Utah cruised to a win for the fourth game in a row, beating Oregon State by 26 points on Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Clark Phillips III, CB
Clark Phillips III had a phenomenal game, totaling three interceptions. Two of those interceptions came at pivotal moments for the Utes.
On Oregon State’s first drive of the game, he intercepted Oregon State starting quarterback Chance Nolan, wrestling the ball away from the receiver, and returned it 19 yards to the Beavers’ 25-yard line, setting up Utah’s first touchdown of the day.
Following that, in the first quarter, he jumped the route for a 38-yard pick-six to put Utah up 14-7.
His final interception came in the end zone, with 7:16 left in the game, capping off a fantastic performance. He also had three tackles.
Phlllips III’s NFL future looks bright.
“He has exceptional quickness and speed, first of all. He is not the biggest guy, but he is built well and is physical when he needs to be, but speed and quickness is his big thing, along with film study,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “There is nobody that studies more films than Clark and that leads to big plays. The more film you study, the more big plays you’re going to make.”
Cameron Rising, QB
Cameron Rising didn’t have flashy numbers through the air, but was consistent and helped keep the Utah offense moving when the Utes weren’t getting very much production from their running backs.
Rising finished the day 19 for 25 for 199 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also led the team in rushing with seven carries for 73 yards and a touchdown.
In the first full game without tight end Brant Kuithe, Rising found a variety of different targets, with Devaughn Vele leading the way with seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Rising was solid and didn’t make many mistakes. His rushing ability helped move the chains a couple times and his steady play helped the Utes cash in on turnovers and put up 35 or more points for the fourth consecutive game.
“Cameron (Rising) made a bunch of timely plays and was extremely accurate, but we didn’t throw for as many yards as I originally thought we did, but we were close to 80% completion percentage, and we really had some clutch catches,” Whittingham said.
Jaylen Dixon, WR
Jaylen Dixon made the most of his opportunities on Saturday.
Two touches, two touchdowns for the senior wide receiver.
Dixon put the first points of the game on the board for the Utes following Phillip III’s interception, catching a 19-yard touchdown pass from Rising.
In the third quarter, following R.J. Hubert’s interception in the red zone that flipped momentum to Utah, he scored on a 22-yard reverse handoff to make the score 35-16 — perhaps the key play of the game.
“I am like his biggest fan. I am always the first one excited for him. Jaylen has been working his tail off, as you see it at practice every day. He is always going full speed and giving it everything he has,” Vele said.
“I even told him before the game that this is your game. This is your opportunity to start making plays, and he made the most of it. I was so excited for him. He has been a part of this offense for a long time and is one of the guys I look up to as a veteran leader. Seeing him get the publicity and success he has worked so hard for is a blessing.”