
Wilson returned to the Utah sideline in the second half wearing a sling with his football uniform off after a shoulder injury. Dimick suffered an apparent knee injury. Head coach Kyle Whittingham said neither injury is expected to be season-ending.
Pita Taumoepenu landed Utah’s only sack of the young season on Chuckie Keeton as the Aggies were threatening to cut Utah’s 24-14 lead to three points in the 4th quarter. Taumoepenu hit Keeton on his blind side, causing a fumble that was recovered by Gionni Paul.
Paul sealed victory for the Utes when he intercepted a tipped Keeton pass deep in Utah territory with just minutes left in the game. Utah now has recorded five interceptions in their first two games, including two by safety Marcus Williams.
Utah got on the board first when Wilson capped the game’s opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown run. Wilson rushed for 49 yards on 5 carries before exiting the game.
Utah State tied the score at 7 when Keeton found an open LaJuan Hunt in the end zone early in the 2nd quarter. Keeton finished the game with 256 yards passing, completing 22 of 35 passes, as well as 46 yards rushing to lead the Aggies.
Backup quarterback Kendal Thompson took over for Wilson with less than 8 minutes remaining in the first half. Devontae Booker took a handoff around the edge of the Utah State defense and inside the pylon to put Utah ahead 14-7 with 6:46 remaining in the half.
Utah State equalized again when Keeton found receiver Zach Van Leeuwan for a spectacular reception 24 seconds before halftime.
Thompson put the Utes in lead for good with a 2-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter, followed in the 4th quarter by a made Andy Phillips field goal.
Both the Utes and Aggies hit the road next week to play foes in each others’ respective conferences. Utah State will head to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies while the Utes travel to Fresno State to face the Bulldogs. Coverage of every Utah game can be found on ESPN700.
Hear highlights of tonight’s matchup:
Kyle Whittingham with Bill Riley, Frank Dolce, and Bo Nagahi on the postgame show:
Kendal Thompson on the postgame show:
Defensive end Kylie Fitts on the postgame show:
Linebacker and team captain Jared Norris on the postgame show:
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