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Postgame Notes: No. 19 Utah vs. Colorado

Nov 26, 2021
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Postgame Notes
(at) No. 19 Utah 28, Colorado 13
Salt Lake City, Utah (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Fri., Nov. 26, 2021
Kick: 2:05 p.m. | End: 5:08 p.m.
Attendance: 51,538 (sellout: 70th consecutive)


  • Utah finished the Pac-12 Conference schedule with an 8-1 record for the second time since joining the conference in 2011. The other 8-1 ledger in league play came in 2019.
  • Under head coach Kyle Whittingham, Utah has posted four undefeated home seasons at Rice-Eccles Stadium. It includes back-to-back 6-0 marks in 2008 and '09, a 7-0 record in 2019 and 6-0 again in 2021.
  • Playing inside Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah has won eight straight games (dating back to Dec. 5, 2020) and 19 of its last 20 contests in Salt Lake City.
  • Utah won its 700th game in football program history, dating back to the founding of the program in 1892.
  • Utah broke the tie in the all-time series between the Utes and Colorado (now 33-32-3). The Utes won their fifth straight over Colorado dating to 2017, and fifth straight home triumph over the Buffaloes (since 2013).
  • Head coach Kyle Whittingham, the winningest leader in Utah football history, improved to 143-69 all-time as head coach (2005-present). He has contributed to 228 victories including his tenure as an assistant coach (1994-2004).
  • Wide receiver and return specialist Britain Covey moved up to 3,866 career all-purpose yards at Utah. Covey remains fourth in Utes history behind Eddie Johnson (4,074 from 1984-88) for third.
  • Utah has led at halftime in six straight games and now nine this season. The Utes are 8-1 when leading at the half, with Oregon State (Oct. 23) the only loss.
  • Official attendance was 51,538, fourth-most for a game in Rice-Eccles Stadium history. It's the 70th consecutive sellout at Rice-Eccles Stadium, dating back to the 2010 season opener.
  • In six home games during 2021, Utah averaged 51,817 fans per game, a single-season home best for the Utes. The previous high for season average at RES was 46,533 during 2015.
  • Utah won the coin toss and elected to receive. Colorado defended the South goal to begin the game.
  • When winning the coin toss, it was the fourth straight game that Utah elected to receive


  • In running backs Tavion Thomas (142) and TJ Pledger (103), Utah had two players with a 100-yard rushing game for the second time this season. The last was at Stanford (Nov. 5) when Thomas (177), Micah Bernard (110) and Pledger (107) each crossed the century mark on the ground.
  • Thomas rushed for his fifth 100-yard game of the season and seventh of his career. It includes two such performances while Thomas played at Cincinnati.
  • During the third quarter, Thomas rushed for his Pac-12-leading 18th touchdown, extending his Utah season record.
  • Of Utah's 23 total first downs in the game, eight came on the ground via Thomas.
  • Pledger recorded his sixth career 100-yard game (four this season at Utah, two at Oklahoma).
  • Utah is the only Pac-12 team this season with multiple games with multiple 100-yard rushers (at Stanford, vs. Colorado). The last Pac-12 team to have two such games was Arizona in 2019. (via Greg Mroz of Pac-12 and STATS Perform)
  • Junior wide receiver Britain Covey (five receptions) marked his 15th straight game with a reception. He now has at least one catch in 42 of his 45 career games played as a Ute.
  • Covey brought in a season-long 33-yard reception during the third quarter. It was Covey's longest reception since a 91-yard touchdown reception during the 2020 season finale vs. Washington State.
  • Two plays later, Covey caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising, his second receiving score of the season and first since the game at San Diego State (Sept. 18).
  • Covey now has amassed 176 career receptions, third-most in Utah history. He needs two to pass Bryan Rowley for second all-time (177 from 1989-93).
  • With 72 receiving yards, Covey now has 1,905 in his career and moved up four places to sixth in the program record book. He needs 173 more to pass Dres Anderson for fifth (2,077 from 2011-14).
  • Rising went 14-of-23 for 179 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also kept the ball four times for 17 yards.
  • Rising passed for multiple touchdowns for the sixth time this season and second time in the last three games. It was his third three-touchdown game of the season, tying a career-high following three passing touchdowns apiece at San Diego State (Sept. 18) and at USC (Oct. 9).
  • Junior tight end Brant Kuithe caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Rising during the second quarter. It was Kuithe's sixth receiving touchdown of the season.
  • Kuithe's sixth receiving touchdown of the season ties a career-high (six in 2019).
  • Classmate and fellow tight end Dalton Kincaid also caught a scoring pass from Rising for 28-yards, Kincaid's sixth receiving TD.
  • Both Kincaid and Kuithe's six receiving touchdowns lead all tight ends in the Pac-12.
  • It marked the first season since at least 1996 in which Utah has had two tight ends each record six receiving touchdowns.
  • The last time any Pac-12 team had multiple tight ends with six receiving touchdowns was in 2011, when Stanford's Coby Fleener (10) and Levine Toilolo (6) accomplished the feat.
  • Rising was intercepted on Utah's first drive of the game, just the third interception of the season for Rising and ending a streak of 149 consecutive pass attempts for Rising without a pick.
  • Utah (444) eclipsed 400 yards of total offense for the eighth time this season and seventh time in the last eight games, save for last week's win over No. 3 Oregon (386).
  • The Utah offensive line did not allow a sack for the fifth game this season. It is the first time since 2010 that the Utes reached that mark.
  • For the seventh time since 1996, Utah finished the regular season with less than 15 sacks allowed (11 allowed in 2021).


  • Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd (9 tackles) posted his ninth game this season with seven-plus tackles, currently tied for the most in the Pac-12.
  • Fellow junior and linebacker Nephi Sewell recorded a team-high 10 tackles (1.0 TFL), his third 10-tackle game of the season and sixth of his career. Sewell's other such performances in 2021 include at BYU (Sept. 11; 11 tackles) and vs. UCLA (Oct. 30; 14 tackles).
  • Lloyd has recorded at least one tackle for loss in 18 of the last 20 games. He now owns 43.0 career TFLs as a Ute, fourth-most in program history and 1.5 from passing Hunter Dimick (44.0 from 2013-16) for No. 3 in the record book.
  • Lloyd's TFL was an eight-yard sack during the second quarter. He also added his second quarterback hurry of the season during the win.
  • Junior defensive end Mika Tafua had an eight-yard sack during the third quarter, bringing Tafua to a Pac-12-leading 9.5 sacks on the year. Tafua has a sack in four straight games and five of the last six contests. He also owns at least 1.0 TFL in six straight games, and nine of the last 10.
  • Freshman defensive end Van Fillinger recorded his fifth sack of the season during the fourth quarter. It comes after Fillinger did not have a sack during the 2020 season.
  • Freshman safety Cole Bishop had a four-yard tackle for loss during the third quarter. Bishop now has 7.0 TFLs on the year, all in the last four games.
  • The Utes' defense held Colorado to just 148 yards of total offense (2.7 yards/play), the fewest by an opponent this season.
  • For only the fourth time this season, Utah's opponent scored on its game-opening drive.


Special Teams

  • Return specialist Britain Covey (415 punt return yards) passed former Ute Erroll Tucker for fourth-most punt return yards in a single season. Tucker amassed 389 punt return yards in 1985.
  • Covey needs 12 yards to pass Derrek Richards (426 in 2007) for No. 3 in the single-season record book.
  • Sophomore punter Michael Williams booted a career-long 50-yard punt late in the third quarter.
  • Cameron Rising also punted a 20-yard attempt during the fourth quarter. It was Rising's third punt of the season (32.6-yard average) following a pair in the win over UCLA (Oct. 30).