Utah Football Rallies to Beat Washington State in Season Finale

University+of+Utah+Football+player+Devin+Lloyd+%28LB%2C+%230%29+after+sacking+the+opposing+quarterback+in+the+Utes%27+comeback+win+against+Washington+State+University+on+Dec.+18%2C+2020+in+Rice-Eccles+Stadium+in+Salt+Lake+City.+%28Photo+by+Jack+Gambassi+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah Football player Devin Lloyd (LB, #0) after sacking the opposing quarterback in the Utes’ comeback win against Washington State University on Dec. 18, 2020 in Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

 

It was a tale of two halves for the University of Utah football team as they came back from behind and beat Washington State 45-28 to finish off their 2020 season 3-2. The Utes end on a three-game win streak. 

The first half was definitely not the Utah team fans saw last week in Boulder. The team headed into the half trailing 28-7. Jake Bentley was benched towards the end of the half in favor of Drew Lisk. Bentley was 7-14 for 153 yards. His brightest moment of his brief stint as the starting QB for the Utes came in the second quarter when he connected with Britain Covey for a 91-yard touchdown pass. That TD is the second-longest in school history and the fourth-longest play from scrimmage in school history. Bentley was benched on the following drive after throwing a terrible interception. 

Ty Jordan also struggled, coughing up the ball once and only recording 48-yards at the half. Covey had 102-yards at the half, followed by Brant Kuithe, who had 50-yards. 

The Utah defense struggled in all fronts of the game. Allowing Jayden De Laura to throw for 188-yards. Max Borghi and crew rushed for only 100-yards but Borghi, De Laura and Devon Isom all had touchdowns. 

Last week the Utes finished their game versus Colorado without a single penalty. That was not the case this week as they had five penalties for 45 yards in the first half alone. 

But the team that went to the locker room didn’t come back. The Utes scored 38 unanswered points in the second half. The Utah defense also didn’t allow a score in the second half. They also only allowed 108 yards to WSU. Jordan recalled what the Utah coaches said to the team at halftime when they were down. 

“If you don’t want to go hard for the last 30 minutes of the game, stay in the locker room,” Jordan said. 

Lisk dealt in the second half, finishing the game with 152-yards on 15 completions. Postgame, head coach Kyle Whittingham gave Lisk the game ball. 

“I just knew it was time to go,” Lisk said. “This is what I worked all week at practice for, all offseason, the last four years. The biggest thing is these guys on the team: they trust me and I trust them and so there’s never a doubt in anyone’s mind, we just needed to go out and execute.”

Whittingham had nothing but praise for Lisk postgame, stating that this is something that has been years in the making. 

“Drew Lisk is one of my favorite players on this entire team,” Whittingham said. “He’s completely unselfish, he’s got a great attitude, he’s the epitome of a great teammate and all he wants to do is help the program in any way he can.”  

Jordan alone accounted for three of Utah’s second-half touchdowns. He finished the day with 154-yards on the ground. Bryan Thompson also found the back of the endzone on a beautifully executed play and defensive back Clark Phillips had a touchdown of his own after intercepting Jayden de Laura late in the fourth quarter. 

Phillips interception was one of four the Utah defense came away within the second half. Utah also cleaned up the penalties only having two in the second half. 

Covey finished the game with 134 receiving yards and the longest TD of the day. Kuithe finished with 61 yards. 

Devin Lloyd finished the game as the leading tackler with 10 total. He also had one sack and four TFLs on the day. Nate Ritchie had five total tackles, one TFL and one pass break up. Vonte Davis and Mika Tafua both recorded one sack today and also forced a fumble. Blake Kuithe recorded the other forced fumble for the Utes. 

Kicker Jadon Redding finished the game perfect on his six PATs. He also had a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.  

Even though the team is now bowl eligible according to the rules the Pac-12 put in place prior to the season, the team will not go bowling this year. Instead, they will call it a season and turn their focus to spring football. According to Whittingham, the team will meet on Tuesday to talk about future plans for the players. 

 

[email protected] 

@s_mora99