SPORTS

Utes get a little help over the weekend from Pac-12 teams

Oct 29, 2018, 6:56 PM | Updated: 7:46 pm
Utah Utes tight end Connor Haller (46) holds up the ball after scooping up a muffed punt by UCLA du...
Utah Utes tight end Connor Haller (46) holds up the ball after scooping up a muffed punt by UCLA during the University of Utah versus UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 16 University of Utah football team took care of business last Friday beating Pac-12 foe UCLA at the Rose Bowl Stadium 41-10 to improve to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

However, other games in the Pac-12 have given the Utes a little breathing room in its quest for a division title. Arizona State went to the Coliseum and beat USC 38-35 Saturday. The Trojans are the second place team in the South division and picked up its third loss.

The mayhem did not stop there either as Oregon State picked up its first in-conference win of the season beating Colorado on the road 41-34 dropping the Buffaloes’ conference record to 2-3.

Arizona hosted Oregon Saturday and the Ducks came in with a no. 19 ranking. The Wildcats swamped the Ducks 44-15. Former No. 15 Washington also lost a defensive battle to California 12-10.

What does this all mean? Some of the results from teams in the South division have given the Utes a slight cushion. If the Utes lose to Arizona State or Colorado they will have to rely on one of those teams losing along the way as they would have the tie-breaker. The Utes could drop a game to Oregon on November 10th and still be in the driver’s seat to win the South.

Washington State sits on top of the North division and the Utes lead the South.

(Courtesy Pac-12)

The win made the Utes bowl eligible and propelled them from a No. 23 to a No. 16 ranking, but linebacker Cody Barton says even with the cushion the team will not get too far ahead of itself.

“We’re playing each game like it’s our last game because to win the South, in our eyes, we’ve got to win every single game,” Barton said. “So each game is like the Super Bowl for us and we’re treating it like that.”

The game against the Bruins was the fourth straight 40-points or more outing for the Utes offense. Running back Zack Moss led the way rushing for a career-high 211 yards and three touchdowns.

“There’s a lot of confidence in the locker room,” said Moss. “It’s just flowing in the right direction.”

The Utes will look to continue to bring that swagger on the road when they take on Arizona State on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

 

 

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