#11 Utah Football Falls 42-32 At #18 UCLA
PASADENA, Calif. – The No. 11 University of Utah Football fell short against the No. 18 UCLA Bruins today, losing 42-32. The Utes are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play.
Utah produced 479 yards of total offense, including 287 passing yards and 192 yards on the ground, but allowed 511 by the Bruins with UCLA averaging 8.4 yards per play. The Utes were 4-for-4 in the red zone, but it still wasn't enough to overcome the Bruins, who wrapped up the game with six touchdowns.
Quarterback Cameron Rising finished the game 23-of-32 passing (0 TDs, 1 INT) for 287 yards, adding 59 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Tavion Thomas led the Utes in rushing with 18 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Rising's main target in the game was Devaughn Vele, who recorded a team-high six catches for 87 yards. Tight end Dalton Kincaid also had four receptions for 67 yards.
On defense, R.J. Hubert produced his second straight double-digit tackle game, racking up 11 tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss. Cole Bishop had six tackles and tackle for loss with Clark Phillips III notching his fifth interception of the season and his second pick-six.
FIRST QUARTER BREAKDOWN
After both teams were held scoreless for the first 14 minutes of the game, UCLA was able to find the end zone with just 10 seconds remaining in the quarter. The 95-yard drive ended with a seven-yard quarterback keeper to the give the Bruins a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
SECOND QUARTER BREAKDOWN
The Utes got on the board to start the second quarter, ending a 70-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal by Jordan Noyes to cut the UCLA lead to 7-3. Unfortunately for the Utes, UCLA would counter with its second touchdown of the game, taking a 14-3 advantage with a seven-yard passing score.
With its second drive of the quarter, Utah found some rhythm on offense, marching down field 84 yards with Thomas punching in a five-yard rushing touchdown to make it 14-10 with 3:14 on the clock. Rising linked up with Vele and Kincaid for a combined 76 of the 84 yards in the drive, including a 21-yard pass to Kincaid to the UCLA five-yard line to set up the touchdown.
THIRD QUARTER BREAKDOWN
The Bruins took 4:03 of the third quarter off the clock with their third touchdown of the game, scoring on a five-yard receiving play to give them an 11-point lead with 10:50 on the clock.
Utah took over on its own 25-yard line, with Rising and Thomas driving the Utes down field to the UCLA six-yard line with Rising keeping the ball himself for a six-yard rushing score. The Utes decided to go for a two-point conversion with QB1 taking it upon himself once again, scoring on a diving rush across the goal line to cut the Bruin lead to 21-18 with 5:01 left in the quarter.
Utah's attempt at containing the Bruins on a third-and-eight failed with UCLA scoring on a 10-yard passing play, extending its lead to 28-18 with 1:07 to go. The touchdown ended an eight-play, 75-yard drive for the 10-point lead heading into the final quarter.
FOURTH QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Back and forth they went as Utah would once again whittle away at UCLA's lead. Rising found Money Parks open for a key 24-yard gain down field to put the Utes in scoring position with Rising breaking tackles two plays later to punch in a nine-yard touchdown to make it 28-25 with 11:39 left in the game.
UCLA would go on to score 14 unanswered points, starting with a 70-yard passing touchdown to give them a 10-point advantage with 11:17 on the clock. The Utes would then turn it over on their next drive with a fumble, allowing UCLA to take over on the Utah one-yard line, scoring a rushing touchdown on the next play to make it 42-25 with 9:30 left in the game.
Utah would turn the ball over on downs on its next drive, allowing UCLA to take possession with six minutes to spare. Phillips picked the Bruins off with 31 seconds to go in the game, returning it 80 yards for a touchdown, but it wouldn't be enough to overcome the deficit with the Utes falling on the road.
The Utes return to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15 when they host the USC Trojans. The game is set for a 6 p.m. MT kick on FOX.