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Williams and Dimick reach milestones, but the loss to Oregon steals any celebration

SALT LAKE CITY — Joe Williams and Hunter Dimick could have celebrated career milestones, but instead, they sat at a post-game press conference visibly gutted by what was lost on their final game in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Williams earned his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game (149 yards) to surpass the 1,000-yard mark — a remarkable feat as he retired for a month midseason. The senior now has 1,088 yards, with a game to go, which places him 10th on the single-season rushing list.

On the defensive side of the ball, Dimick took sole possession of the career sacks record with 29, as he had two in Saturday’s 30-28 loss to Oregon. But the gut-punch of likely losing their opportunity to play for the Pac-12 championship — and maybe a New Year’s Six bowl — was overwhelming to both players.

In what had to be the shortest player press conference in school history at just under three minutes, Williams couldn’t even bring himself to consider most of the questions, answering whatever was asked with “We're onto Colorado" or "Colorado.”

Dimick simply nodded, and at one point, admitted it was tough to even consider anything but the pain of what they’d lost.

“I guarantee you he won’t have anything to celebrate,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, who spoke to reporters after his players. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment by him. But he’s the type of kid that means nothing compared to winning. But congratulations to Hunter because he’s been such a good player for us, and just a terrific record to set. That’s a tough record to break, and he’s got it.”

Dimick admitted that considering anything in the wake of the upset was impossible.

“It’s hard to think right now, honestly,” he said. “Try to focus on Colorado. It sucks right now, but we’ve still got work to do.”

Dimick said the defense simply didn’t deliver when it needed to – something it has done all season for the team.

“We gotta make the play,” Dimick said grimacing. “We didn’t. Just tough man. We needed to make a play. We didn’t.”

In fact, while Oregon's defense was statistically one of the worst, Utah came into the game leading the country in takeaways, tied for second in interceptions, tied for fifth in the nation in sacks and tied for ninth in tackles for loss.

Whittingham didn’t feel like the team overlooked Oregon, but he was blunt about how the Ducks shredded Utah’s secondary.

“I didn’t get that sense with our team,” Whittingham said of a sense of complacency. “Zone coverages were ridiculously bad. Our pattern reading, our route recognition, our route awareness in our zone drops was awful. They exploited that over and over and over.”

Email: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

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