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Postgame Notes vs. Washington State

Dec 19, 2020
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Today's win was Utah's second in a row over Washington State, and evened the all-time series between the Utes and Cougars at 9-9. The series also is tied in games played in Salt Lake City (5-5).
Utah finishes the season with a winning record for the seventh season in a row (3-2).
 
Today's game was Utah's 100th win at Rice-Eccles Stadium (opened in 1998) and was Head Coach Kyle Whittingham's 200th game as Utah's head coach (since final game of 2004 season). Whittingham is the third longest-tenured head coach at the same school in the FBS, and, including his 11 seasons as a Utah assistant coach (1994-2004), he has coached in 326 games and been part of more victories (219) than anybody in program history.
 
The 21-point deficit overcome in the second half by Utah was the third largest in school history. Utah twice overcame 27-point deficits, in 1972 and 1990.

  • Nov. 10, 1990 at New Mexico, trailed 27-0, won 29-27
  • Nov. 24, 1972 vs. Arizona, trailed 27-0, won 28-27

 
Utah trailed 28-7 at halftime after WSU scored two touchdowns in a 30-second span later in the quarter (at 1:51 and 1:21). After opening the second half with a punt on its first possession, Utah scored 38 unanswered points to secure the 45-28 victory.

  • The Utes' comeback included five touchdowns and one field goal over a span of seven possessions (TD, TD, TD, Punt, TD, FG, TD).
  • The first three touchdowns came on drives of 81, 68 and 70 yards; the final three scores followed WSU turnovers (Fumble, Fumble, INT).
  • Utah allowed WSU just 39 total yards of offense in the second half until WSU's final possession, and that figure climbed only to 108 second-half yards allowed, with the drive ending in another fumble.

 
Utah is just the fifth Pac-12 team since 2014 to come back from a halftime deficit of 21 or more points and win a game. Coincidentally, Utah was on the receiving end of one of those, Nov. 28 at Washington, losing 24-21 after leading 21-0 at the break. The other three occasions came in 2018 (Oregon State), 2017 (UCLA) and 2014 (Arizona).
The last college football team to overcome a 21-point deficit (for a win) and lose a 21-point lead (for a loss) in the same season was Boise State in 2017. The Broncos blew a 21-point lead against Washington State on September 9, 2017, and then overcame a 25-point deficit against Colorado State on November 11, 2017.
 
The Utah defense changed the tone of the game in the third quarter, forcing 3-and-outs on each of WSU's first three possessions.

  • In the third quarter Utah outgained WSU 149-10, and had 9 first downs to WSU's 0.
  • Utah ran 20 plays to WSU's 8 and held the ball 10:20-4:40, narrowing a 28-7 deficit to 28-21 entering the final frame.

 
The second-half disparity included:

  • Points: Utah 38-0
  • Yards: 278-108
  • Plays: 43-32
  • 1ST Downs: 15-6
  • TOP: 19:22-10:38

 
Utah's 38 second-half points are the most scored by a Utah team in a second half since records can be verified (1968-present). The previous record was 37 points in 1999 against Wyoming.
 
Utah's 24 fourth-quarter points tied for second most by a Utah team since 1968, matching a mark that was last achieved in 2014 vs. Oregon. The record is 28 against Florida in 1977.

Today's game was the latest played in Salt Lake City by the Utes since 1900 (Dec. 19 vs. Carlisle). The only game played in Salt Lake City later than those two was Dec. 25, 1896 vs. City High. It was also Utah's latest non-bowl game played in a season since 1946 (Dec. 25 vs. Honolulu All-Stars in Honolulu, Hawaii.
 
Season Highs:

  • Points – 45
  • Total Yards – 528
  • Total Plays – 77
  • 1st Downs – 23
  • Passing Yards -- 305

Senior quarterback Drew Lisk saw action for the first time this season, coming in the third quarter to finish the game 15-of-26 passing for 152 yards.

  • Lisk has played in seven career games for the Utes.
  • He recorded career highs in completions (15), attempts (26) and passing yards (152) today.
  • His 27-yard pass to Ty Jordan was a career-long pass.
  • Lisk was quarterback for Utah's five consecutive scoring drives in the second half.

Freshman running back Ty Jordan recorded his third-straight 100-yard rushing game today against Washington State, finishing with 22 carries for 154 yards (7.0 ypc) and three touchdowns. He also had two catches for 33 yards for 187 all-purpose yards.

  • The last time a freshman rushed for three-straight 100-yard games was in 1995 (Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala).
  • His 154 rushing yards are second most of his young career, trailing only his 167 yards in his first start--and first of his three consecutive games topping the century mark--vs. Oregon State (12/5/20). Last week at Colorado (12/12/20) Jordan rushed for 147 yards on 17 carries.
  • The last time a Ute scored three rushing touchdowns in a game was against UCLA in 2018 (Zack Moss).
  • His 27-yard catch in the second half was a career-long.

Senior quarterback Jake Bentley started the game and finished 7-of-14 passing (1 TD, 1 INT) for 153 yards, adding four rushes for 13 yards.  

  • His 91-yard touchdown pass to Britain Covey in the second quarter ranks as the second-longest passing play in school history

Utah Record: 98 yards, Dan Hagemann to Jack Steptoe vs. New Mexico in 1976).

  • The 91-yard pass also ties for the fourth-longest play from scrimmage in program history.
  1. 98-yard pass from Dan Hagemann to Jack Steptoe vs. New Mexico, 1976
  2. 93-yard rush by Frank Nelson vs. BYU, 1947
  3. 92-yard rush by Steve Savoy vs. BYU, 2004
  4. 91-yard rush by Zack Moss vs. Oregon State, 2019
  • The two longest passing plays entering this weekend in the FBS were 93 (Dillon Gabriel, UCF) and 92 yards (Brady White, Memphis). The 91-yard pass from Bentley would rank first in the Pac-12 and third in the FBS entering the weekend.
  • It was a career-long pass for Bentley, who also threw an 89-yard pass against Florida in 2018.

Junior wide receiver Britain Covey recorded six receptions for a career-high 134 yards (22.3 ypc) and a 91-yard touchdown reception.

  • It is Covey's first 100-yard receiving game since Sept. 8, 2018 (129 yards at NIU) and the third of his career. He had notched his previous career high in receiving yards twice (129), against NIU in 2018 and against USC in 2015.
  • Covey's 134 receiving yards are the most by a Utah player since 2017 (Darren Carrington, 9-153, vs. San Jose State) and the most against a Pac-12 opponent since 2014 (Kaelin Clay, vs. Oregon, 5-152, Nov. 8)
  • Covey's 91-yard reception was a career long and the second longest reception in school history.
  • Covey finishes the season with 132 career receptions, just 2 away from entering the school's all-time top 10. Dres Anderson (2011-14) sits in 10th with 134 catches. He has 1,497 career receiving yards, 310 yards from entering the top 10.

Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd led the Utes with a game-high 10 tackles that included one sack and a career-high four tackles for loss.

  • His four tackles for loss is tied for eighth all-time at Utah in single-game TFLs.
  • The last time a Ute had four tackles for loss in a game was in 2016 (Pita Taumoepenu vs. Arizona State).
  • It was his third double-digit tackle game of the season.