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Utah football: Red-hot Utes beat UCLA 31-6

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 8:14 a.m. MDT

Players celebrate as the University of Utah defeats UCLA 31-6 in PAC 12 football Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Salt Lake City,  Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Players celebrate as the University of Utah defeats UCLA 31-6 in PAC 12 football Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah football team gave UCLA a chilly reception for the Bruins' first visit to Rice-Eccles Stadium Saturday as a member of the same conference.

Utah earned its third consecutive Pac-12 victory, walloping the Southern California visitors, 31-6, in a game played in the frigid air and on a slippery, snow-covered surface.

Junior running back John White led the charge for Utah, scoring three touchdowns and racking up 167 rushing yards in the blowout.

The victory improved Utah's record to 6-4 (3-4 Pac-12), making the Utes bowl-eligible for the 10th year in a row.

Cornerback Conroy Black set up one of White's two rushing touchdowns with a second-half interception. Black followed that with a 67-yard pick-six to put the game away for Utah in the fourth quarter.

Utah Utes defensive back Conroy Black (9) returns an interception for a touchdown as the University of Utah defeats UCLA 31-6 in PAC 12 football Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Salt Lake City,  Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah Utes defensive back Conroy Black (9) returns an interception for a touchdown as the University of Utah defeats UCLA 31-6 in PAC 12 football Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

UCLA (5-5, 4-3) struck first, scoring the only points of a ho-hum first quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Tyler Gonzalez.

That Bruin score came shortly after Utah punt return Griff McNabb fumbled the ball over to UCLA in the red zone. It was a victory for the Utes' defense to limit its SoCal visitors to a field goal.

The Utes maintained their momentum going into the locker room when Gonzalez missed a last second 47-yard field-goal attempt.

Utah appeared to have taken a double-digit lead in the second quarter, when defensive back Ryan Lacy scooped up a loose ball and raced 26 yards to the end zone.

The touchdown, however, was called back and UCLA given the ball back when the play was overturned. Replay officials ruled that Johnathan Franklin's elbow touched the turf prior to the turnover.

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