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Squandered Opportunity On 2-Yard Line Leaves Washington State …

SALT LAKE CITY — — TJ Pledger rushed for 117 yards and the go-ahead landing as Utah got here from at the back of to overcome Washington State 24-13 on Saturday afternoon within the Utes’ Pac-12 opener.

Pledger, a switch from Oklahoma who best had 11 yards entering the sport, ran 20 yards for a landing with 4:53 to play.

“After the game, I was holding my daughter and had tears in my eyes. College football is not easy, you go through ups and downs, and the ones who are able to remain steady and just keep putting their best foot forward every day, they end up being successful,” stated Pledger, who had all his yards in the second one part after starter Micah Bernard left with an upper-body damage.

Clark Phillips took an interception 54 yards for a ranking to clinch it with 2:19 ultimate.

The Cougars (1-3, 0-2 Pac-12) pressured seven fumbles, improving 3, with a minimum of two others stored via replay. The final one got here with 10:18 to play when Daniel Isom hit Chris Curry simply sooner than he crossed the function line and Travion Brown recovered in any case zone.

The WSU gamers have been coping with greater than what was once going down between the traces. Early Saturday morning close to the WSU campus, one particular person was once killed and Brandon Gray, a junior large receiver, was once additionally shot and is in critical however strong situation. The information shook the commute group who was once already in Salt Lake City.

“We have so much respect for this team for how they played. I know we didn’t win. I know we weren’t great. But for them to go out and play as hard as they did with the news they got this morning about their teammate I think is a tribute to their character. All we can do right now is pray for Gray,” WSU trainer Nick Rolovich stated.

Jarrett Guarantano was once 25-of-36 passing for 248 yards however struggled to transport the Cougars offense in the second one part.

Rolovich known as the offense “pretty anemic.”

Meanwhile, the Utes (2-2, 1-0) shook off their fumble hands and made all of the giant performs within the fourth quarter. Before the Utah offense were given shifting, the protection stored the Utes within the sport with 8 sacks and 3 interceptions.

“The defense played unreal. They did their job and then it was just up to offense to hold up their end of the bargain,” Utah QB Cameron Rising stated.

Devin Lloyd, who additionally had 3 tackles for loss, jumped a bubble display and intercepted Gaurantano’s move after tipping it. But backup QB Ja’Quinden Jackson fumbled two performs later and Jaylon Watson recovered for the Cougars on their 8-yard line.

On the primary play of the second one part, Ron Stone Jr. knocked the ball from Utah’s Micah Bernard and Christian Mejia recovered. Two performs later, Guarantano hooked up with De’Zhaun Stribling for a 26-yard TD and a 13-7 lead.

After back-to-back losses, former Utah QB starter Charlie Brewer was once advised he’d been demoted and he left this system on Monday.

Rising, who had 137 yards passing, were given his first get started since final season’s opener in opposition to Southern Cal when he injured his shoulder within the first quarter. Though he completed robust to drive triple-overtime final week at San Diego State, the Utes once more struggled to transport the ball during the air with simply 26 yards passing at halftime.

For the primary time this season, the Utes introduced further move rushers however that left the center of the sphere open for WSU. Adjustments in the second one part and a more potent rush quashed any probability of a Cougar comeback.

“We got after the quarterback which is a plus because we hadn’t done a lot of that this year and we really did a nice job with eight sacks. That’s a complete turnaround,” Whittingham stated.

Whittingham additionally stated that along with shedding 3 defensive starters final week, the Utes had 3 safeties injured right through the process this sport — Vonte Davis, Brandon McKinney and Cole Bishop. “We didn’t have any more safties than the two that finished it,” he stated.

Utah’s lone scoring pressure of the primary part consisted of all dashing performs — highlighted via Rising’s 31-yard scamper and capped via Jackson’s 2-yard TD run.

Britain Covey broke the varsity occupation punt-return yardage file and now has 902 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

Washington State: The Cougars ruled time of ownership however best received 106 yards in the second one part. Max Borghi had 42 yards dashing sooner than leaving in the second one quarter with a left arm damage and the WSU floor assault struggled the remainder of the way in which whilst Guarantano was once underneath consistent force. Right take on Abraham Lucas stated, “I think the biggest thing was the lack of focus up front. Bad things happened.”

Utah: The Ute offense nonetheless doesn’t appear to be a well-oiled gadget, however Utah rolled to 248 yards in the second one part and was once strengthened via some other stout defensive efficiency. “We squandered a lot of opportunities, for sure. We had fumbles, red-zone scoring chances where we didn’t capitalize and so there’s a lot we need to work on,” Whittingham stated.

UP NEXT

Washington State: The Cougars play on Saturday at California

Utah: The Utes have a bye subsequent week sooner than visiting USC on Oct. 9.

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