Utes' bowl hopes end in 49-37 loss to Washington State
Pullman, Wash. • Utah is doomed to have a second consecutive losing season, after falling 49-37 to Washington State on Saturday at Martin Stadium.
Having trailed 21-0 in the first quarter, the Utes cut the lead to 43-37 early in the fourth quarter with Adam Schulz's 64-yard touchdown pass to Jake Murphy. Utah got the ball back, but was forced to punt after picking up one first down. WSU then struck with Connor Halliday's 71-yard TD pass to Dom Williams with 4:42 remaining. A two-point attempt was unsuccessful.
Utah's last drive ended with a fourth-down incompletion at the WSU 21-yard line.
The Utes (4-7) last suffered two straight losing seasons in 1989 and '90, during the transition from Jim Fassel to Ron McBride. Utah's five-game losing streak is the longest in coach Kyle Whittingham's nine-year tenure.
The Cougars (6-5) are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2003.
Utah recovered from a disastrous start, but Washington State still took a 33-20 lead at halftime.
WSU's Andrew Furney kicked a 52-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
The Utes fell behind 21-0 after allowing a touchdown on WSU's opening drive, then having two interceptions of Schulz's passes returned for touchdowns on consecutive possessions.
Utah responded with two touchdown runs by Kelvin York to make it 21-14, before WSU pushed its lead to 30-14 via a field goal and Halliday's 9-yard TD pass to Marcus Mason (the extra point was blocked).
Utah's Dres Anderson caught a 3-yard TD pass from Schulz with 1:19 remaining in the half (the extra point was botched).
The Utes later trimmed the lead to 36-30 in the third quarter on Schulz's 11-yard TD pass to Murphy, but WSU answered with a four-play scoring drive.