Utah Utes football: Utes lose painful heartbreaker to Colorado, 17-14
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Friday was a painful day in multiple ways for the University of Utah football team.
The Utes' hopes for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship — and ultimately the Rose Bowl — were crushed in a 17-14 loss to Colorado at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Utah kicker Coleman Petersen will be kicking himself after this one. He missed all three field goals, including two game-tying attempts in the fourth quarter — the first from 26 yards out and the last from 48 yards away with two seconds remaining.
With the loss, the Utes fell to 7-5 and 4-5 in the Pac-12 and will have to wait for a non-BCS bowl invitation.
Colorado, meanwhile, snapped its 24-game road losing streak by beating its new Rocky Mountain rival in perhaps its best game of the season.
The painful game was an injury-filled one for Utah, which lost running back John White IV (left ankle), offensive lineman Sam Brenner (neck) and defensive lineman Joe Kruger (right ankle) in the second half.
White's injury happened shortly after he climbed up to No. 2 on the Utes' single-season rushing ladder.
Incidentally, White was carted off the field while medical personnel attended to Brenner on the turf.
With a somber stadium not knowing the severity of Brenner's injury, the junior from Oceanside, Calif., was braced and gently lifted onto a stretcher.
After coaches and teammates wished him well, the 45,000-plus fans erupted when Brenner lifted his arm prior to being placed in the ambulance on the 50-yard line.
Soon after the ambulance headed to the hospital, Utah announced that Brenner had suffered a neck injury but that he had full movement.
No other specific details were immediately given on any of the injuries.
Utah senior running back Tauni Vakapuna filled in nicely for White, rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown in his final home game.
Dubbed the Rumble in the Rockies, much of the game was more like a Stumble in the Rockies for Utah.
In seeing their four-game winning streak snapped, the Utes only amassed 274 yards of offense compared to 373 yards for Colorado.
The Utes were shut out on the scoreboard and shut down offensively by an inspired Colorado team, which took a 10-0 lead at halftime.
The Utes only picked up one first down and 39 yards of offense in the first two quarters.
Meanwhile, Colorado (3-10, 2-7) piled up 254 yards against Utah's usually stingy defense. The Buffs had 13 first downs as well.
Colorado's Tyler Hansen gave the Buffs a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter on a 1-yard run, and Buffs kicker Will Oliver padded the edge with a 23-yard field goal.
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