No. 11 Utes Stay Perfect, Defeat Idaho State


University of Utah sophomore wide receiver Bryan Thompson (19) makes a catch and runs in to the endzone for a touchdown during an NCAA Football game vs. The Idaho State Bengals at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

After what was by far one of the most puzzling series of calls in recent memory, the No. 11 University of Utah football team (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) rolled to a 31-0 victory over Idaho State University (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky). In the first quarter senior running back Zack Moss barrelled his way to second place for total rushing yards, surpassing Tony Lindsay. Moss also has the second most touchdowns in school history after today’s performance. 

“It’s cool. It’s a testament of how hard I’ve worked and prepared and how guys around me have allowed me to go out there and do things and just another shoutout to my coaches and everyone like that and family. It’s really good but I’m more ready for this team to go ahead and get these things done,” Moss said. 

But Moss wasn’t the first Ute score of the day. It was actually freshman kicker Jadon Redding, who kicked a 35-yard field goal to put the Utes ahead 3-0 with 12:17 left in the first quarter. 

On their ensuing drive, Utah turned the heat up and Moss made more progress to beat the record. On the same drive, both Tyler Huntley and Moss broke tackles that would have resulted in losses and turned them into huge gains. Huntley’s resulted in a nine-yard rush which then set up Moss’ 39-yard rush after breaking a few tackles. He then punched the ball in and punched his ticket for second place on the next play. Utah was up 10-0. 

University of Utah senior running back Zack Moss (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during an NCAA Football game vs. The Idaho State Bengals at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

The next Utah drive was the fastest of the day. The 52-second drive was capped off with a 82-yard pass from Huntley to Bryan Thompson that furthered Utah’s lead on the Bengals. At the end of the first Utah lead 17-0. 

The second quarter only had one score, but was still full of action. With just under 13 minutes left in the half, Huntley threw a 60-yard bomb to Brant Kuithe. 

At the end of the second half, a series of reviews led to the stoppage in play. These included two targeting reviews (one of which cost Utah defensive tackle Semisi Lauaki the rest of the game) and the review of a potential Utah touchdown. All or most of the reviews were called as or during the ensuing play. One even was called after Britain Covey had signaled for a fair catch on a punt. 

“It kinda threw us off but coach Whitt always says don’t let it dictate what’s going on so we got to execute,” Huntley said. 

When asked about the officiating, head coach Kyle Whittingham said he never reaches out to the conference about the issue, but found it very weird. 

“I never say one thing about officiating to the conference. We just go about our business, but that was odd that we kept having those stoppages and those reviews,” he said. 

The third quarter also had one score. Thompson caught his second TD of the day from a 23-yard pass from Huntley. Headed into the final quarter, the Utes were up 31-0. 

In the fourth quarter, both of the backup quarterbacks for Utah got some game time reps. Junior Drew Lisk was perfect on his passes, going 6-6 for 38-yards. Jason Shelley did not attempt any passes during his time in as quarterback. 

Moss finished the game with 106-yards and a touchdown. Huntley was 15-19 for 282-yards and three touchdowns. Thompson lead the team in receiving yards with 102 and two touchdowns. 

The non-conference schedule for Utah has now come to a close. The Utes will make their first out of state appearance next Friday as they take on USC in the Coliseum. The Utes are looking for their first victory in L.A. against the Trojans in over 100 years. If any team could be victorious in L.A., it could be this one.  

“We just have a very very big goal and we are not going to let anyone get in the way of that,” Moss said. “History ain’t going to get in the way of that so I think on that Friday night we are going to go out there and do what we gotta do to get that win and just erase that 102 years.” 


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