by Scott Funk (@scottfunk0)
Salt Lake City, UT – The Utes (3-0,0-0) wrapped up their non-conference schedule with a 54-16 victory over the San Jose State Spartans (1-3,0-0) on Saturday night up at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes are now 24-1 in non-conference games since joining the Pac-12.
The Utes came into the game facing a Spartan team that was ranked 122 nationally in rush defense, and instead of running the ball for the majority of the game, they went to the air. The run-game just wasn’t working for the Utes tonight. No player could get going. Fortunately for the Utes, other key elements of their game was.
The game started out with Utah kicker, Matt Gay, putting on a clinic. Gay came into the game 7-7 on FGs, and is leaving tonight 11-11. Gay scored the Utah’s first 9 points making 21,56 and 50 yard FG’s, becoming the first player in Utah football history to make two 50+ FG’s in a single game.
The second quarter became the Darren Carrington clinic. He would get the first touchdown of the game on a seven yard reception from quarterback Tyler Huntley. Seven minutes later Carrington would score again on a 26 yd pass from Huntley to make it 23-6. Carrington finished the half with six receptions for 113 yards and two TDs. He would finish the game with nine receptions for 153 yards and three TDs.
The third quarter featured one score via a Huntley 13 yd TD pass to Raelon Singleton.
In the fourth quarter Darren Carrington grabbed his third and final TD of the night off a 15-yard pass from Huntley. Matt Gay also contributed adding his fourth FG of the night, and 11th on the year. Devontae Henry-Cole closed out the scoring for the night on 10-yard touchdown run to cap off the 54 point, 501 total yards of offense night for the Utes.
Tyler Huntley had another career night. He finished the game 30-43 for 341 yards and four TDs. His 341 passing yards are the most by any QB at Utah since joining the Pac-12. He led the Utes to 501 total yards of offense, putting the Utes over 500 yards for just the fourth time since joining the Pac-12. Huntley was also the leading rusher with 14 carries for 64 yards.
“Non-conference play comes to an end and we are 3-0, which is right where we expected to be,” said heath coach Kyle Whittingham. “Defensively, we played very well except for a few snaps. Our run game remains stingy and we have been taking the ball away and keeping points off the board, which is the bottom line. A lot of progress was made and now we go to conference play.”
The defense for the Utes has continued to come up big. Although there were snaps where receivers got behind them for some big plays, coach Whitt continues to be impressed with the direction they are heading. All together the Utes held the Spartans to 30 total rushing yards, and 263 yards overall.
“I felt our defense did well, especially our defensive lineman on pressuring the quarterback,” said defensive end Bradley Anae. ” Kylie [Fitts] and I have been hungry to get sacks. If felt good to get those first ones tonight. Right now we are itching to play a Pac-12 team and get it started.”
The Utes will get their first chance at a Pac-12 opponent when they open up Pac-12 play with a trip to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 MDT. The game will be televised on FS1 and can be heard on ESPN700.
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