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Seniors Joe Williams, Andy Phillips lead Utah to 26-24 victory over Indiana in Foster Farms Bowl

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — When it was all said and done, the Foster Farms Bowl turned out to be a game of chicken. Well, sort of.

While the title sponsor may have been delighted, 19th-ranked Utah and Indiana sweated it out Wednesday at Levi’s Stadium.

The Utes didn’t flinch down the stretch and claimed a 26-24 victory over the Hoosiers. The game-winning score came on a 27-yard field goal by Andy Phillips with 1:24 to go. It was his fourth kick of the game, a bowl record.

Utah running back Joe Williams also got in the record books with 222 yards rushing. His 32-yard run on third-and-7 from the Indiana 32 kept the decisive drive alive with just over two minutes remaining.

"We knew Indiana was going to be hard-nosed football team being part of the Big Ten and eveything," said Williams, who added that the Utes just had to finish.

The senior was named offensive MVP of the game. Indiana linebacker Tegray Scales earned defensive honors.

The Utes then got defensive and kept the Hoosiers in check, not allowing them into scoring position as time expired. The game ended with an incompletion on a desperation throw. Linebacker Kavika Luafatasaga was credited with the pass breakup.

Utah’s 20th bowl appearance didn’t start off well. The Utes lost a fumble on the opening kickoff when Kyle Fulks had the ball jarred loose by Indiana’s Greg Gooch. Teammate Donovan Hale pounced on it for the Hoosiers, giving them possession on the Utah 11-yard line.

Three plays and 47 seconds later, Indiana produced the quickest score in the 15-year history of the bowl. A 7-yard touchdown throw from Richard Lagow to Mitchell Paige put the Hoosiers on the board with 14:08 remaining in the first quarter. They led 7-0 after adding the extra point.

It didn’t stay that way for long. Utah cut into the deficit on the ensuing drive. Phillips capped an 11-play march with a 30-yard field goal to make it 7-3. The score was bittersweet because it extended the Utes’ lack of touchdowns inside the red zone. They entered the game ranked last in the Pac-12 in such situations.

On the ensuing possession, though, Utah’s defense stepped up when Indiana’s offense got close. Lagow was sacked by Pita Taumoepenu, who stripped the ball away. Defensive end Hunter Dimick secured it for the Utes on the 16-yard line.

Running back Joe Williams covered the distance on the next play to put Utah ahead with 8:41 to play in the opening quarter. Phillips followed with the PAT as the Utes took a 10-7 advantage.

Mixed results followed before the opening quarter was complete. After forcing Indiana to punt, Utah turned the ball over when quarterback Troy Williams was intercepted by Indiana cornerback Richard Fant. The Hoosiers took over on their own 33-yard line and wound up punting again. They weren’t able to do the same on their next possession, a drive that ended with a fumble on the Utah 5. Safety Chase Hansen won a scramble for the ball when defensive lineman Pasoni Tasini knocked it away from running back Devine Redding.

It took the Utes nine plays to move 95 yards into the end zone. Backup quarterback Troy Huntley finished it off with a 1-yard touchdown run on a keeper. Phillips contributed the extra point as Utah increased its lead to 17-7.

Over the remaining 9:14, specifically the final 4:33, Indiana climbed back into contention. The Hoosiers evened the score at 17-17 by halftime — doing so on a 24-yard field goal by Griffin Oakes and a 36-yard touchdown toss by Zander Diamont to Nick Westbrook.

When play resumed, Utah thwarted a promising drive by Indiana. Safety Marcus Williams picked off a pass on the 8-yard line just 41 seconds into the second half.

The Utes regained the lead and extended it to 23-17 on a pair of field goals by Phillips in the third quarter. The senior connected on distances of 48 and 41 yards.

It wasn’t enough, though, to put the game out of reach — far from it as a matter of fact.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Indiana pulled in front after a fumble by Utah running back Zach Moss. The Hoosiers eventually cashed in on the miscue with a 3-yard TD run by Redding. Oakes followed with a successful kick to give them a 24-23 edge with 10:10 to go.

The Utes fumbled again just over a minute later when Williams lost the ball in Indiana territory. The Hoosiers wound up missing a 41-yard field goal with 5:34 remaining — opening the door for the dramatic finish.

"It doesn't get better than that — a last-second win," Dimick said. "Just jubilation. Everybody is just going crazy. It's awesome."

A sparse crowd attended the game at the 68,500-seat venue. Officials announced that 27,608 tickets had been distributed. Utah sold 3,465 and donated 300.

Make the last one the best one. #UtahMan pic.twitter.com/XBoSlQqVkr

— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) December 29, 2016