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Utes Conquer The Coliseum With 42-26 Win Over USC

Oct 9, 2021

LOS ANGELES – The University of Utah Football program conquered the Coliseum for the first time in program history tonight against USC, beating the Trojans 42-26. The Utes improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play.

A completely balanced offense took the field tonight against the Trojans, producing 486 yards of total offense that included 180 rushing yards and 306 passing yards with the Utes scoring the most points in program history against USC when playing in the Coliseum. The Utes had six different players score touchdowns, including at least one from each skill position (QB, RB, TE, WR).

The Trojans won the time of possession battle in the first quarter to start the game, but the Utes were able to come out of the period on top with a 7-3 lead. After the Trojans had to settle for a 28-yard field goal with 3:48 to go in the first, the Utes got to work.

The Utes put together a 75-yard drive that was fueled by Utah's dynamic tight ends, starting with a 25-yard reception over the middle from Dalton Kincaid. The drive would end with an 11-yard rushing touchdown from Brant Kuithe for the lead with 17 seconds remaining in the first. 

USC and Utah would trade the lead in the second quarter, with the Trojans striking first on a 20-yard passing play with 6:02 on the clock for a three-point advantage. Then it was Utah's turn with Cameron Rising putting it right on the Money, Money Parks that is, with the freshman scoring his first collegiate touchdown on a 12-yard reception to make it 14-10 at the 3:57 mark in the quarter.

After forcing the Trojans to punt on their next drive, the Utes marched down to the USC 37-yard line with just 17 seconds remaining in the half, facing a fourth-and-one. Lining up in a rush formation, the Utes produced a 37-yard scoring play on a flea flicker from Rising to Devaughn Vele to extend its lead to 21-10 heading into halftime.

The Utes continued to find a balance in its offense, finding success in the run game to start the third quarter. In just five quick plays, Tavion Thomas accounted for 51 of the 75 yards in the scoring drive, ending it with a career-long 43-yard rushing touchdown to give the Utes a 28-10 lead with 12:41 left in the quarter.

Utah extended its lead to 25 points after the Ute defense stepped in with a Vonte Davis interception with the senior putting the Utes on the USC 40-yard line. The Utes wasted no time finding the end zone with Rising taking it himself on the fourth play of the drive on a 17-yard rush to the end zone to make it 35-10 with 9:13 left in the third.

The Trojans were able to stop Utah's scoring streak with 10:04 to go in the fourth quarter when they scored on a two-yard rushing touchdown, ending an 85-yard drive. USC would go on to convert the two-point conversion, cutting the Utah lead to 35-18.

Utah had an answer though, scoring with 5:34 to go in the game, finishing off a 45-yard drive with a one-yard passing play to a wide open Kincaid in the end zone to give Utah the 42-18 lead. USC would find the end zone one final time on a 41-yard touchdown pass with under a minute to play, but the Utes would close out the game with three plays, that included a first down reception from Vele, for the win.

Rising finished the game with a career-high 22 completions (22-28-0) for a career-best 306 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore from Ventura, Calif., also finished with six carries for 27 yards and one rushing score.

Thomas racked up a season-high 113 rushing yards on 16 carries (7.1 ypc), scoring a career-long 43-yard rushing touchdown. Through the air, Devaughn Vele recorded a career-high 84 receiving yards on four receptions (21.0 ypc) and his first touchdown as a Ute with Britain Covey also securing a season-high in receiving yards with 67.

On defense, freshman Kamo'i Latu notched a career-high 10 tackles in his first collegiate start, also recording a pass breakup. Clark Phillips was also integral in the Utah secondary with nine tackles and a career-best three pass breakups while Devin Lloyd finished with eight stops (1.0 TFL) and a pass breakup.

For the first time since 1916, Utah defeated USC in Los Angeles, snapping an eight-game losing streak in LA. It was the first Utah victory inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1923.

Utah's 42 points also surpassed the most points scored in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum by the Utes which was previously 27 in 2017.

The Utes will return to Rice-Eccles Stadium for a Saturday night matchup against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Oct. 16. The game is set for an 8 p.m. MT kick on ESPN.