Arizona suffers rout at home to No. 7 Utah
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Zack Moss ran for a season-high 203 yards and No. 7 Utah rolled to a 35-7 victory over Arizona on Saturday night.
The Utes (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12, No. 7 CFP) have won seven straight games and are the lone Pac-12 team in serious contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff after No. 6 Oregon lost to Arizona State 31-28 earlier on Saturday.
Utah’s defense was dominant once again, holding an opponent to seven points or fewer for the fifth time in six games. Arizona managed just 196 total yards and a big chunk of those came in the fourth quarter when mostly backups were playing.
Tyler Huntley completed 19-of-23 passes for 211 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The 5-foot-10, 222-pound Moss barreled through the Arizona defense all night, averaging 7.8 yards per carry.
Tight end Brant Kuithe ran for two touchdowns on two carries. He had just one carry all season before Saturday.
The Utes dominated the first half, gaining 291 total yards to Arizona’s 56. They scored on Kuithe’s 3-yard touchdown and Huntley’s 3-yard pass to Demari Simpkins to take a 14-0 lead by halftime.
Utah had a great chance to score a third touchdown just before halftime but was stopped at the 1-yard line as time expired. The defensive stand gave the Wildcats a little momentum heading into the second half until Moss ran for a 41-yard touchdown on the opening drive to leave little doubt about the outcome.
Arizona (4-7, 2-6) has lost six straight. J.J. Taylor ran for 33 yards on 10 carries.
TATE’S SENIOR DAY
It was senior day for Arizona players, including quarterback Khalil Tate, who is close to concluding an up-and-down college career.
He was a breakout star in 2017, when as a sophomore he threw for 1,591 yards and 14 touchdowns and also ran for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns.
But coach Rich Rodriguez was dismissed following that season and new coach Kevin Sumlin could never get the same results out of Tate, who has mostly regressed during his final two seasons. He’s split time with freshman Grant Gunnell this fall.
Neither quarterback had much success against Utah. Tate was 6-of-11 passing for 39 yards and Gunnell was 8-of-16 for 96 yards and had a 7-yard rushing touchdown.
ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR MOSS
Moss reached 1,000 yards rushing for the season in the first quarter. He’s now run for at least 1,000 yards the past three years, including 1,173 as a sophomore and 1,096 as a junior.
Utah: The Utes did what they do best, combining a grinding, efficient offense with a shutdown defense. After Penn State and Oregon lost, they should be in better position to potentially grab a CFP spot.
Arizona: It was another tough Saturday for the Wildcats, who couldn’t get anything going on offense. Arizona ends its season on the road against rival Arizona State, which is coming off a huge win over No. 6 Oregon.
The Utes should at least push past Oregon, which was a spot ahead in the rankings.
Utah hosts Colorado next Saturday.
Arizona travels to face Arizona State next Saturday.