Utes football: Utah's run game comes back to life vs. Cal
Thunder and lightning.
That's the tag-team label John White gave himself and fellow Utah running back Kelvin York.
Up until now, though, White's efforts as a meteorologist were lacking. However, the duo stormed all over the California Bears on Saturday night in a 49-27 Pac-12 victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"We pounded the defense," White said. "[We knew] it would open up eventually."
Utah (3-5, 1-4) entered the game against Cal (3-6, 2-4) among the Pac-12's worst running teams. The Bears' rush defense was also in the bottom half of the league.
Cal played to form, but the Utes regenerated what was a fallow ground attack as they pounded the Bears run defense.
"They were doing everything they showed [on film,]" White said. "We just took advantage and just got after it."
White, a 1,500-yard rusher a season ago, has been hampered by ankle injuries as well as an inexperienced offensive line.
His 413 yards this season netted only a 3.8 average with one touchdown. York, injured midway through the third quarter, had only 39 carries this season.
Utah nearly matched its measly season rushing average of 105 yards by halftime.
By game's end, White and York combined for 159 of Utah's 188 rushing yards, as well as three touchdowns.
The Utes' dedication to the run was highlighted during their final two drives of the first half and their opening possession of the third, leading to three touchdowns.
Nineteen of Utah's 28 plays during those scoring drives were on the ground. The time of possession left the Bears with just six plays in the second quarter. Utah's rushing success also served to open the pass attack, allowing Wilson more time to deliver.
"I was definitely more confident, I had more time in the pocket," he said. "It helped our team be more balanced."
Arguably Wilson's best pass as a Ute a pin-point 41-yard completion to Luke Matthews came during Utah's first drive of the second half. The pass led to a 10-yard touchdown run by White his second third-quarter score and a 35-6 lead.
A closer look
• John White and Kelvin York combine for 157 of Utah's 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
• White moved into 10th place all-time in rushing at Utah with 2,037 yards.
• Utah's ground game led to three consecutive scores in the second and third quarters.