Instant Takeaways From No. 20 Utah’s Exciting Takedown Of No. 7 USC

Oct 15, 2022, 11:40 PM
Utah quarterback Cam Rising gathers the Utes in a pre-game huddle before taking on #7 USC. (Photo Cred: Michelle Bodkin)
(Photo Cred: Michelle Bodkin)

SALT LAKE CITY- No. 20 Utah hasn’t been exactly the team everyone thought they were getting to start 2022, but they dug deep to take down No. 7 USC, 43-42.

It didn’t look great for the Utes at the beginning of the game going down 14-0 to the Trojans early. They weren’t able to get stops, and they were struggling to make plays on offense, but then something clicked, and they started to go toe-to-toe with USC to the very bitter end.

Here are some immediate takeaways from Utah’s big win.

The Energy Boosts For No. 20 Utah

It wasn’t really a secret that Utah was playing this game for the late Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe who both tragically passed away within nine months of each other last season. Utah’s hand painted helmets were certainly one give away, but head coach Kyle Whittingham said the team made it official in the locker room before kickoff in his post-game presser.

There were two instances where it seemed like the Utes got a boost from Jordan and Lowe at just the right time.

First, was just into the second quarter with Jordan and Lowe’s families were presented their own helmets that the team was wearing. Almost immediately after that moment, Utah’s defense had very big stops on 3rd and 4th down to get USC off the field.

The second, was just after the “Moment of Loudness” between the third and fourth quarters. The Utes were driving with quarterback Cameron Rising masterfully passing the ball around, finishing with a keeper for one yard and the score to tie the game 35-35.

Both instances felt a little shaky, but the Utes found that “extra something” to get the job done when they needed it most.

Cam Rising

Speaking of quarterback Cam Rising…he was fantastic while going against someone who has received a lot more attention early on this year in USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

Rising finished the game 29 of 43 for 415 yards and two passing touchdowns. He was also deadly on the ground rushing 11 times for 60 yards and three touchdowns.

When things got tough, Rising got tougher. He was unrelenting and the leader who never stopped believing when his team needed him most. Rising’s magnum opus of the game came on Utah’s final drive of the night and the go-ahead 2-point conversion for the win.

Dalton Kincaid

If you think Rising’s stats are nuts, tight end Dalton Kincaid’s might be even crazier. He was targeted 16 times and came down with all 16. Kincaid gained 234 yards in the process and a touchdown.

Kincaid caught anything and everything against the Trojans, showing grit and determination racking up the YAC the Utes needed to stay in this game.


USC’s Tuli Tuipulotu had seven sacks coming into this game in Salt Lake City which leads the country. He had zero against Utah. In fact, the Utes’ offensive line keep Rising clean all night long.

The Trojans can’t say the same. Caleb Williams was sacked four times by Utah’s defense. Something it should be noted they have struggled with a lot this season. Gabe Reid, Karene Reid, Jonah Ellis and most shockingly of all Clark Phillips III all took turns taking down Williams at the most opportune times.

The “It” Factor

Like Stella, Utah seems to have gotten their groove back. They played tough. They played relentless. They dug deep when they needed to and they walked away victorious.

The Utes looked confident. They had swagger. They had “it”. That thing that had been lacking for the entire year was finally present and just at just the right time.

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