Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl with Utes and Rams

Utah Sporting News

Utah’s Nate Orchard

The University of Utah went to Las Vegas to take on the Colorado State Rams in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.  The 22nd ranked CFP Utes came out focused and beat the Rams 45-10. Kyle Whittingham is now 8-1 in bowls games as a head coach where Utah had won nine-consecutive bowl games to tie for the second-longest bowl win streak in NCAA history.

The first quarter saw Utah running on full throttle.  The Rams took the opening kickoff and Utah held them to a three and out.  Utah scored on their first possession with an 8 yard run by Travis Wilson for a touchdown.  That field position was setup on a handoff to Davonte Booker you handed the ball of to #9 who threw the ball backward to Travis Wilson across the field who in turn threw the ball 36 yards down the field to Kaelin Clay.

Utah Sporting News

Kyle Whittingham (photo Rob Gray)

The first quarter ended with Utah up 21-10 as Utah scored on a Travis Wilson pass to Delshawn McClellon for 16 yards and a Devontae Booker run for 60 yards for a touchdown.  CSU scored on their own trick play with a QB throwback for a touchdown and a 41 yard field goal.

The second quarter had the least scoring with a lone Utah field goal by Andy Phillips from 38 yards.

Utah started the second half with the ball and had the drive stall without scoring making the second half look like it was going to continue to be a low scoring half like the end of the first half.  The only score of the third quarter was for Utah on a Travis Wilson run for 15 yards to put the Utes up 31-10 with one final quarter to go.

Travis Wilson

Travis Wilson (photo Rob Gray)

The fourth quarter started out in Utah’s favor recovering a CSU fumble on the 12 yard line.  Travis Wilson ran for his third touchdown on the first play making his rushing total of 91 yards.  The next possession for CSU, a near sack puts a duck up in there air as Jacoby Hale intercepts the ball and runs it in to the 34 yard line.  Troy McCormick then ran for 19 yds to the 10 and Bubba Poole finished it off on the next play running the ball into the End Zone to put the Utes up 45-10 after the extra point.

Utah leads the nation in total sacks (52) and sacks per game (4.33).  Utah had three sacks at the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl by Sese Ianu, Nate Orchard and Jason Fanika.

Utah has been ranked No. 1 nationally in sacks for 10 straight weeks.  Senior defensive end Nate Orchard leads the nation sacks per game (1.46) and is second in total sacks (17.5).


Utes Fall to Wildcats 71-39 in Pac-12 Quarterfinals

IMG_0590LAS VEGAS – The University of Utah Running Utes fell to the fourth ranked Arizona Wildcats 71-39 in Pac-12 Quarterfinal play. The lopsided Arizona win broke several Pac-12 tournament records as the Cats crushed the Utes in the most lopsided game in Pac-12 tournament history. Arizona put its name in the record books by setting records for fewest points allowed, fewest field goals (12) and lowest shooting percentage (25).

IMG_0528The two teams played two close games during the regular season with one going to overtime.  The Wildcats were not going to mess around today with the pesky Utes. Nick Johnson scored 14 points, McConnell 13 and Gordon added 11 for Arizona, which shot 53 percent but the talk of the game was the amazing defense the Wildcats blanketed Utah with. The Wildcats were at their lane-jumping, contesting every shot and out hustling the Utes right until the end of the game.

IMG_0376The Wildcats held the Utes to 13 points in the first half, another record, and matched UCLA’s 32-point win over Oregon State in 2006 to move into Friday’s semifinals against Colorado.

Utah was led by forward Jordan Loveridge and Pac-12 first teamer Delon Wright whom who scored a dismal seven points on 1-of-4 shooting. The Wildcats held Utah to 5-of-19 shooting while forcing eight turnovers in the first half. Loveridge and Wright, who combine for over 31 points per game, took four shots and had no points between them.

The Utes are hoping for an invite to the NIT and could host at least one game in the tournament.