SALT LAKE CITY — With a 32-yard touchdown run, senior Ute running back Zack Moss etched his name into the history books. 

“We finally got a crease. It was tough sledding all night, but we finally got a crease, kept going and that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to come out and compete for all four quarters.” — Zack Moss

The senior from Hallandale, Florida, who forwent the NFL draft to come back for his senior season, broke Eddie Johnson’s career rushing mark of 3,219 yards and cemented his status as one of the greatest running backs ever to play at Utah. Johnson, who played at the U. from 1984-1988, had his record stand for 31 years before Moss eclipsed it. 

Moss broke the record on a 32-yard touchdown run to put Utah up 21-3 against Arizona State with 5:24 remaining in the fourth quarter on Saturday.

“We finally got a crease. It was tough sledding all night, but we finally got a crease, kept going and that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to come out and compete for all four quarters,” Moss said of his touchdown run.

The rushing touchdown, his second of the night and 31st on his career, moved him into a tie for the school rushing touchdown record with Del Rodgers in the 18-point win. Moss finished the night with 99 yards rushing, putting his all-time career mark at 3,264 with at least five games remaining in Utah’s season. 

Moss’ parents were in attendance to witness him break the record, which made the moment extra special.

“That was very emotional at the beginning of the game, just having my mom here. The last time she came out, I got injured, so it was just special to have her and my dad and the entire family out here for this one,” Moss said.

After the touchdown run, Moss was mobbed by his teammates in the end zone and celebrated with his teammates on the sideline. The university displayed a graphic on the big screen congratulating him on the achievement. 

“When you consider the running backs that have come through the program and the talent level of those guys — many of whom played in the NFL for quite some time — that’s just an outstanding achievement,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. 

It wasn’t easy for Moss to get the record against Arizona State. The Sun Devils’ run defense was stout, bottling up Moss for a lot of the game before he broke loose for the 32-yard score, his longest rush of the game. Entering the game, Moss was averaging 7.6 yards per carry, but ASU held him to 4 yards per carry on Saturday. 

“Those yards were tough, hard-fought yards. There were no easy yards there tonight,” Whittingham said.

Moss exited the game briefly after sustaining a hit to the helmet from Evan Fields late in the second quarter, but reentered the game later in the drive to a loud ovation from Utah fans and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to put Utah up 14-0. He said that he “didn’t really get injured” on the targeting play. 

Moss started off the day slow, only gaining 9 yards on the ground on four attempts in the first quarter. The majority of Moss’ yards in the first quarter came through receiving, as the senior had 64 receiving yards in the first period — though one of his receptions ended in a fumble. He bounced back in the second quarter for 19 rushing yards and had 17 rushing yards in the third quarter. He saved his most productive quarter for last with 54 yards in the fourth period.