In a game of uncertainty, lead changes and questionable camera work, the University of Utah football team was able to come out on top, beating the Oregon Ducks, 32-25.
Jason Shelley, in his first career start, rattled off two rushing touchdowns, and kicker Matt Gay had a school-record six made field goals to drive the Utah win. Shelley had 262 yards of offense in the air, 22 on the ground, and zero turnovers to boot.
Also in his first start of the season, running back Armand Shyne tallied 174 rushing yards, and while not punching in a touchdown of his own, had big plays up the middle in what was an arguably worrisome situation for the Utes.
The tandem, however, had no nerves coming into the game.
“It was a pretty exciting debut,” Shelley said after the game. “We don’t get nervous.”
Head coach Kyle Whittingham also spoke to the effectiveness of the duo, noting the games’ “gutsy performance by our guys.” He added, “[I] give a lot of credit to Shelley and Shyne.”
A key factor in Utah’s win was its stellar offensive line play. Shyne had no problems making big plays, both up the middle and on the outside, and Shelley had nothing but praise for his team.
“They looked out for me, they opened up some holes for my man, Shyne.”
Zack Moss, the Utes’ 1,000-yard rusher, joined QB Tyler Huntley on the sideline after sustaining an injury during the week leading up to the game. Suddenly, the Utes were relying on depth pieces to earn a much-needed conference win to keep pace with the Arizona State University Sun Devils, whom the Utes are now tied with for first in the Pac-12 South.
Matt Gay, already on pace for another stellar year, had a career night. His six field goals surpassed Joe Phillips (5) for the most made field goals in a game.
Utah, with plenty to clean up on both sides of the ball, now looks ahead to next week, when the team travels to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes.