Boom. The Utes have finally gotten the signature PAC-12 win they have been waiting for by knocking off the #5 ranked Stanford Cardinal by a score of 27-21. In a game that caught the attention of the entire country, Utah was able to make a statement to the rest of the conference that this team is for real. And for any people who weren't aware of how underrated this team was, have now been enlightened and might want to start paying attention to these Utes.
After suffering two close losses to Oregon State and UCLA, the Utes lined up across from the #5 team in the country and punched them in the mouth. The battle in the trenches had to be won by Utah if they wanted to win this game, and that's exactly what happened. Utah's defensive linemen had a great game against arguably one of the most talented offensive line's in the country. Both defensive ends Trevor Reilly and Nate Orchard had a good advantage with their quickness and made things tough on the Cardinal offense all game long, forcing 3 fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 sacks, and 2 TFL between the two of them.
Along with the D-line, the linebackers and DB's both did a solid job and limited the Cardinal to just 21 points (14 if you don't include the kick return by Montgomery), which was well below their near 40 PPG average coming into the game.
The offense did a great job against the very tough front 7 of Stanford, having success both running and passing the ball for a combined 410 yards. Travis Wilson had a great game, going 23/34 for 234 yards and 2 TD's, rarely stared down his receivers, and was making a lot of good decisions throughout the game. Coming off of his 6 interception game against UCLA, Wilson seemed to have shrugged off those 6 INT's and showed great poise by going in there and doing a great job managing his offense. Wilson made some big runs in crucial situations as well, continuing to show defenses that he is a threat running the ball as well as throwing it.
Bubba Poole had a fantastic game, dancing around tackles all game long on his way to 186 total yards on the game. While the offensive line and receivers did a good job blocking for Poole, he displayed great field vision and was able to create a lot of plays simply because of his vision. His elusiveness was on full display, making Stanford's defense look foolish at times trying to run him down.
Dres Anderson continues to have a fantastic junior year, catching 4 balls for 82 yards and a great 51 yard TD grab right over the head of Stanford's Devon Carrington. Chip in a 3 yard TD run by Dres in the 2nd quarter, and #6 turns in another very solid performance in 2013. Dres' athleticism has given opposing defenses trouble all season, as the junior is proving that he is an All-PAC-12 caliber wideout.
Freshman Andy Phillips is proving to have ice in his veins as the youngster knocked in field goals from 23 and 48 yards out, and is now 11-11 on FG attempts (4-4 from 40+), and 27-27 on extra points. Phillips has been a huge breath of fresh air for the Utes, as Phillips is the first kicker to show any sort of consistency since the king himself (Louie Sakoda) was with the Utes.
At the half way mark of the season, the Utes are 4-2 with a 1-2 PAC-12 record. Still remaining on the schedule are games at Arizona, USC, Oregon and Washington State. And home games against Arizona State and Colorado. With only 2 remaining home games, the Utes must take the show on the road and prove that they can win big games away from Rice-Eccles Stadium. A win in Eugene against arguably the best team in college football will be quite the task at hand for the Utes, but other than their game against Oregon, the Utes have a great shot at winning each of their remaining games on the schedule.
With what we have seen from the Utes in their first 6 games, I think the Utah fan base has a lot to look forward to in the second half of the season. This team has shown a lot of improvement over the course of the season, and I am very optimistic about what this team is capable of accomplishing.
Utah Upsets Stanford
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