Scout.com national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins had a chance to go watch a handful of big name…
Utah holds on to beat Colorado 24-17
Utah came out strong in the first half, establishing themselves as the better team by controlling both sides of the ball.
Utah's defensive line was impressive early as they pestered Colorado's true freshman quarterback Sefo Luifau into early mistakes that the Utes were able to capitalize on with scores. Redshirt freshman, Hunter Dimick was unstoppable off the edges as he forced serveral hurries and a forced fumble that help break the game open early for the Utes. Dimick and his cohorts LT Tuipulotu, Tenny Palepoi and Trevor Reilly dominated the line of scrimmage holding Colorado to just 48 rushing yards (net) while collecting three sacks.
Trevor Reilly proved to be the MVP for this game as he willed his way towards a win with two huge plays that changed the momentum of the game and ultimately sealed a Utah victory. The first was his huge 4th down stop that prevented Colorado from scoring after an Adam Schulz interception deep in Utah territory. The second was his final play as a Ute when he intercepted Luifau's final pass of the season, ending Colorado's threat of a tying the game late. You can't say enough about the type of player and captain Trevor Reilly has been for the Utes as he now sets his sights on a career in the NFL.
As for the secondary, coming into this game, one of the key matchups would be limiting Colorado's "all-world" receiver Paul Richardson. Richardson was certainly limited in the game by the Utes with only four catches for just 54 years, but he was also limited by several drops early in the game that could have negated the Ute's early momentum.
As for Utah's offense, Adam Schultz played fairly well in his first start at Rice Eccles, but he leaned heavily on juniors Jake Murphy and Dres Anderson to help him move the ball down the field. Murphy finished the game with 93 yards receiving, and proved to be Schulz's main target, even as Murphy continued to be double covered by the Colorado defense. Dres Anderson was solid in his play as well, making up for an early fumble deep in Colorado territory. He finished the game with seven receptions for 94 yards and became the seventh Ute to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
Murphy seems to be the difference maker that makes this Utah offense work and Utah fans should pray that he returns next year for his senior season.
Utah's offensive line has been up and down all year, but they performed well as Schulz had time to complete 19 of his 33 passing attempts for 233 yards. They also controlled the line of scrimmage by opening up big holes for a bruising rushing attach lead by Kelvin York who had his best game as a Ute. After playing 11 games with a "running back by committee" approach, the Utes stuck with York most of the game and fed him the ball a whopping 31 times for 135 yards.
This offense did enough to win, but they were not dominant and were fortunate that several near turnovers in the second half were overturned by replay.
This team and program are better than their counterparts in Boulder and all things considered this game was much closer than it should have been.
It's clear that this team has gotten more talented as they end their third season in the Pac-12, but depth is still a major issue and with the season coming to an end, recruiting is this program's number one priority. Expect to see the Utes make big headway in recruiting throughout December and into January as we move closer to signing day.
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