SALT LAKE CITY — With its star running back and quarterback knocked out of the game in the first half, No. 13 Utah’s hopes for a special season seemed as dim as the dark clouds around Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday night.
The rain kept falling but the mood changed considerably, with Zack Moss returning to score two touchdowns and break the school rushing record and Tyler Huntley playing long enough to steady the Utes in a 21-3 victory over No. 17 Arizona State.
That said, it was the defense that stole the show on this rainy night.
“Our defense was lights out,” said Kyle Whittingham, a defense-first coach who admitted to exulting in the low-scoring affair. “I can’t remember a better defensive effort, certainly not as of late.”
The Utes (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) ended Arizona State’s modern-era record streak of 125 games with more than 10 points. The last time the Sun Devils were held under double-digits was a 28-0 loss to Southern California in 2008.
Moss was held in check most of the game as Arizona State (5-2, 2-2) keyed on the senior back. But Moss broke through the line and outraced the defense for a 32-yard touchdown run that broke the rushing mark with 5:24 left.
“It was an honor for us as a defense to get the ball back for Zack and then be able to witness history,” Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu said.
Moss ran for 99 yards on 25 carries to push his total to 3,264. Eddie Johnson set the previous record, running for 3,219 yards from 1984-88.
“If I had 40 yards, 30 yards, as long as we won that was the biggest thing to me,” said Moss, whose family was able to fly in from South Florida and witness the performance. “But (setting the record) was nice too . it was emotional to have them all here.”
UCLA 34, Stanford 16
STANFORD, Calif. — UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson wasn’t sure he was going to start Thursday’s game until just before game time. It turned out to be the best decision of the night.
Thompson-Robinson, using the bye week to help his recovery from a leg injury that caused him to miss a game, passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in helping UCLA end an 11-year drought against Stanford with a 34-16 victory over the Cardinal.
“I was day-to-day until tonight,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I had been practicing but I was told just before game time.
Thompson-Robinson passed for 192 yards and rushed for 66 as UCLA snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Cardinal, dating to 2008. Joshua Kelley rushed for 176 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown run and a 53-yard gain. Kyle Phillips caught 10 passes for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“A win is always good,” Thompson-Robinson said. “It goes back to getting together in the offseason and working on things like this.”
Jack West became Stanford’s third different starting quarterback of the season, the first time that’s happened since 1974. After early success, his inconsistent play led to a stalled offense.
“I’m always preparing to be the guy and this week happened to be the game,” West said. “It’s me making my first start but at the end of the day, it’s about execution, which is what we didn’t have.”
The Bruins (2-5, 2-2 Pac-12) scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, both passes to Phillips, to open a 14-3 lead with 4:48 remaining to play. It was UCLA’s first lead of more than seven points this season.
“I’ve seen that since the Washington State game,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “Dorian kept drives alive with his legs. He takes what the defense gives him.”
Stanford (3-4, 2-3) took the opening kickoff and drove 51 yards before Jet Toner connected on a 42-yard field goal. Toner suffered an apparent right knee injury on the ensuing kickoff and did not return. Punter Ryan Sanborn took over the kicking duties.
Thompson-Robinson was UCLA’s leading rusher in the first quarter, helped by a 39-yard scramble that led to the Bruins second score.
The Cardinal, meanwhile, lost 8 yards combined on their next three possessions as West was sacked on three consecutive third downs.
“It starts with good coverage and a good pass rush,” Kelly said. “We did a good job of creating pressure on the quarterback. It’s not often you can hold Stanford under 200 yards.”
Stanford’s Brycen Tremayne fell on a blocked punt in the end zone to make it 14-10. Spencer Jorgensen got his left hand on the punt.
The UCLA defense sacked West seven times, five in the first quarter. The Bruins had nine total sacks over their first six games. Stanford allowed 13 in its first six.
“The defense was a big part of a whole team effort,” Thompson-Robinson said.
JJ Molson added field goals of 43 and 49 yards in the third quarter. UCLA outgained the Cardinal by a 455-198 margin.
Stanford’s Cameron Scarlett rushed for 34 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run. West was 15 of 32 for 143 yards. He passed for 38 yards on Stanford’s first drive.
“It came to me having to play better,” West said. “There’s a lot I can learn from.”
Washington State 41, Colorado 10
PULLMAN, Wash. — Anthony Gordon passed for 369 yards and four touchdowns and Washington State rolled over Colorado 41-10 on Saturday, snapping the Cougars’ three-game losing streak.
Gordon threw a 4-yard TD pass to Max Borghi and a 22-yarder to Dezmon Patmon in the first quarter as the Cougars (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) jumped to a 14-0 lead, scored touchdowns on their first three drives and cruised to a needed victory. Gordon was 35-of-51 passing and connected with eight different receivers.
The WSU defense was excellent after weeks of getting of getting shredded. Colorado was limited to 320 total yards and quarterback Steven Montez was intercepted twice.
Borghi was also outstanding on the ground, rushing for 105 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter that gave the Cougars a 21-3 lead.
Montez was 16-of-30 passing for 129 yards. Alex Fontenot had 11 carries for 105 yards, but the Buffaloes’ only touchdown came on Laviska Shenault Jr.’s 6-yard TD run in the third quarter that pulled Colorado (3-4, 1-3) within 24-10.
But Gordon responded with a 44-yard TD pass to Brandon Arconado and hit Tay Martin for a 1-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.