The Utah Utes knew they needed strong efforts from every phase of their game to have a chance to beat the Stanford Cardinal Saturday. Boy did they deliver.
From Travis Wilson bouncing back from his performance of a week ago, to the breakout effort of running back Bubba Poole to the solid play of the lines and the physicality of the defense, Utah came through with a stunning victory over the Cardinal on Saturday.
A few of the highlights from the players and coaches.
First there was the coaching, with the Utes deciding to use running back James Poole on swing passes that hurt Stanford on the perimeter and also opened up holes inside.
"What we did game-plan wise was perfect," Wilson said. "We wanted to spread the ball to the perimeter more and that is hat we did. It worked like we wanted it to."
Wilson suffered a cut on his thumb but said he was fine. Mentally he is fine too, bouncing back from the six interceptions last week with a solid performance Saturday.
"He is tough as nails," Whittingham said. "I had a feeling he was going to come back and put it behind him and we talked all week long that not all those interceptions were on him and he bounced back with a lot of competitive spirit. It showed up tonight."
As for the lines, Whittingham said both the offensive and defensive lines "came to play."
"They were asserting themselves and coming together," he said. "We need to see that happen the rest of the season."
When it came to the end of the game, Whittingham said the Utes wanted to speed things up and put pressure on Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan.
"We went with a max blitz on the last play and we executed it well," he said.
All in all it was a great win for the Utes, one in which they can build on, the players said.
"It's a huge win but we expect to win close games," receiver Dres Anderson said. "We've been working hard for it all season and hopefully we can have a good season going forward."
- Lya Wodraska
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