Utes take down Stanford in double overtime, 20-17

Courtesy+by+Kevin+Hsu

Courtesy by Kevin Hsu

Courtesy by Kevin Hsu
Courtesy by Kevin Hsu

 
Defense, special teams and timely offense. These have been the keys to the Utes’ success this season, and nothing changed in Utah’s second double-overtime road victory, this time against Stanford by a score of 20-17.
“It’s a tough group we have in our locker room, and I’m very proud of them,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “There’s no quit in these guys. They’re physically and mentally tough, and I’m proud to be associated with them.”
In what was clearly a defensive matchup, both offenses were held to under 300 yards of total offense. Travis Wilson and the Utah offense were held to 247 yards, but the Utes’ defense countered by keeping Kevin Hogan and the Stanford offense to 294 yards.
The defense was led by defensive end Nate Orchard, who finished with 10 tackles, including three and a half sacks, which bumped him up to 16.5 sacks on the year to set the new single-season sack record at Utah.
“It’s an honor,” Orchard said on setting the record. “At the end of the day, the credit goes out to the entire defense. That front seven right there, every day we work so hard, and all that effort and work pays off. It takes all 11 for me to do my job.”
Even with Orchard’s performance, the game came down to a clutch performance from Wilson and the Utah offense in both sessions of overtime.
On the first play of overtime, Wilson found a wide open Kaelin Clay for the 25-yard opening touchdown that put the Utes on top 14-7. Stanford answered when Hogan found his tight end Austin Hooper for a 15-yard touchdown lob that tied the game up at 14.
After a strong showing from the Utah defense to start double overtime, Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson hit a 51-yard field goal to put the Cardinal on top 17-14.
Finally, on the Utes’ possession of double overtime, Wilson found receiver Kenneth Scott on a three-yard slant route in the end zone that gave the Utes the win.
Scott finished his night with four receptions for 71 yards and the game-winning touchdown that clinched his team their first winning season since 2011.
“It’s freaking awesome,” Scott said. “We know how much talent we have on this team, and for us to not do the things we were supposed to was kind of frustrating.”
Even though Scott and his quarterback have been having less than stellar seasons thus far, Scott said he had complete trust that Wilson would find the winning play for the Utes.
“I believe in Travis,” Scott said. “I told him, ‘It’s going to come down to your hands — you’re going to be the winner of this game,’ and it happened like that. He’s a warrior, so credit to him being the leader at the quarterback position.”
After the game, Wilson said his offense seems to save their best for last in tight situations.
“It was crunch time, and we knew we had to execute,” Wilson said. “We knew we needed to make some big plays in OT, and I think a lot of playmakers on offense stepped up and took on that role.”
 
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