Instant Takeaways From No. 14 Utah’s 21-17 Win In Pullman

Oct 28, 2022, 12:53 AM | Updated: 10:10 am
Bryson Barnes - Utah Utes - Rose Bowl Game...
Bryson Barnes #16 of the Utah Utes looks to hand the ball during the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

PULLMAN- Like the great Diana Ross once sang, “upside down, boy you turn me, inside out, and round, and round,” No.14 Utah’s game against Washington State left many people’s heads spinning from the start. There wasn’t much about the game that made sense, feeling almost like some kind of time warp, or alternate universe. It was rather appropriate with Halloween coming up this weekend that Utah would gut-out a 21-17 win in Pullman.

It was everything you would expect from a game in the Palouse on a Thursday night, #Pac12AfterDark, and yet not. Here is what immediately stood out from Utah’s victory in Pullman.

Surprises, So, So Many Surprises

It was not a surprise that running back Tavion Thomas would not be playing against Washington State tonight. Rumors of that had circulated for a while. What was surprising was that Micah Bernard was ruled out, but then gave it a go, here and there. Bernard ended the night with three carries for one yard but seemed to primarily be put in as a blocker.

No Cam Rising

Of all the surprises that came about in Thursday night’s contest with Washington State for the Utes was that quarterback Cam Rising did not start and he was the one to pull himself out about 30 minutes to kick-off leaving backup Bryson Barnes in charge according to head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Barnes, the pig farmer hero from the Rose Bowl, didn’t exactly blow the doors off the stadium, but he did get the job done, and quite well with how short of notice he received. On the night Barnes was 17-27 for 175 yards passing and one touchdown. He also added eight carries for 51 yards on the ground.

Dalton Kincaid?

Tight end Dalton Kincaid wasn’t too big of a factor in tonight’s game, partially due to breaking in a new quarterback on the fly, and partially because WSU was prepared for him. Kincaid finished the night with seven catches for 56 yards and one touchdown. That touchdown appeared costly however, as it was the last play of the night for Kincaid. Kincaid was still dressed for the remainder of the game, but he was helmetless, and Whittingham said it’s too early to know what will happen with the tight end heading into next week against Arizona.


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Young Guys Stepped Up

Besides Barnes jumping into action for a starter, the young running backs- Jaylon Glover and Ja’Quinden Jackson did a good job being the primary backs.

Glover was the leading rusher of the night with 20 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. Jackson had 10 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.

It wasn’t always pretty, and certainly not as smooth as Utah fans are used to, but both players gained valuable experience that will serve the team well going forward.

Defense Got It Done

Once again, the defense showed more life than they have all season and probably were the reason Utah walked away with a victory despite the absences on offense. The Utes walked away with four total sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss on the night indicating they were getting fairly pressure on Cam Ward and the rest of Washington State’s offense.

Mohamoud Diabate, Karene Reid, Jonah Elliss, Van Fillinger, Sione Vaki, Cole Bishop, Clark Phillips III, JT Broughton and many others had key stops and moments throughout the game that kept the Utes in it till the end.

Hitting Some Milestones

With tonight’s win, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham secured his 150th career win. The victory also gave the Utes their 100th win of the Pac-12 era. Finally, Utah became bowl eligible against Washington State earning their sixth win of the season.

Health Going Forward?

Utah appears pretty banged up right now, but it’s hard to know how bad it will be going forward at this time. Utah doesn’t talk about injuries unless they are season ending, so chances are we could see several starters sit in the coming weeks leading up to their game with Oregon but will never exactly know what their status is.

This will be an on-going storyline that will likely determine how the Utes finish their 2022 campaign.

Getting It Done For 22

Most importantly of all, Utah stayed together and gutted out another win for their fallen brothers Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe. The team opted to wear their hand painted helmets honoring the two players one more time and it seemed to give them that little bit of juice they needed to walk away the victors despite mounting injuries and not playing with their typical lineup.




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