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Postgame Notes vs. USC

Nov 22, 2020
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For the second year in a row, Utah's first touchdown of the season was scored by the defense.

  • In 2019 it was linebacker Francis Bernard with a 58-yard interception return for a score at BYU at the 10:17 mark of the second quarter (Utah won 30-12).

In both 2020 and 2019, Utah's offense had scored a first-quarter field goal before the defensive touchdown.

  • Utah scored first in the game, on a 36-yard Jadon Redding field goal (9:07, 1st quarter). This marks the second year in a row and eighth time in the last 10 seasons that the Utes have scored their first points of the season before their opponent.

Junior linebacker Nephi Sewell recorded his first-career fumble recovery for a touchdown with 11:53 remaining in the second quarter, returning it for 23 yards.

  • It was his third career fumble recovery, notching two during his two seasons at Nevada.
  • Sewell also recorded his first interception as a Ute in the second quarter with no return. It was his third career interception (2 at Nevada).
  • The last time Utah has had a fumble recovery return for a touchdown was in 2019 when Mika Tafua ran a 68-yard FR return for a touchdown against UCLA.
  • Sewell tied his career-high in total tackles with his 10 today, tying his career-best that he set against Washington State in 2017 with Nevada.

Freshman cornerback Clark Phillips III recorded nine total tackles in his collegiate debut, the most by a Utah freshman in a season-opener since Eric Rowe notched nine against Montana State in 2011.

  • Phillips racked up nine solo tackles that also included a tackle for loss of a yard.

Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd finished the game with a career-high 11 tackles (7 solo, 4 ast., 2.0 TFL).  

  • His previous career-high was 10 against Northern Illinois in 2019.
  • He has two career double-digit games and has either led or tied for the lead in total tackles for the Utes in six career games.

In his collegiate debut, freshman running back Ty Jordan led Utah in all-purpose yards, finishing with 32 rushing and 21 receiving (53).

  • He averaged 4.6 yards per carry (7 rush, 32 yds) with his 21-yard catch being the longest by a Utah running back in the game.

Sophomore running back Jordan Wilmore led the team in carries against USC, recording 10 for 38 yards.

  • His 29-yard rush in the third quarter was a career-long, beating his previous career-best 23-yard rush against Idaho State in 2019.

Graduate transfer quarterback Jake Bentley played in a football game for the first time since Aug. 31, 2019 when he suffered a season ending injury with South Carolina.

  • Bentley finished the game 16-of-28 passing for 171 yards and a touchdown.
  • Bentley's 33-yard rush in the second quarter was a career-long, passing his previous career beset of 24 that came in 2017 during his time at South Carolina.

Senior wide receiver Samson Nacua scored Utah's only offensive touchdown of the first half, recording a seven-yard receiving touchdown to cut the USC leads to 24-17.
Nacua has 11 career receiving scores, the most by any current Ute.

Tonight's game marked the latest date for Utah to play its season opener since 1895 when the team's only game of the season was played on Nov. 28, against the YMCA.
 
It has been nearly a century since Utah went this long between games

  • It has been 326 days since the Utes finished the 2019 season on New Year's Eve 2019 in the Valero Alamo Bowl against Texas.
  • The 326-day gap marks the longest stretch between Utah football games since the 1918 season was not played during the last pandemic, the Spanish Flu. There were 681 days between games from Nov. 29, 1917 to Oct. 11, 1919.
  • It was nearly a year between home games, spanning 357 days since Utah closed the 2019 regular season Nov. 30 vs. Colorado.