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Utah Football recap vs. BYU

In a game that lasted over four hours with a weather delay in the fourth quarter, the No. 14 Utah football team pushed past the Brigham Young Cougars to win 30-12, scoring 20 of its points off turnovers.

In a game that lasted over four hours with a weather delay in the fourth quarter, the No. 14 Utah football team pushed past the Brigham Young Cougars to win 30-12, scoring 20 of its points off turnovers.

Utah increased its win streak against BYU to nine games, tying the longest streak in the series for either team. The Utes have also won 12-straight season openers dating back to 2008.

The Utah defense shined throughout the game, holding BYU to just 104 yards of total offense in the second half and 300 overall that only included 92 yards on the ground.Julian Blackmon tied for the team lead in total tackles, racking up five along with Devin Lloyd while also grabbing his second career pick-six against the Cougars.

Francis Bernard also had his first career pick-six against his former team, finishing the game with four tackles that included 1.5 tackles for loss. Terrell Burgess, Javelin Guidry, Leki Fotu and Mika Tafua also recorded four tackles each with Tafua notching a sack as well.

On offense, Zack Moss powered the Utes with 29 carries for 181 yards and a touchdown, averaging a staggering 6.2 yards per carry while capturing his 12th career game in the 100-yard range. Tyler Huntley was 13-of-16 with no interceptions for 106 yards while Brant Kuithe led the Utes through the air with three catches for 37 yards.

Starting in the first quarter, the Utes forced the Cougars to turn the ball over on downs with Andrew Strauch putting Utah on the board first with a 41-yard field goal. The 3-0 lead was taken with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter after the Utes couldn’t find the red zone, ending a nine-play, 37-yard drive that took 4:34 off the clock.

Britain Covey put the Utes in great field position after a 40-yard punt return on their next offensive drive, but after Utah failed on a fourth down attempt, BYU regained possession. In a drive that started in the first quarter, the Cougars scored on a 32-yard field goal to even the score 3-3 with 14:15 left in the second quarter.

The Utah defense came up big with 10:17 left to play in the second quarter when Bernard picked off Zach Wilson and took it to the end zone for a 58-yard return, thanks in part to heavy pressure from Bradlee Anae. The defensive stop by Bernard, which was his fifth career interception and second as a Ute, gave Utah a 9-3 lead.

BYU inched closer with 5:52 left to go in the second quarter when they converted on a 37-yard field goal to make it a three-point game. The eight-play, 55-yard drive took 4:25 off the clock, making the score 9-6 for BYU’s second field goal of the game.

The Utes struck again with 9:47 remaining in the third quarter, putting together a strong drive that was kicked off by back-to-back first downs by Moss. Sophomore Jaylen Dixon wrapped up the 75-yard, 11-play drive with a two-yard rushing score to give Utah a 16-6 lead and his first career rushing touchdown.

The Utah defense continued to be a force in the fourth quarter as Tafua came up with his first career fumble recovery on the BYU 22-yard-line on a bad exchange, setting up Utah’s next scoring drive. Moss recorded 18 of Utah’s 22 rushing yards on the drive, including his four-yard rushing touchdown to give the Utes a 23-6 lead with 12:56 remaining in the quarter.

On the next BYU possession, it came down to the Utah defense once again as Blackmon notched Utah’s second pick-six of the game with a 39-yard return after Tareke Lewis tipped the Wilson pass in his direction. The interception return for a touchdown was Blackmon’s second-career pick-six, with his first coming against BYU in 2018, putting Utah up 30-6 with 12:25 on the clock in the fourth.

BYU jumped back on the scoreboard moments later, scoring on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:06 off the clock. The 10-yard rushing score cut the Utah lead to 30-12 with 9:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Just seconds later, rain and lightning began pouring down on LaVell Edwards Stadium, sending the game into an hour weather delay. The game resumed a few minutes after midnight with the Utes keeping possession on their own 25-yard-line.

Utah would hold on to the ball with running backs Moss and true freshman Jordan Wilmore sharing snaps to run out the remainder of the clock and secure the win.

The Utes will return to action when they host the Northern Illinois Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m. MT. The game will kick off in Rice-Eccles Stadium on the Pac-12 Networks.