No. 13 Utah Football Goes Undefeated At Home With 42-7 Win Over Stanford
SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 13 University of Utah Football program wrapped up another perfect home season in Rice-Eccles Stadium tonight, winning 42-7 against the Stanford Cardinal in front of the 76th straight sellout crowd. Utah improved to 8-2 overall and 6-1 in Pac-12 play.
The win came on Senior Night with the Utes honoring 17 players who have most likely played their final games in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Utah's defense was stifling from start to finish, holding the Cardinal to 177 yards of total offense, including just 22 yards on the ground while racking up seven sacks. The Utes also only allowed nine first downs and 3.5 yards per play against Stanford.
On offense, Utah produced 514 total yards, the third time this season the Utes have surpassed the 500-yard mark of total offense. Utah finished the game with 235 passing yards and 279 rushing yards for a well-balanced offense, averaging 7.3 yards per play with 29 first downs.
Running back Tavion Thomas was outstanding for the Utes in the backfield, putting up 180 rushing yards on 22 attempts (8.2 ypc), scoring two rushing touchdowns. Cameron Rising was also 20-of-33 passing (3 TDs, 1 INT) for 219 yards, connecting with Devaughn Vele six times for 61 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the Utes were led in tackles by redshirt freshman Simote Pepa, who picked up a career-high six stops that included 2.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss. Cole Bishop recorded five tackles (1.0 TFL) and a pass breakup with Jonah Elliss adding four tackles (1.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks).
FIRST QUARTER BREAKDOWN
For the fourth time this season, Utah's opponent struck first in the game with the Utes trailing at the 3:40 mark in the first quarter. After both team's struggled to find the end zone early, Stanford scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown to end a 67-yard drive to give the Cardinal the 7-0 lead.
The Utes were held to just 76 yards of total offense in the first quarter, which included 10 yards passing, but also were able to limit the Cardinal to 75 yards of offense as well.
SECOND QUARTER BREAKDOWN
The Utes' first scoring drive of the game began in the first quarter, including being extended by a rushing first down from offensive lineman Keaton Bills on a broken play. With 12:49 on the clock in the second quarter, the Utes found their way to the Stanford nine-yard line thanks to a key 13-yard gain from Jaylen Dixon, followed by a beautiful nine-yard pass from Rising over two defenders to an open Vele to tie the score 7-7.
Utah took a 14-7 lead with 6:44 to go in the quarter with Vele and Thomas being the stars of the drive. Thomas converted on a third-and five with a 15-yard rush to the Stanford 34-yard line with Vele coming down with a 28-yard reception to the Stanford four on a fourth down conversion, ending the drive with Thomas punching in his 27th career touchdown on a four-yard rush.
Utah's defense shut the Cardinal down in the second quarter, allowing just 16 yards of total offense, including one yard rushing and 15 yards passing.
THIRD QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Utah scored its third straight touchdown with 8:49 to go in the third quarter, ending an 85-yard drive to make it 21-7 in the Utes' favor. The drive included a 26-yard scramble by Rising on a third-and-13 with the drive ending with a 14-yard passing touchdown from Rising to Thomas Yassmin for his third touchdown of the year.
The Utes made it four in a row later on in the quarter with Rising finding Micah Bernard open on the sideline with Bernard jumping and juking his way into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown for a 28-7 advantage. The 56-yard drive included 30 rushing yards from Thomas with Bernard finishing things off with his first receiving touchdown in 2022 and the third of his career.
With 1:37 to go in the third quarter, two Utes achieved some firsts with true freshman Nate Johnson throwing his first-career touchdown pass with Logan Kendall catching his first touchdown in a Utah uniform. The 16-yard touchdown catch gave Utah a 35-7 lead, ending a 72-yard drive on just four plays.
FOURTH QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Thomas scored his second touchdown of the game with 8:32 remaining in the game, a 36-yard rushing score that ended an 88-yard drive for a 42-7 lead. Thomas accounted for 60 of the 88 yards in the scoring sequence, including a 20-yard rush on first-and-five to start the drive.
The Utes would continue to keep the Cardinal out of the end zone for the remainder of the quarter, holding Stanford to 51 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter with the visitors only averaging 2.8 yards per play.
The Utes will head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Ore. The game is on Saturday, Nov. 19, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. MT on ESPN.