USU, Utah Utes football: U. quickly snuffs out Aggies' upset hopes
That, too, proved to be short-lived.
Just 10 seconds passed before Utah's lead swelled to 17-7.
USU's Curtis Marsh, whose father also named Curtis Marsh is a former Utah receiver, fumbled the ensuing kickoff return after getting hit by Justin Taplin-Ross. Elijah Wesson picked up the loose ball and ran it back 10 yards for a touchdown.
Following another three-and-out effort by the defense, the Utes went on to increase their advantage, adding a 35-yard field goal by Sakoda with 10:23 to go in the second quarter.
Shortly thereafter, another opportunity arose.
On USU's next play from scrimmage, Utah defensive end Paul Kruger jarred the ball away from quarterback Diondre Borel on a sack. Derrick Shelby recovered it for the Utes on the Aggie 13.
Less than two minutes later, Sakoda kicked a 24-yard field goal to make it 23-7.
USU's fourth punt closed the next series and set the stage for Utah's sixth-consecutive scoring drive in the half.
The Utes used a little trickery along the way when Sakoda completed a 9-yard pass to R.J. Stanford on a broken play (it was supposed to be a punt) just inside Aggie territory. It kept what proved to be a 12-play drive alive. A 10-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Freddie Brown capped things off with only 23 seconds remaining in the half.
Utah led 30-7 at the break and held significant advantages in first downs (13-3), total offense (219-39) and time-of-possession (19:11-10:49).
The tide turned a bit early in the second half. Johnson was picked off by linebacker Paul Igboeli on the first play. After taking over on the Utah 24, USU managed to pick up one first down before settling for a 20-yard field goal by Peter Caldwell.
It failed to ignite a momentum shift, however.
The Utes responded to the first third-quarter points they've allowed this season when the offense got the ball back. Utah put together back-to-back touchdown drives to bookend another punt by the Aggies.
An 8-yard scoring strike from Johnson to tight end Colt Sampson and a 4-yard TD run by Asiata made it 44-10 with 4:39 to play in the third quarter.
Utah added two more touchdowns down the stretch when Asiata crossed the goal line from three yards out and Ray Stowers scored on a 2-yard run.Sakoda the capped all scoring with his seventh PAT, a career-best. He was also perfect in three field-goal attempts.
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