SALT LAKE CITY — The Pac-12 South title is Utah’s again, as the No. 6 Utes beat Colorado 45-15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday night to wrap up the conference crown.
Up next for Utah (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) is a second straight appearance in the Pac-12 Championship game, where the Utes will face North Division champion Oregon next Friday.
Here are three key takeaways that defined the game.
Shutting down the Buffaloes
For much of the night, the Utes gave the Buffaloes’ offense little breathing room and held Colorado to 3.81 yards per play. The Buffaloes converted just 2 of 11 third downs against the Utah defense.
Devin Lloyd had nine tackles and 1.5 sacks to lead the Utes defense, while Bradlee Anae added five tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Kuithe’s big night
Tight end Brant Kuithe helped the Utes kickstart their offense, scoring the team’s first two touchdowns. His 38-yard touchdown early in the second quarter made it a 7-7 game. Later in the quarter, Kuithe had a 44-yard run set up a 7-yard touchdown grab to give Utah the lead for good.
Kuithe finished his standout night with a third touchdown — a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 45-15 — and he had three receptions for 63 yards to go with two carries for 59 yards.
Utah scored 31 unanswered points in the second and third quarters to put the clamps on Colorado. Utah scored 17 points in the second quarter to build a 10-point halftime lead, then used a nearly seven-minute drive that covered 48 yards in 12 plays in the third quarter to put a key touchdown on the board. The 31-point stretch finished with a Demari Simpkins 66-yard punt return for a touchdown.
The Utes held a 32:50-27:10 edge in time of possession and had a 372-217 advantage in total yards. Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley was efficient once again, completing 14 of 17 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while Zack Moss added 88 yards and a score.
Scoring summary: Utah 45, Colorado 15
Colorado, Brady Russell 7-yard pass from Steven Montez (0:43), Evan Price kick
Utah, Brant Kuithe 38-yard pass from Tyler Huntley (11:21), Jadon Redding kick
Utah, Brant Kuithe 7-yard pass from Tyler Huntley (2:03), Jadon Redding kick
Utah, Jadon Redding 23-yard field goal (0:04)
Utah, Devin Brumfield 1-yard run (4:11), Jadon Redding kick
Utah, Demari Simpkins 66-yard punt return (0:56), Jadon Redding kick
Colorado, Daniel Arias 27-yard pass from Steven Montez (12:51), Brady Russell pass from Steven Montez
Utah, Zack Moss 1-yard run (10:46), Jadon Redding kick
Utah, Brant Kuithe 15-yard run (5:12), Jadon Redding kick
Follow along with the action in our live blog below.