Utah secondary steps up in win over Michigan
Sack Lake City; more like Halt Lake City, amirite?
So maybe it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like the moniker the Utes earned after leading the nation in sacks last year. But Utah’s secondary picked off three Jake Rudock passes in Thursday night’s 24-17 victory over Michigan.
Potentially a question mark heading into this season due to the dismissal of starting cornerback Dominique Hatfield, Utah’s defensive backfield more than made up for the loss of one man. Cornerback Cory Butler-Byrd and free safety Marcus Williams each had picks to stall potentially threatening drives. But it was nickelback Justin Thomas’s 55-yard pick-six that gave Utah a 24-10 lead in the fourth quarter and more or less put the game out of reach. (Michigan got a late touchdown but was unable to recover the onside kick).
Sure, it didn’t hurt that Michigan was playing its first game under head coach Jim Harbaugh and started a quarterback in Rudock who was playing in his first game for the Wolverines as a graduate transfer from Iowa (and certainly had his moments, notably finding a nice rhythm with tight end Jake Butt). But the Utes' secondary made enough big plays for Kyle Whittingham and Co. to start the season 1-0.
Utah improves to 3-1 all-time against Michigan, which played its first game in program history in the Beehive State.