Utah Holds Off Oregon State For First Win In 2020

Dec 6, 2020, 12:29 AM

Jake Bentley #8 of the Utah Utes throws a pass under pressure from Alexander Skelton #97 and Riley ...

Jake Bentley #8 of the Utah Utes throws a pass under pressure from Alexander Skelton #97 and Riley Sharp #56 of the Oregon State Beavers during their game at Rice Eccles Stadium on December 5, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – At long last, Utah football picked up their first win of the season with a 30-24 victory over Oregon State.

It was a game that Utah had in hand until the Beavers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and had multiple chances to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Chance Nolan made his first Division I start for Oregon State. He threw a 21-yard TD pass to Kolby Taylor with 5:07 left to trim Utah’s lead to one score.

The Utes needed two key stops on defense, forcing the Beavers to turn the ball over on downs twice.

Jake Bentley showed improvement at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday night, completing 18-of-27 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown. Most importantly, Utah didn’t turn he ball over after committing 9 miscues in the first two games of the season.

True freshman Ty Jordan had his best performance of 2020 with 167 rushing yards on 27 carries and his first career touchdown.

The Mesquite, Texas native also caught two passes for 22 yards.

Field Goal Fest Early

Utah had chances to get four touchdowns in the first half. Unfortunately, their first three drives resulted in field goals. The Utes reached the red zone each time but on third and goal, Bentley missed open receivers on two occasions. Jadon Redding made all three field goal attempts from 33, 20 and 27 yards respectively.

On the fourth trip into the red zone, the Utes finally punched on Ty Jordan’s lone TD run. This put Utah up 16-3 towards the end of the second quarter.

Just before halftime, Oregon State scored their first touchdown as Calvin Tyler ran it in from one-yard out.

Offense/Special Teams Helps Utah Claim First Win

Utah’s first offensive drive of the second half was 14 plays for 89 yards that resulted with Britain Covey’s first touchdown of the season as Bentley connected with the Utah speedster for an 8-yard score.

After a Oregon State punt in the fourth quarter, Britain Covey returned the punt for a 64-yard touchdown to give the Utes a 30-10 lead with 14:37 remaining.

A big negative for Utah in this game was the 11 penalties that they committed.

Defense Steps Up Once Again

Despite giving up 24 points and 335 yards, Utah’s defense made key plays when they needed to the most. Late in the fourth as Oregon State was attempting to take the lead, Mika Tafua suffered an injury. Two plays later, he returns and gets a key sack.

The young secondary was tested in the second half and they made mistakes but they never broke down.

JaTravis Broughton led the team with 9 total tackles, including 7 solo tackles and a pass breakup. Devin Lloyd had 7 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. Clark Phillips III added 7 tackles and one TFL.

The Utes improved their record to 1-2 on the season. They will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 11 in Boulder to face the Colorado Buffaloes. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. MST and will be televised on FS1.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Utah Holds Off Oregon State For First Win In 2020