All three Beehive State FBS teams were once again in action this weekend after the Utah Utes and Utah State Aggies each had their byes in the last half of September.
On Friday night, the Aggies rolled over the BYU Cougars 45-20 in Provo, and on Saturday, the Utes started and finished strong to topple the 14th-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 40-21 on the road.
Jontrell Rocquemore: There were plenty of outstanding individual performances on both sides of the ball for Utah State in its dominant win over BYU, but the senior linebacker’s night embodied a lot of what went most right for the Aggies. He had a game-high two tackles for loss (four total), the lone sack for either team, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
Talon Shumway: On the opposite end of the spectrum from having too many players to choose from for Utah State, there wasn’t much good from the Cougars, although the junior wide receiver finished with five catches for a game-high 110 yards.
Zack Moss: Like the Aggies, there were plenty of players who had noteworthy nights for the Utes, including quarterback Tyler Huntley, defensive back Jaylon Johnson and wide receiver Britain Covey, among others. Nevertheless, Moss set the tone throughout, finishing with 160 rushing yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns despite still not being entirely healthy.
Numbers to know
44: This is the first time in 44 years that the Aggies have defeated the Cougars in consecutive seasons. Utah State beat BYU 40-24 in 2017.
39: BYU finished with just 39 yards on the ground. Backup quarterback Zach Wilson had 25 of them, all of which came on one play in garbage time. Lopini Katoa had just 24. Squally Canada finished with -1 yard on just three carries, as he exited the game early because of injury.
4: The Utah defense came up with four takeaways, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Most importantly, the Utes scored on three of them, two touchdowns and a field goal. The only takeaway they didn’t score on was an inconsequential fumble recovery by Nick Heninger in the final minutes with the game already decided.
Play of the weekend
It’s not often that a 100-yard pick-6 isn’t the top play in a game, but Huntley topped Johnson’s great interception return with a touchdown pass that was outstanding in both execution and importance.
Utah led 30-21 with just over seven minutes remaining, but Stanford had momentum. On a 3rd and 3 from the 43-yard line, Huntley dropped back to pass out of the shotgun and was nearly sacked, but somehow managed to stay on one foot and rifled a pass to an open Samson Nacua, who took it the remaining 28 yards to the end zone for the touchdown to make it a 16-point game.