It was apparent early on in No. 11 Utah’s 31-0 victory over Big Sky opponent Idaho State on Saturday afternoon that it was gonna be a Zack Moss kind of day.
Like, first-play-from-scrimmage early.
The senior running back broke loose for a 38-yard rumble on the game’s initial offensive play. That set the tone for a 10-carry, 106-yard, one-touchdown performance that moved him up to No. 2 on Utah’s all-time rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns lists.
And while he is proud of his continuing march through the record books, he’s more interested in how it helps out the team, with him noting after the game that he’s already focused on ending the Utes’ 102-year-long streak of not beating USC in Los Angeles this Friday.
“It’s cool. It’s just a testament of how hard I work and how much I’ve prepared, and the guys around me that allow me to go out there do those things,” Moss said. “It’s really good, but … we just have a very, very big goal, and we’re not gonna let anyone get in the way of that, and history’s not gonna get in the way of that.”
His big-play ability was apparent throughout. After that first big gain, he had another on the Utes’ second drive, when he unleashed a 39-yarder. Before halftime, he’d eclipsed the century mark. Midway through the second quarter, with the game already well in hand, the Utah coaching staff had seen more than enough and pulled him from the game.
“Yeah, we wanted to shut him down at halftime at the latest,” said coach Kyle Whittingham. “I don’t know how many carries he had. Ten? We were trying to keep him below 15, so we were able to do that.”
Still, it was a productive 20 or so minutes for the Hialeah Gardens, Fla., native.
It was his 13th career 100-yard rushing game, giving him sole possession of third place. Only John White (who played for Utah from 2011-12) and Devontae Booker (2014-15) had more, with 14 apiece.
Moss’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone following that 39-yard run was the 27th rushing touchdown of his career, moving him past Eddie Johnson (1984-88) and into sole possession of second place on the Utes’ all-time list. He now needs four to tie and five to break the mark of 31 set by Del Rodgers (1978-81).
Then, in the second quarter, he surpassed Tony Lindsay (1977-80) for the No. 2 spot on Utah’s all-time rushing yards list. Moss now has 3,024 career rushing yards and is just 196 yards shy of breaking the program mark held by Johnson.
“Barring injury, he’s gonna put this thing way out of reach for No. 1. It’ll be tough for someone to come in and break that,” Whittingham said. “But that just tells you what Zack has meant to our program. Ever since he came in as a freshman, he’s been very productive for us. He had over a hundred yards today in a quarter and a half. We’re gonna lean on him pretty heavily the rest of the way.”
ZACK MOSS’ RUN FOR THE RECORDS
• Senior running back rushed 10 times for 106 yards and a touchdown vs. Idaho State.
• Moss now ranks second on Utah’s all-time career rushing yards (3,024) and rushing touchdowns (27) lists.
• He also has the third most career-games (13) of 100-plus rushing yards in program history.