Utes Escape With Win Against NIU
DEKALB, Ill. – It was nearly a disastrous night for the Utah Utes as they escaped with a 17-6 win against Northern Illinois at not-so-menacing Huskie Stadium Saturday night. NIU, who plays in the MAC conference, had never hosted a Pac-12 opponent prior to Saturday’s match up and played the Utes tough for three and a half quarters.
Utah did not find the scoreboard until the middle of the third quarter when they finally took a 7-3 lead on a 1-yard run by Zack Moss. In other words, they trailed 3-0 for the majority of the game despite being a heavy favorite against NIU. The Huskies kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter to make it a one-point game. Utah gave themselves a little breathing room with a field goal of its own and then sealed the deal with a pick-six by Chase Hansen.
“Probably tougher than it should have been,” Hansen said. “I feel like no win is ever is easy. That one was just physical. They are a good team. They’ve got good players. It doesn’t matter what conference you play in or whatever it is. They’ve got some guys.”
Quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 286 yards on 20-of-31 passing. Moss finished with 66 yards and the score and the Ute defense had another strong night, allowing just 286 yards and just 111 through the air.
The Utes will next host Washington on September 15th at 8:00 p.m. at Rice Eccles Stadium.
“We’re excited to get into Pac-12 play, and now it just matters even more,” Hansen said.