The Utah Utes thought they had the defensive schemes they needed to slow Arizona's potent offense. Unfortunately, they needed a few more plays.
The Utes couldn't pull off a win Saturday, falling to the Wildcats 34-24.
The biggest problem for Utah was a defense that couldn't slow Arizona's rushing attack. Ka'Deem Carey rushed 26 times for 206 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Matt Scott was 12-for-27 for 160 yards and a touchdown.
For the Utes, quarterback Travis Wilson was 28-for-40 for 311 yards and two touchdowns in one of his best performances and John White rushed for 27 times for 112 yards.
Kudos to the Utes for taking some risks, unfortunately they were stung by the one that didn't work.
Facing a fourth-and-six on their own 39-yard line, the Utes faked a punt with punter Sean Sellwood throwing a pass to Mike Honeycutt.
Honeycutt was stopped four yards short of the first down and Arizona took over on Utah's 41-yard line.
The Wildcats needed just four plays to make the Utes pay with Ka'Deem Carey rushing for 20 yards on one play and Matt Scott connecting with Austin Hill in the corner of the end zone on an 18-yard touchdown pass to take a 31-24 lead.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the fake punt was designed well and that 'it was there.'
"The throw was just behind our guy," he said. "When he had to adjust back to catch the ball, that allowed the defender to catch back up, otherwise he was running for a lot of yards. It is what it is. That's football. You make some of those plays. You don't make some of them."
Ok, here are the grades
Overall - C -
The Utes needed to win to keep their bowl hopes alive but they failed to get the stops when they needed them most. Travis Wilson showed he can rebound from a bad game, too bad for him he won't have a bunch of bowl practices to continue that growth.
Offense - B+
Wilson was solid as was White, but the Utes couldn't get some key first downs in the fourth quarter. In an odd switch of circumstances, Arizona's defense came up with the stops when Utah's could not.
Defense - D
The Utes couldn't corral Carey, but the biggest issues was Utah's inability to stop Arizona when the Utes led 24-17. Rarely have the Utes failed to deliver in such situations, but giving up big runs has been an issue all year for Utah.
Special Teams - A
Coleman Petersen scores his first touchdown and kicks a field goal. For the first time in a long time there were no complaints here.
- Lya Wodraska
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