Moss Breaks Record as No. 13 Utes Take Down No. 17 Sun Devils


University of Utah senior running back Zack Moss (2) rushing with the ball after taking a handoff from University of Utah senior quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) in an NCAA Football game vs. Arizona State University at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday October 19, 2019.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

It was a wet and wild Saturday night for the No. 13 University of Utah football team (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) as they took down southern foe No. 17 Arizona State (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) 21-3. Not only did the Utes come one step closer to the Pac-12 Championship game, but a 31-year-old record fell down in the process. 

Senior running back Zack Moss broke Eddie Johnson’s rushing record when he busted a 32-yard touchdown rush in the fourth quarter after ASU muffed the punt on the play before. Moss now has 3,264 yards during his time here at Utah. 

It was a special game for Moss because not only was the record within reach, but his family was in attendance for the game. 

“That was very emotional at the beginning of this game and having my mom here,” Moss said. “The last time she came out I got injured. So it was just special to have her and my dad and the whole family out here for this one.” 

For Moss to break the record was nothing short of impressive for both his on and off the field achievements. 

“When you consider the running backs that have come through this program and the talent level, many of who played in the NFL for quite some time, that is such an outstanding achievement so we are proud of him,” said Head Coach Kyle Whittingham. “He did a great job tonight. Those yards were tough hard-fought yards — there were no easy yards out there tonight. I’m proud of Zack for who he is as a person more than anything else, he is just a great person, he’ll have his degree in December and just can’t say enough good things about him, so congrats to Zack.” 

Moss’s main goal for the game was not breaking the record, but avenging what happened last season.

“I knew the defense was going to get us the ball back some way,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about it [the record], I just wanted to make sure we got this win. If I had 40 yards, 30 yards, as long as we win was the biggest thing for me. But this is nice too.” 

Moss finished the game with 2 touchdowns, 99 rushing yards and 78 receiving yards as well. Jaylen Dixon accounted for the other Utah touchdown. 

It seemed to be a rough night for quarterback Tyler Huntley, who threw his first interception of the season. Huntley also had one of three Utah fumbles on the night. 

Both Moss and Demari Simpkins fumbled as well for the team. 

Huntley did not play in the fourth quarter due to an injury, but in the first three quarters, he was 12-19 for 171 yards. 

The Utah defense played lights out according to Whittingham. True freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels was 4-18 on the night for 25 yards and was sacked three times. 

Bradlee Anae was the one to sack Daniels all three times tonight. 

“I told him before the game ‘You’re going to get three sacks tonight’ and I’ll be darned he got ‘em,” Whittingham said. “He is in my estimation the best edge pass rusher in the Pac-12 and he showed it tonight. 

It was the Utah defense’s goal to make Daniels uncomfortable for the whole game. 

“Watching film from last year we knew what type of offense they were,” said Leki Fotu. “Especially this year with that quarterback, we were just trying to keep him in the pocket and just trying to do our job to apply pressure to make him have those bad throws.”

Utah not only broke a record for their own program, but they also snapped a decade long streak for ASU. Heading into today’s game ASU had scored at least 10 points in every game for the last ten years, but that streak ended tonight. This was the longest record in FBS history. 

“So we got that going for us which is nice,” Whittingham said. “I bet you didn’t know that Herm Edwards was 9-0 since he got to Arizona State when they had the ball first in a game and got the kickoff. They were, now they are 9-1.” 

The Utes will be back home next Saturday for a north versus south showdown with Cal. 


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