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Utah football notebook: Utes fail to register a sack

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23 2013 8:40 p.m. MST

Washington State running back Marcus Mason (35) slips a Utah tackle-attempt during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Pullman, Wash. (Dean Hare, AP) Washington State running back Marcus Mason (35) slips a Utah tackle-attempt during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Pullman, Wash. (Dean Hare, AP)

PULLMAN, Wash. — For the first time this season, the Utah Utes failed to register a sack in a game. The national leaders with 36 were unable to get to Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday.

“The quarterback got rid of the ball before we could get a lot of pressure to him,” said Utah defensive end/linebacker Trevor Reilly.

In last season’s 49-6 win over Washington State at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah’s defense recorded six quarterback sacks.

Neither team had a sack this time around.

NO BOWL, AGAIN: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham acknowledged he was very disappointed that the Utes won’t be going to a bowl game for the second straight season. The loss to Washington State dropped them to 4-7 overall and 1-7 in Pac-12 play.

“I want to get into a bowl game for the seniors. It’s all about the players, not the coaches,” Whittingham said. “It’s about the players, and it’s hard to deal with when they’re not going to be able to go to a bowl game.”

Washington State wide receiver Dom Williams (80) and Utah defensive back Justin Thomas (12) fight for the catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. Williams controlled the ball for the catch. (Dean Hare, AP) Washington State wide receiver Dom Williams (80) and Utah defensive back Justin Thomas (12) fight for the catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. Williams controlled the ball for the catch. (Dean Hare, AP)

The Utes close out the season Saturday at home against Colorado.

FACILITY FACELIFT: Martin Stadium has undergone major renovations since Utah’s visit here in November 2011. The $80 million “Cougar Football Project” has replaced the old press box with a new structure that includes a new place for the media, as well as club seats, loge boxes, luxury suites and a club room.

Construction is now underway on a $61 million, 84,000-square-foot Football Operations Building in the west end zone.

EXTRA POINTS: The attendance was 23,112. … Linebacker Jared Norris and cornerback Davion Orphey did not make the trip because of undisclosed injuries. … Whittingham confirmed that tight end Westlee Tonga and linebacker Brian Blechen will be back next season after using redshirts this year dues to injuries. … Linebacker Jason Whittingham and defensive back Reggie Porter had fumble recoveries for Utah. The Utes now have 10 on the season. … Sophomore kicker Jon Halliday made his Utah debut by handling the opening kickoff. … Sophomore Daniel Nielson blocked his second PAT of the year in the second quarter. … This was the final home game for 19 Washington State seniors. The Cougars close out the season next week at Washington. … Southern Utah played in Pullman on Sept. 14, dropping a 48-10 decision to WSU.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach, center, talks to his defense after Utah scored during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 49-37. (Dean Hare, AP) Washington State head coach Mike Leach, center, talks to his defense after Utah scored during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 49-37. (Dean Hare, AP)

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