37-16 Utes Win
Although the margin of victory was a touchdown or so closer than the Utes would have liked, overall Utah hit the marks they were hoping to in their first game with a new offense and a new quarterback. They outgained North Dakota 499-242, and showed flashes of an offense that looks like it has the potential to be smooth, aggressive, and efficient. It wasn’t everything Utah could have hoped for in a debut, but it was enough to turn some heads.
Tyler Huntley Shines
After a rocky start to the game, new true sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley found his rhythm and started racking up the stats. With 3 total touchdowns and 297 total yards of offense, Huntley justified the decision to put him in the game ahead of seasoned veteran and team captain Troy Williams. Huntley was electric in the run game and made sound decisions. The new connection to grad transfer Darren Carrington got off to a good start, as the wide receiver hauled in 10 catches for 127 yards and a score.
Defense Looks Dominant
It was an FCS opponent, so there’s only so many conclusions you can draw, but Utah’s defense looked every bit as good as it has been for the last few years. The front seven was spectacular and the secondary was athletic, disciplined, and totally in control. The Fighting Hawks finished with 2 yards per carry and a completion percentage of 45%. For the most part, the only thing that let them move the ball were penalties. The Utes were sloppy (and the refs flag-happy), picking up 11 penalties for 135 yards.
The Holy War is next. The 92nd meeting between Utah and BYU is the latest installment in one of the most heated rivalries in the nation. These games are often close, usually chippy, and always fun to watch. Utah travels about 45 miles south to Provo to take on BYU and seek their seventh consecutive win over their rival.