No. 19 Utes Rebound Against Cougars


University of Utah sophomore wide receiver Solomon Enis (21) makes a catch over Washington State defense during an NCAA Football game at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

There was no repeat of last week for the No. 19 University of Utah football team (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) as they overpowered Washington State (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) 38-13 to clinch their first conference win of the season. 

It was a Utah game from start to finish as the Utes held the usually powerful Wazzu offense to just 313 total yards.

While Zack Moss didn’t play for the team, it was no big deal, as Utah still had a strong rush game on the backs of Devonta’e Henry-Cole, Devin Brumfield, Jordan Wilmore, as well as quarterbacks Tyler Huntley and Jason Shelley. 

“We miss Zack Moss so much,” Huntley said. “But the running backs are doing a great job at just stepping in and taking advantage of all their reps, and we know that we are missing Zack but we have to win another way.” 

Henry-Cole led the rush charge with 79 yards on 15 carries. He also had one receiving touchdown on the night. 

The Utah defense had pressure on them after a less than ideal performance last weekend in SoCal. The defensive backs stepped up and it showed. WSU quarterback Anthony Gordon was held to only 252 passing yards and one TD in the game. Last weekend he had nine passing TDs.

“We knew who we were going up against,” Johnson said. “We were going to get opportunities as a secondary and as a defense in general.”  

University of Utah senior defensive back Julian Blackmon (23) celebrates after stopping Washington State on their fourth down during an NCAA Football game at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

“They wanted redemption this week,” head coach Kyle Whittingham started. “We know we are better than that and this week they came out with a purpose.”  

The Utah receiving core also showed what they could do this week, as Bryan Thompson had yet another standout game for the team. Thompson had 111 yards on four passes in the victory. Samson Nacua made his presence known for the first time this season, as he had 90 receiving yards and one touchdown in the victory. Solomon Enis also had a big game with 62 yards. Derrick Vickers had his first touchdown reception as a Ute tonight as well.  

Both Francis Bernard and Jaylon Johnson had interceptions on the night as well. Both players add to their growing total of interceptions on the season tonight. 

“I was watching films all week and as soon as I saw both number twos go in I said ‘Oh yeah this is coming right to me’,” Bernard said. “So I bailed out quarterback was looking at me and I was like ‘Yep.’ I’m just making the most of my opportunity.” 

The Utah defense held the WSU defense scoreless in the second half of play. 

But the real MVP of the night was Huntley, who went 21 for 30 for over 334 yards with two rushing touchdowns as well as two passing ones. He did not throw an interception tonight and was only sacked twice. 

“I thought Tyler was outstanding,” Whittingham said. “He’s playing by far his best football since he has been a Ute and he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country right now in my opinion.” 

Whittingham also said that Huntley is the leader of this Utah team, he has been taking charge at practices as well as making sure that players are in the right positions that they need to be in to make plays. 

Utah’s kicking game was good tonight, as Jadon Redding went one for two on his field goal attempts. He was perfect on his PAT’s  

The Utes head into a bye week now. The team will be back on Oct. 12 as they head to Corvallis to take on Oregon State. The time of the game is yet to be announced.


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