Tavion Thomas, Utes Run All Over Stanford


Jonathan Wang

Sophomore Tavion Thomas came up short to reach the end zone in a game against Washington State football in Salt Lake City on Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Wang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor


The University of Utah football team dominated Stanford on Friday night en route to a 52-7 victory. Running back Tavion Thomas had four touchdowns, all in the first half, for his second straight game finding the end zone four times. The school record for rushing touchdowns in a game is four, and Thomas has now done it twice to match multiple other players. 

The Cardinal could do little to stop the run, allowing 441 total rushing yards. Three Utah running backs finished with over 100 yards: Thomas, Micah Bernard and TJ Pledger. Pledger scored on a 96-yard rush near the end of the first half. 

The first half was a romp for the Utes, as they came out of the gate with five touchdowns on their first six drives, with a field goal to top off the seventh. The lone drive that did not end in a score was a fumble on a bad snap to Cameron Rising. 

Stanford really struggled to move the ball all night long, particularly in the first half. Backup quarterback Jack West struggled as he filled in for Tanner McKee, who was injured last week and didn’t play Friday. 

Utah’s defense was smothering, not allowing a score in the first half. Stanford’s first and only points came on a long drive to open the third quarter. 

Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd picked off West right on the goal line and took it in to seal a pick-six and continue the defense’s dominant night. The very next drive, Miki Suguturaga forced a fumble and Bernard scored on the ensuing drive, capping off a 52-7 rout of the Cardinal. 

It was a dominant showing from start to finish for the Utes, who had a large contingent of fans in attendance on the road. Many of the Stanford fans headed for the exits as Utah’s lead began to grow, leaving the stadium to mostly Utes as the blowout continued.

The win cements Utah as the enormous favorite to win the Pac-12 South. They’re multiple games up on the next closest team at this point, and a trip to Las Vegas to play in the Championship Game is looking more likely by the minute. 

The Utes will face 0-8 Arizona in Tucson next week on Saturday, Nov. 13. Oregon awaits as the Utes return home to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Nov. 20, a game that is likely a preview of the Pac-12 Championship.


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