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Postgame Notes: Utah at San Diego State

Sep 18, 2021
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Postgame Notes
(at) San Diego State 33, Utah 31 (3OT)
Carson, Calif. (Dignity Health Sports Park)
Sat., Sept. 18, 2021
Kick: 4:08 p.m. PT | End: 8:02 p.m. PT
Attendance: 11,090


  • Trailing by a 24-10 score after three quarters, Utah answered with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to force overtime. It was the largest second half comeback by Utah since the Utes eliminated a 28-7 deficit against Washington State in an eventual 48-27 victory on Dec. 19, 2020.
  • Saturday's loss snapped a five-game Utah winning streak against San Diego State, with the Utes' first loss against SDSU since a 28-19 decision in 2005.
  • As members of the Pac-12, Utah is now 27-3 in regular season non-conference games. Prior to Saturday, the Utes had not lost consecutive non-league tilts in the regular season since 2006-07 (vs. Boise State, at Oregon State).
  • Utah fell in its regular season non-conference finale for the first time since 2010 (at Notre Dame).
  • At the start of the game, San Diego State won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Aztecs elected to defend the North goal.
  • In overtime, Utah won the coin toss and elected to defend first.
  • Saturday's game was the first to reach OT for Utah since Nov. 14, 2015. It was the second Utah-SDSU matchup to reach overtime, with the other in 1998.


  • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Devaughn Vele caught a 15-yard pass from senior Charlie Brewer in the second quarter. It was Vele's longest reception as a Ute, previously a nine-yard catch against USC during 2020.
  • Brewer completed two passes of 15-plus yards, also finding junior tight end Brant Kuithe for 17 yards later in the second period.
  • Kuithe has caught at least one pass in 17 straight games. It also marked the 19th game of Kuithe's career with at least three receptions.
  • Junior running back TJ Pledger caught a third-quarter screen pass from Brewer for 14 yards, his longest at Utah.
  • Brewer played in his 47th collegiate game and made his 42nd start (third at Utah). On the night, he was 14-of-26 passing for 104 yards with one interception. Brewer has passed for 10,184 yards between his time at Baylor and Utah, and is one of only two active FBS quarterbacks to eclipse 10,000 passing yards.
  • Brewer was relieved late in the third quarter by sophomore Cameron Rising, who made his second appearance of the season and third of Rising's career. Rising went 19-of-32 (153 yards) for three touchdowns, all career-highs for Rising.
  • Rising recorded his first collegiate game with multiple touchdown passes (3), with two in the fourth quarter and one in overtime.
    • He found junior Britain Covey for a two-yard strike with 4:17 remaining in regulation, then found senior Theo Howard on a four-yard score with 16 seconds remaining.
    • On Utah's first offensive play of overtime, Rising aired out a 25-yard strike to junior Jaylen Dixon in the right corner of the end zone.
  • Rising took a keeper 24 yards in the fourth quarter, the longest rushing attempt of his career and giving Utah a first-and-goal.


  • Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd had a career-high-tying 13 tackles for the second straight game, also contributing a season-best 2.5 TFLs.
  • Lloyd is the first Utah player since Chaz Walker in 2010-11 to record double-digit stops in four consecutive games. It was his seventh collegiate game with double-digit tackles.
  • As a result of a call overturned by video review, Lloyd was awarded his first career fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
  • Both senior safety Brandon McKinney (9) and junior defensive tackle Devin Kaufusi (5) set new career-high tackle numbers. Kaufusi's night also included a pass breakup and assisted TFL.
  • Freshman defensive tackle Junior Tafuna's four tackles were the first of his collegiate career.
  • Utah held San Diego State without a third-down conversion on its first seven attempts and allowed neither a conversion, nor a red zone trip, until the Aztecs' first drive of the second half.
  • Utah forced three-and-outs on SDSU's first three possessions. In all three games this season, the Utes' defense has forced three-and-out a minimum of its opponents first two drives, and four straight games on its opponent's first possession.

Special Teams

  • Covey brought a punt back a career-long 80 yards for a touchdown, putting Utah on the board at the 8:02 mark of the first quarter. It was Covey's third career punt return for a score, and the first by a Ute since Dec. 5, 2020 vs. Oregon State (also by Covey for 64 yards).
  • It was the first game since that Oregon State contest in '20 that a Utah player had both a receiving and punt return touchdown. Covey also accomplished the feat in that Oregon State game.
  • Covey's 80-yard return is tied for the fifth-longest in Utah history and is the longest since 1985, when Erroll Tucker had an 89-yarder vs. Arizona State.
  • The return itself reset Covey's single-game career-high in punt return yards, finishing with 132 on six attempts. It was previously 77 punt return yards on two occasions, with the last coming against Washington in 2018. Covey's prior long for a single return was 77 yards, coming vs. Fresno State during 2015.
  • With a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter, sophomore Jadon Redding is now 6-of-8 on field goal attempts of 40 yards or longer.