Utah football: Utes hold off Buffs 42-35 in season finale
College Football • Reggie Dunn clinches the win with 100-yard kick return with 5:29 left
Published: November 23, 2012 06:06PM
Updated: December 5, 2012 05:46PM
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Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Utes wide receiver Dres Anderson (6) celebrates his first quarter touchdown with teammate wide receiver Luke Matthews (11) as the Colorado Buffaloes host the University of Utah Utes, college football Friday November 23, 2012 in Boulder.

Boulder, Colo. • Utah’s football season, coined a “work in progress,” by coach Kyle Whittingham, left one last reminder of how far the program must go before it can join the Pac-12’s elite group of teams.

Utah held off Colorado 42-35 in their so-called “rivalry” game with the Buffs on Saturday at Folsom Field, but needed late-game heroics from kick returner Reggie Dunn to pull it off.

Playing arguably the worst team in college football, the Utes struggled to stop an offense that averaged just 16.3 points and labored to move the ball against a defense that has given up an average of 46.4 points per game.

Hoping to at least win one road game this year and end the season in convincing manner, the Utes instead were almost humiliated by the Buffs for a second straight year.

Utah was saved from embarrassment when Dunn ran for his record fourth 100-yard return of the season, giving Utah a 42-35 lead with 5:29 to go.

If the Utes didn’t consider their matchup against Colorado a rivalry, perhaps they will now, considering the way the Buffs have played them.

Last year Colorado’s 17-14 win in Salt Lake City ended Utah’s hopes of advancing to the Pac-12 title game.

Friday’s game would have rubbed salt into the wound.