We just needed to find a way to make one more play there at the end. —Utah coach Kyle Whittingham
SEATTLE — And just like that, clinching bowl eligibility and getting a win over 15th-ranked Washington evaporated for the Utah Utes.
Tristan Vizcaino’s 38-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Huskies to a 33-30 victory over the Utes late Saturday night at Husky Stadium.
"That was a tough one. I'm proud of the way our guys played and hung in there," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "We just needed to find a way to make one more play there at the end."
The Utes (5-6, 2-6) gave up two scores in the final 58 seconds in a missed bid to become bowl-eligible. They can still do so with a victory over Colorado next weekend at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"We have one more opportunity," Whittingham said. "We all know if we can win the next one we can get to a bowl game. And so that is the objective. It's been the objective for couple of weeks now and that's where we're at."
Utah's offense put together a solid effort against the Pac-12'a top-ranked defense. The Utes racked up 410 yards and 22 first downs in the setback.
"I thought our offense played really well," Whittingham said. "I'm very proud of the offense."
Quarterback Tyler Huntley, who passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns, insisted it wasn't enough.
"We lost the game," he said.
Although the game was played in chilly conditions, things heated up after an exchange of punts Washington broke through first, scoring on a 9-yard run by Myles Gaskin with 7:11 remaining in the opening quarter. The Huskies cashed in on a short field created by Dante Pettis, who gave them possession on the Utah 32 after a 19-yard punt return.
Trailing 6-0 after Vizcaino missed the PAT, Utah responded on the ensuing possession. The Utes ran nine plays and took four minutes off the clock en route to taking the lead. A 40-yard touchdown pass from Huntley to Raelon Singleton was followed by an extra-point kick by Matt Gay.
Utah remained aggressive with an onside kick. It was recovered by kicker Mitch Wishnowsky and led to a another lengthy scoring drive by the Utes. A 28-yard field goal by Gay capped a 10-play march that lasted more than five minutes and made the score 10-6 early in the second quarter.
Prosperity, though, didn’t last long. Washington retook the lead just over three minutes later on a 6-yard scoring strike from Browning to tailback Lavon Coleman. Vizcaino made the PAT this time as Washington pulled ahead 13-10 with 9:45 remaining in the half.
It stayed that way for a while despite Huntley's being intercepted by safety Taylor Rapp near midfield. Utah’s defense answered that challenge by forcing a punt after three plays.
Each team did, however, add a field goal before the half was complete. Washington scored on a 34-yard kick by Vizcaino, and Utah answered with a 44-yarder by Gay.
Besides a 16-13 lead, Washington held a slim advantage in total offense (176-163) at the break.
Utah came out throwing in the second half. Huntley completed a 25-yard pass to Zack Moss and a 31-yard throw to Demari Simpkins on a scoring drive that resulted in a 25-yard field goal from Gay. The kick evened the game at 16-16 with 11:33 to go in the third quarter.
Vizcaino had a chance to put the Huskies back on top a few minutes later, but his 30-yard field attempt was wide left.
That’s when the game turned to touchdowns instead — until the decisive kick.
Utah went first and took a 23-16 lead on an 11-yard pass from Huntley to Singleton and another PAT from Huntley. The Utes converted on fourth down along the way and posted their second 10-play scoring drive of the game.
As was the case earlier, the good times didn’t last long. Washington knotted the score again two plays later after a 76-yard touchdown toss from Browning to Gaskin.
Utah followed with an improbable journey kept alive, at one point, by a 19-yard run from Wishnowsky on fourth-and-17. The fake punt and this highlighted a series that culminated with a 5-yard TD run by Huntley and another PAT from Gay.
The Utes carried a 30-23 advantage into the final 10:52. It wasn’t enough, however, to get it done — even though they stopped the Huskies on fourth-and-8 from the Utah 15 after a timeout with 4:40 to go. Browning was tripped up on a scramble just two yards short of the marker.
Washington (9-2, 6-2) wound up forcing the Utes to punt again and this time the Huskies made it to the end zone. A 2-yard touchdown run by Gaskin with 58 seconds remaining and the ensuing PAT tied the game once again and set up the dramatic finish.
Wide receiver Andre Baccellia set up Vizcaino's kick with a 31-yard reception from Browning with eight seconds to go. He also made a critical fourth-down catch on the final touchdown drive.
"They made the plays and we weren't able to there at the end," Whittingham said.