UTAH UTES

Instant Reactions To Utah’s Back-To-Back Pac-12 Titles

Dec 3, 2022, 12:48 AM | Updated: 12:48 am
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The Utah Utes take the field prior to the Pac-12 Championship against the USC Trojans at Allegiant Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS- It’s hard to put into words what this Utah football team just accomplished against USC. They were doubted. They weren’t given a shot. The Trojans were basically already Pac-12 Champions, already on their way to the College Football Playoff with the Heisman Trophy in hand. Until they weren’t. Utah beat the socks off a USC team that in the days leading up to the game had “already won” in their quest to be back-to-back Pac-12 Title holders. 

The game did not start pretty with the Utes falling into a 17-3 whole early in the game, but Utah buckled down, played harder, had unwavering belief and got the job done, 47-24. No doubts were left as to who the better team was in the rematch and there will be a new trophy in the Eccles Football Facility to prove it.

 

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There is so much to talk about with regards to this game and this season, but for the here and now, here are some instant reactions to Utah’s back-to-back Pac-12 Titles.

Utah’s Unwavering Belief To Win The Pac-12 Title

There is no doubt quarterback Cam Rising is the heartbeat of this Utah football team. They have been great when he’s been great, and they have fallen short when he hasn’t been great which has not been often.

Tonight, was one of those nights where Rising was great and as a result so were the Utes. He finished the night with the magic number 22 completed passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. He also took off eight times for 18 yards to keep plays alive for his team.

He was a warrior and had the “unwavering belief” he so often talks about, even when things were looking bleak early on.

 

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Ja’Quinden Jackson And Micah Bernard

Quarterback turned running back Ja’Quinden Jackson had another big night for the Utes, proving he’s turning into a guy the team can rely on moving forward.

Jackson posted 13 carries on the night for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He was tough, he was shifty, and as always made his enemies pay for trying to stop him.

Jackson was not the only productive runner on the night.  Micah Bernard was shy of 100 yards taking 11 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also contributed through the air with five catches for 41 yards.

Utah Receivers Were Money In Tha Bank

Utah receiver Money Parks may have had the biggest play of the night that really sparked the team moving forward.

When the Utes needed it most, Parks hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass that gave Utah the go-ahead score for the first time all night. The Utes never looked back. Parks would finish his night with four catches for 88 yards a touchdown.

There were a few other receivers who were keys in the Utah offensive cog as well.

Unsurprisingly, tight end Dalton Kincaid came up big with a couple of first downs. While not as big of a night as we are normally used to seeing him have, Kincaid was great in critical moments with four catches for 40 yards.

Tight end Thomas Yassmin was another guy who had a monster night and a splashy touchdown play. Yassmin hauled in a 60-yard touchdown pass, bullying his way to the end zone. His night would end with two catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Speedster Jaylen Dixon was also great for the Utes hauling in six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.

The Utah Defense

There is no lying to be had about this. Utah’s defense was not good to start, but they were great to finish.

They were nasty, smart, ball hawks when it counted. They went after USC Caleb Williams early and often. Yes, they got burned a few times, but it also paid off.

Utah’s defense finished the night with seven sacks for 69 yards and 11 tackles for a loss for an additional 78 yards.

RJ Hubert came up big with an interception late in the game when it looked like USC might score again, instead the play turned into Utah points once the offense took over.

 

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Clark Phillips III had a fantastic pass break up that saved a touchdown and limited USC to a field goal early in the game.

Gabe Reid and Mohamoud Diabate had two sacks while Connor O’Toole, Mikki Suguturaga, and Simote Pepa had one each.

It was a complete team effort where everyone had their moment to shine.

The Fans Help Utah To Pac-12 Title

Once again Utah fans proved they love their football team. Two weeks notice, six days notice. It doesn’t matter. The Utes showed up and showed out in Las Vegas with less time to plan and crazy prices because of the time crunch.

It was simply impressive- especially the Moment of Loudness which will now be showcased once more in the Granddaddy of them All.

 

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Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Instant Reactions To Utah’s Back-To-Back Pac-12 Titles