SPORTS

Moss leads No. 7 Utah to 35-7 victory over Arizona

Nov 24, 2019, 10:03 AM
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 02: Tyler Huntley #1 hands the ball off to Zack Moss #2 of the Utah ...
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 02: Tyler Huntley #1 hands the ball off to Zack Moss #2 of the Utah Utes against the Washington Huskies in the first quarter during their game at Husky Stadium on November 02, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Zack Moss was barreling through the line for big gains nearly every time he touched the ball.

Tyler Huntley’s passing was almost flawless. Utah’s defense was dominant, making one of the Pac-12’s top rushing teams look extremely average.

Another weekend, another blowout.

And now, Utah is the last team standing in the Pac-12’s quest for a spot in the College Football Playoff after crushing Arizona 35-7 on Saturday night.

Utes coach Kyle Whittingham undeniably has his team playing at a high level. So at this point, he’s just guarding against complacency.

“Never take winning for granted,” Whittingham said. “Don’t get bored with winning.”

The Utes looked plenty interested on Saturday, bringing their usual brand of physical football. The 5-foot-10, 222-pound Moss ran for a season-high 203 yards and averaged 7.8 per carry.

Utah (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12, No. 7 CFP) has won seven straight games and is the league’s lone playoff hope after No. 6 Oregon lost to Arizona State 31-28 earlier on Saturday.

But players say they aren’t scoreboard watching.

“It’s going to take care of itself,” Utah linebacker Francis Bernard said. “As we continue to do our job, winning games, dominating, our team believes that the committee is going to make the decision and we’ll just leave it at that.

“We can’t do anything but continue to do our thing.”

Utah’s defense held an opponent to seven points or fewer for the fifth time in six games. Arizona managed just 196 total yards and a big chunk of those came in the fourth quarter when most backups were playing.

Huntley completed 19 of 23 passes for 211 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Tight end Brant Kuithe ran for two touchdowns on two carries. He had just one carry all season before Saturday.

The Utes dominated the first half, gaining 291 total yards to Arizona’s 56. They scored on Kuithe’s 3-yard touchdown and Huntley’s 3-yard pass to Demari Simpkins to take a 14-0 lead by halftime.

Utah had a great chance to score a third touchdown just before the break but was stopped at the 1-yard line as time expired. The defensive stand gave the Wildcats a little momentum heading into the second half until Moss ran for a 41-yard touchdown on the opening drive to leave little doubt about the outcome.

“We felt like they were hanging around a little too much,” Moss said. “The score was only 14-0, but we were doing a lot of good things on offense. We just wanted to come out and put some points on the board, so that’s what we did.”

Arizona (4-7, 2-6) has lost six straight. J.J. Taylor ran for 33 yards on 10 carries.

“That’s a good football team we played,” coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively.”

TATE’S SENIOR DAY

It was senior day for Arizona players, including quarterback Khalil Tate, who is close to concluding an up-and-down college career.

He was a breakout star in 2017 when as a sophomore he threw for 1,591 yards and 14 touchdowns and also ran for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns.

But coach Rich Rodriguez was dismissed following that season and Sumlin could never get the same results out of Tate, who has mostly regressed during his final two seasons. He’s split time with freshman Grant Gunnell this fall.

Neither quarterback had much success against Utah. Tate was 6-of-11 passing for 39 yards and Gunnell was 8-of-16 for 96 yards and had a 7-yard rushing touchdown.

ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR MOSS

Moss reached 1,000 yards rushing for the season in the first quarter. He’s now run for at least 1,000 yards the past three years, including 1,173 as a sophomore and 1,096 as a junior.

THE TAKEAWAY

Utah: The Utes did what they do best, combining a grinding, efficient offense with a shutdown defense. After Penn State and Oregon lost, they should be in a better position to potentially grab a CFP spot.

“Don’t care,” Whittingham said. “Doesn’t matter. We have our hands full with Colorado. We’ve got to try to figure out how to make a first down next week. That’s our objective. Whatever else is happening is none of our business.”

Arizona: It was another tough Saturday for the Wildcats, who couldn’t get Taylor going in the run game. Arizona ends its season on the road against rival Arizona State, which is coming off a huge win over No. 6 Oregon.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Utes should at least push past Oregon, which was a spot ahead in the rankings.

UP NEXT

Utah hosts Colorado next Saturday.

Arizona visits Arizona State next Saturday.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Sports

utah jazz educator award winners...
Andrew Gordon

Spanish Fork teacher is year’s first Jazz “Most Valuable Educator”

The Jazz "Most Valuable Educator" honor comes with a custom Jazz jersey and $1,000 grant for the winning teacher's classroom.
3 days ago
A fundraising effort has begun to raise $100 million to help redevelop the Ballpark neighborhood of...
Randall Jepson

Council chair weighs in on the future of Smith’s Ballpark

Ballpark Community Council Chair Amy Hawkins sees future green space and a place for people to relax at the site of Smith's Ballpark.
3 days ago
girls play tackle football...
Randall Jeppesen

Girls’ tackle football lawsuit reinstated

Several girls filed a lawsuit in 2017 to get three Utah school districts to create tackle football teams for girls.
11 days ago
A fundraising effort has begun to raise $100 million to help redevelop the Ballpark neighborhood of...
Simone Seikaly

Salt Lake Bees baseball relocating to new field in Daybreak in 2025

The new Bees baseball stadium will be privately financed by owner, The Larry H. Miller Company, and is expected to be completed by the 2025 season.
11 days ago
A Snow College student-athlete died Monday morning in a two-car accident on SR-132. Photo credit: U...
Samantha Herrera

Snow College softball player dies in car accident

Snow College student and athlete Paige Rydalch reportedly died in a car crash Monday morning. She was an infielders on the school's softball team.
12 days ago
Hamlin is breathing on his own and speaking to family, physicians and teammates -- positive updates...
Elizabeth Wolfe, Jacob Lev and Adrienne Broaddus, CNN

‘Keep praying for me’: Damar Hamlin, breathing on his own, posts on Instagram for the first time since collapse

Hamlin is breathing on his own and speaking to family, physicians and teammates. Positive updates Bills players say.
21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Moss leads No. 7 Utah to 35-7 victory over Arizona