Utah lost more than a ballgame in its 29-27 loss Sunday to the Colorado Wildcats - the Catzz also lost a quarterback and receiver.
Just three plays into Utah's first offensive series, Catzz QB Paul Shoemaker collided with the wall directly in front of the Utah bench. To add insult to injury, he was whistled with intentional grounding.Suffering a concussion, Shoemaker left the game, giving way to backup Joe Borich.
Following a 3-yard touchdown run by Colorado's Cory Spence, Borich connected on an 11-yard pass with Greg Hooks, and with a face-mask penalty added on, Utah faced first-and-goal from the 7-yard line.
But the Catzz were unable to punch it into the end zone. Henry Bloomfield - the defensive lineman who doubles as short-yardage back and serves as Utah's version of "the Fridge" - was stopped short on fourth down.
Maybe it was the Catzz' early morning flight, but coach Gordon Hudson was not pleased with his team's slow start. "That shows what happens when you're not prepared to play," he said.
Following two quick scores by Colorado, Utah finally got on the scoreboard as Borich found a wide-open Tyler Anderson from 22 yards out with 4:19 left in the second quarter. But disaster struck on the Catzz's next series when Borich threw an interception that was returned to Utah's 4-yard line with less than a minute left in the half.
Colorado's Jason Torres ran a quarterback sneak to put the Wildcats ahead at the half 20-6.
"I struggled a little bit. I threw the key interception just before half to let them score", Borich said. "I think that really hurt. We fought back real well in the second half, but we shouldn't have been in that situation."
Borich hit Tyler Anderson on a 24-yard TD catch, as Anderson fought off the defender to cut the deficit to 20-13.
Anderson had two catches for two touchdowns, but he too would meet the wall. On a second-and-five as Anderson ran a crossing pattern toward the right side of the field, the defender, in trying to break up the play, slammed the Utah receiver into the sideline barrier, breaking Anderson's right arm.
With surgery likely necessary, Anderson is expected to miss the rest of the season.
On the next play, Terrance Keehan caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Borich to cut the lead to 27-20 with 13:06 left in the game. Following a two-point field goal by Colorado, Keehan once again was on the receiving end of a 15-yard touchdown pass, as the Catzz drew to 29-27 with 4:13 left.
The Catzz had one last chance to win the game. With time running down, Doug Beach attempted a 50-yard field goal - worth three points. On a controversial play, Colorado blocked the field goal with just nine seconds left. A Wildcat player ran outside of the offensive tackle in order to block the field goal - an illegal move by the defense. However, the officials let the play stand and ejected Utah's Vince Tauanuu for arguing the call.
The loss drops Utah to a 2-1 record for the season, while Colorado is 2-0. Utah has a bye next week before returning home to the UVSC McKay Center for a May 9 game.