Utah Football Drops Shootout at Oregon State

Junior+center+Nick+Ford+and+junior+wide+receiver+Solomon+Enis+walking+along+side+running+back+Micah+Bernard+out+of+the+tunnel+at+the+game+against+Arizona+State+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Oct.+16%2C+2021.+%28Photo+by+Jonathan+Wang+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29%0A

Jonathan Wang

Junior center Nick Ford and junior wide receiver Solomon Enis walking along side running back Micah Bernard out of the tunnel at the game against Arizona State in Salt Lake City on Oct. 16, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Wang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Assistant Sports Editor

 

The University of Utah football team lost a close game on Saturday evening to the Oregon State Beavers. Utah played well in the first half but fell apart in the second and lost their first Pac-12 game of the season.

Utah started off the game strong, marching down the field for a touchdown in just under three minutes. A few penalties on Oregon State helped the Utes to an easy score, the drive capped off with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Rising to running back Micah Bernard. 

The defense suffocated the Beavers on their next drive, forcing a three-and-out quickly and easily. The Beavers’ punt was nearly blocked, and they were so backed up into their own end zone that the Utes had excellent field position to begin their second drive, starting inside Oregon State territory. Another quick drive put Utah up 14-0 after a touchdown pass to Brant Kuithe from Rising. 

Utah’s defense had a few missteps following the score, allowing the Beavers to gash them down the field for a long scoring drive. A 13-play, six-minute possession got Oregon State into the end zone with a score from Anthony Gould.

Utah’s next drive ended in a field goal after the Beavers stuffed them on 3rd down at the 11-yard line. A seven-and-a-half-minute drive finishing without a touchdown was not ideal, but getting some more points on the board pushed the lead to 17-7.

Oregon State’s BJ Baylor then ripped off a huge 68-yard rush to set up a quick score for the Beavers, making it 17-14 Utah.

Both teams turned it over on their next tries, Utah failing on 4th down and Oregon State fumbling it away. Utah took the chance to score, running four plays on the back of Tavion Thomas, who took it in for a three yard touchdown.

That took Utah to halftime up 24-14.

To begin the second half, Oregon State took a 75-yard drive to the end zone. A touchdown was called back for a holding penalty but they quickly scored again, Chance Nolan passing to Trevon Bradford.

Oregon State’s biggest play of the night came on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. Riley Sharp blocked the punt and Luke Musgrave took it to the house to give the Beavers the lead.

A targeting penalty on OSU’s Jaydon Grant helped Utah on their next drive, and a big catch by Jaylon Dixon for 29 yards put them in scoring position. Thomas punched it in from one yard out to retake the lead.

Devin Lloyd was called for a controversial targeting penalty which set up the Beavers to score on their next drive; Bradford from 10 yards out.

Oregon State blocked another punt by Utah but a penalty negated the play and gave the Utes a first down. It was a huge, game-swinging call to extend Utah’s possession and take away OSU’s chance to score. Utah missed a field goal after they were gifted the ball back.

Oregon State again scored on their next possession, continuing an electric second half on offense. Utah found themselves down 42-31 with under 10 minutes to play.

Utah was stopped on 4th and goal to cut the lead to one possession on the following drive. An incomplete pass to Britain Covey turned the ball over and Oregon State could smell victory.

The Utes did make a field goal to cut it to a one-possession lead, but it was too late as there was no time left to get the ball back. Game over, 42-34.

Utah now moves to 4-3 overall, 3-1 in Pac-12 play. They face UCLA next week at home as they look to stay afloat in the Pac-12 South, which is still very much in play.

 

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