Counting Down Utah Football’s Best 2022 Plays: Pac-12 Championship

Aug 21, 2023, 1:48 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – We are a week out from game week as the Utes prepare to open the season against Florida at Rice-Eccles Stadium. To celebrate, we are counting down the best play in each of Utah football’s 14 games in 2022 and this week’s focus is on the Pac-12 Championship Game.

While not every game went Utah’s way last season, they did enough to stamp their ticket to the Pac-12 Championship Game in Las Vegas, go back-to-back as conference champions, and earn their second berth in a row to the “Grandaddy of them All”.

Many believe Utah has a good chance of three-peating in 2023 due to the talent returning and the coaches’ aggressive approach in the Transfer Portal to address a few deficiencies.  We are so close to the 2023 football season that we can almost taste the tailgate. For now, though, let’s take a look at the Utes’ best play against USC in the Pac-12 Title Game.


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World, Please Meet The Yassminan Devil

What is better than squeaking out a win at home against USC with a two-point Cam Rising conversion? Beating USC handily in the Pac-12 Championship Game, winning back-to-back titles, and dashing Trojan hopes of going to the College Football Playoff in year one under Lincoln Riley.

Make no mistake. This game did not start out pretty. In fact, early on it looked like USC was going to run away with it, but then Utah dug a little deeper, put their foot on the gas and never took it off.

There were several players who stepped up to the plate to get it done for a second time against the Trojans. Jaylen Dixon, Money Parks and Ja’Quinden Jackson had great games, and quarterback Cam Rising showed ultimate toughness popping back up with a smile on his face after taking a big hit.

However, tight end Thomas Yassmin’s 60-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give the Utes a 10-point 34-24 lead over USC was an important one for a few reasons.

First is that this was the play that seemed to finally break the Trojan’s will. Yassmin had to dance and wind his way around the USC defense, and he seemingly did it with ease.

Secondly, at this point in the season, Utah was a little banged up- especially in the tight end room, and Yassmin’s play showed he was capable of at least helping to ease the losses of both Brant Kuithe and Dalton Kincaid.

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Counting Down Utah Football’s Best 2022 Plays: Pac-12 Championship