If you turned on Friday night’s Stanford versus Utah football game just a few minutes late, there’s a good chance you probably missed a couple of scores by the Utes.
Utah was up 14-0 early in the first quarter and only added to that lead in the second quarter, heading into halftime with a 38-0 lead. The Utes looked like a serious Pac-12 title contender and this is the type of win that could get the Utes some respect from the College Football Playoff committee in Week 11.
Kyle Whittingham’s team locked up another bowl berth with the win, improving to 6-3 on the season while David Shaw and Stanford will have to win out to make the postseason.
What’d we learn from Utah’s bowl-clinching win?
3. Utah’s defense was smothering
Watching Utah dominate on the defensive side of the ball on Friday night was something special. Kyle Whittingham’s teams have been known for their defense over the years and Friday was no different as the Utes were all over the Cardinal on their own field.
It was evident pretty early on that the Utes were playing some elite defense and it continued for 60 minutes outside of a single touchdown by Stanford.
I came away really impressed with the Utah defense as it allowed just 167 total yards, 3.7 yards per attempt, 2.6 yards per carry, and forced two turnovers. On top of that, the Utes lived in Stanford’s backfield, recording five sacks and an incredible 15 tackles for loss. About a third of Stanford’s offensive plays resulted in losses of yardage.
Utah’s defense should strike fear into the remaining teams on the schedule.