SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah football team stopped BYU’s two-point conversion attempt with 18 seconds remaining to secure its sixth straight victory over BYU on Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, 20-19.
Utah (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) outgained BYU, 363 to 328, but the Utes overcame a 6-3 deficit in the turnover margin, which were Utah’s first turnovers in the series since 2011.
Seven different Utes caught passes as senior wide receiver Tim Patrick caught a touchdown pass, his third of the season, and went for 59 receiving yards on two catches. Tyrone Smith had a team-high 60 receiving yards on two catches.
Junior running back Troy McCormick led the team with 62 rushing yards on 10 carries, while freshman running back Zach Moss made his career debut with 58 rushing yards on 12 attempts.
Junior quarterback Troy Williams completed 14 of 23 pass attempts for 194 yards and a touchdown (three interceptions).
Junior linebacker Sunia Tauteoli came up with the first two interceptions of his score, including a 41-yard return for a score on the first play from scrimmage. He tied for second on the team with six tackles.
Senior cornerback Reginald Porter had the first interception of his career (12 career pass breakups) posted a team-high seven tackles, including 1.0 TFL.
Along with Tauteoli, Marcus Williams, Pita Taumoepenu and Cody Barton tied for second on the team with six tackles. Taumoepenu and Brian Allen also added 1.0 TFL, while Barton and Chase Hansen each registered 0.5 TFL.
Sophomore punter Mitch Wishnowsky had three punts for a 52.3 average (157 yards). He had two punts of 50+ yards and landed one punt inside the 20-yard line.
Senior placekicker Andy Phillips tied the school record for PATs with two PAT conversions against BYU. Phillips has 137 extra points in his Utah career, tying the record set by Louie Sakoda (2005-08). Phillips kicked a 47-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. He is 3-for-4 for the season and extended his school-record career field goals made to 66.
On the first play from scrimmage, Tauteoli returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown, the first interception and touchdown of his career.
Utah’s first possession of the game ended after one play when sophomore Raelon Singleton fumbled after a 13-yard reception that set up the BYU offense on the Ute 29-yard line. A Brian Allen sack pushed the Cougars back four yards and the Utes forced a 42-yard field goal attempt, which ended up being a fake with holder Mitch Juergens finding Corbin Kaufusi in the flat for a nine-yard pick up on fourth down.
Taumoepenu sacked Hill for a 12-yard loss that backed BYU to the 22 yard line that led to a 43-yard field goal by Oldroyd, which was good to make the game 7-3 in favor of Utah.
Troy Williams found Tyrone Smith on a square out for 11 yards for Utah’s initial first down before Harrison Handley gained eight yards on a pass down the left seam. Unfortunately, Joe Williams fumbled after a two-yard rush to give BYU possession on the Ute 37-yard line.
On BYU’s first play from scrimmage, a pass batted in the air by Pasoni Tasini was caught by BYU right tackle Ului Lapuaho, who ran down to the 33-yard line but an illegal block penalty moved them back to the 48. The Ute defense held BYU to another 42-yard field goal attempt, which was good, to cut Utah’s lead to one, 7-6.
Utah’s next drive began with tight end Evan Moeai gaining 15 yards on a seam route down the right hash mark, before Troy Williams threw his first interception as a Ute, which was returned 11 yards to the Utah 38-yard line.
An illegal block penalty on the return spotted the ball back the BYU 47-yard line for the Cougars ensuing series in which Utah forced a punt.
On the next series, Troy Williams rolled to his right when Patrick got loose down field for a 49-yard pass play down the middle of the field. Troy Williams rushed three times in the red zone and moved the ball to 4-yard line before throwing his second interception of the game, this one by BYU’s Kai Nacua in the end zone.
After BYU took its first lead of the contest (13-7) on a 35-yard touchdown run by Hill, McCormick, Utah answered with a solid drive centered around the run game. Kyle Fulksand Moss sparked Utah’s next drive with eight runs for 46 yards, which included a 13-yard pass to Handley, before Troy Williams found Patrick in the front corner of the end zone to put Utah back in front before halftime, 14-13.
Utah forced another BYU punt and struck for a 39-yard gain to Patrick down the east sideline to put the Utes on the Cougar 33-yard line to highlight a drive that ended in a 47-yard field goal by Phillips to put the Utes ahead, 17-13.
On BYU’s next drive, Dimick came off the edge and affected Hill’s throwing motion and forced Tauteoli’s second interception of the contest and gave Utah possession at BYU’s 49-yard line.
The Utes secured an interception for the second consecutive drive when Reginal Porter turned in his first career interception to once again give Utah excellent field position on BYU’s 49-yard line. Targeting penalties on the next drive prompted the ejections of Nacua and Austin McChesney as BYU took over on its own 3-yard line.
Utah forced a 3-and-out, but Boobie Hobbs misplayed a punt that BYU recovered on its own 49-yard line.
The Utes were able to get another 3-and-out and put together an 11:21 drive in the fourth quarter that went 19 plays and 78 yards resulting in a 29-yard field goal by Phillips. The teams traded pass interference penalties before a 17-yard rush by Moss on a first-and-20 counter play before a five-yard pass to Demari Simpkins converted the first down. The Utes then rushed on seven consecutive plays for a net of 31 yards before Troy Williams found Singleton for a 10-yard reception. Utah ran the ball four straight times for 10 yards before back-to-back receptions for 10 yards moved the Utes to the BYU seven-yard line to set up Phillips’ 29-yard field goal attempt that gave a 20-17 advantage to the home team.
In its final drive, BYU ran 13 plays and went 75 yards in 2:30 that was capped by a seven-yard TD run by Hill. The Utes were able to stop Hill in the backfield to prevent the two-point conversion and preserve the win.
The attendance of 46,915 was the fifth-largest crowd in school history and the 40th straight sellout at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Utah travels to San Jose State for its first road contest of the season on Saturday, Sept. 17. Kickoff from CEFCU Stadium is slated for 7:30 p.m. PDT on the CBS Sports Network.