Whether credit goes to the Stanford defense or blame gets put on the absence of Utes injured quarterback Tyler Huntley, the Utes offense lacked a finishing kick on Saturday night.

Utah settled as many field goals than touchdowns, and senior quarterback Troy Williams threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter in a 23-20 loss to Stanford at Rice-Eccles Stadium that removes Utah (4-1) from the ranks of the undefeated and drops its record to 1-1 in Pac-12 play.

“We didn’t do enough good things to win that game,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Scoring 20 points, you might win two or three games a year scoring 20 points so we’ve gotta score more. Zero takeaways on defense. You can’t win games when you’re minus-two in the turnover margin. That’s unlike us, very unlike us.”

Huntley, the sophomore first-year starter who awed Utes fans with his dual-threat ability, was in street clothes on the sideline. The senior second-year co-captain Williams made his first start of the season but couldn’t lead the offense to the end zone enough. He completed 20 of 39 passes for 238 yards and one touchdown, and rushed for 24 yards.

Zack Moss led the Utes ground game with 79 rushing yards, while star wide receiver Darren Carrington II made seven second-half receptions for a team-high 99 yards after being held without a catch in the first half.

“You can’t put defense on the field that much especially how much they ran the ball and the guy who was back there running the ball,” Moss said. “You can’t put them on the field that much. It’s on us tonight. We didn’t score enough points when we needed to to put them away, so that’s on us as an offense.”

The Utes’ defense held Stanford’s explosive running back Bryce Love, who came in averaging 217.6 rushing yards per game, to 66 first-half yards on 11 carries before he got loose in the second half on a 68-yard touchdown run that provided the winning margin. Love finished with 150 yards.

The Utes’ only touchdown drive came on a five-play, 50-yard drive after the Cardinal punted from deep in its own territory. Following a pass interference call on a pass to Raelon Singleton in the end zone, Moss capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown up the middle. The Utes took a 7-3 lead into the second quarter.

The Cardinal grabbed a 10-7 lead with 9:35 remaining in the second quarter. Keller Chryst completed a 25-yard pass to Trenton Irwin on third-and-10 on the key play of the drive. Love broke free for a 39-yard run to the Utah 7-yard line on the next play, and then he served as a decoy as Chryst darted in for a 7-yard touchdown run.

Matt Gay, who missed his first field goal of the season in the first quarter, tied the score at 10 with three minutes left before halftime. Gay had made his first 14 field goals of the season prior to his first miss, which came from 50 yards. Gay went down on the play after being hit by a rusher, and Whittingham exploded on the sideline to earn a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Stanford kicker Jet Toner’s 46-yard field goal with six seconds left in the first half gave the Cardinal a 13-10 edge going into halftime.

The Utes shot themselves in the foot to start the second half after a three-and-out, as a low snap fumbled by punter Mitch Wishnowsky led to the Cardinal starting their first possession at the Utah 15-yard line. However, the defense limited the Cardinal to three yards on three plays to force another field goal by Toner as the visitors took a 16-10 lead with 11:26 left in the third quarter.

Gay’s second field goal of the night, a 30-yard kick with 3:35 left in the third quarter, pulled the Utes within 16-13. The margin remained three points into the fourth quarter until Love’s touchdown sprint with 12:02 remaining put the Utes’ deficit into double figures.

The Utes drove to the Stanford 30 on their ensuing drive, but Williams threw the first of back-to-back interceptions.

“I just have to play better, bottom line,” said Williams, who drew two targeting calls from Stanford defenders for helmet-to-helmet hits late in the fourth quarter. “I have full confidence in my offensive line. I just need to play better.”

Williams and Carrington connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left, but the Utes couldn’t recover the onside kick.