Cal routed by 12th-ranked Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — Zack Moss ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns, breaking two more school rushing records as No. 12 Utah routed Cal 35-0 on Saturday night.
After becoming Utah’s career leader in yards rushing last week, Moss increased his total to 33 touchdowns on the ground and surpassed Del Rodgers, who set the previous mark of 31 from 1978-81. Moss also reached 100 yards rushing for the 15th time, breaking the school record he had shared with Devontae Booker and John White IV.
Moss also finished with 89 yards on three receptions.
Cal’s defense had held 14 consecutive opponents under 25 points, the longest active streak in the country.
It took Utah (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) just a half to snap that streak, even with a hobbled quarterback. The Utes rolled to 351 yards and 28 points in the first half while allowing just 33 yards for the Bears (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12).
Tyler Huntley threw for 214 yards and a touchdown on 11-for-17 passing before sitting out the second half and resting his injured lower left leg.
As the Bears’ defensive reputation crumbled, the Utes just added to their impressive run of suffocating performances.
Utah has allowed only 10 points in the last 14 quarters, and the lone touchdown was a last-minute score in the 52-7 win over Oregon State two weeks ago.
The Bears have lost four in a row after starting 4-0 and reaching No. 15 in The Associated Press poll.
In his first start, freshman quarterback Spencer Brasch was under constant harassment and completed seven of 19 passes for 47 yards. Regular starter Chase Garbers and backup Devon Modster were both injured.
Jason Shelley hit Brant Kuithe on a 1-yard pass and scored on a 1-yard run to give Utah a 28-0 lead at halftime.
After a first-possession punt, it took a broken play to get the Utah offense loose on its next drive — the first of five consecutive touchdowns. Huntley dropped an early shotgun snap but picked up the ball and wheeled around on his sore left leg to find Moss wide open. The running back took the pass 69 yards before Jaylinn Hawkins pushed him out of bounds at the 6-yard line. Moss took it in two plays later for his 32nd career rushing touchdown.
On Utah’s second straight drive of more than 90 yards, Huntley lofted a 40-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Thompson, who had raced behind the defense and caught the ball in stride.
With several teams ahead of Utah losing Saturday, the Utes might find themselves in the top 10.
Cal’s only other game against a Top 25 team was a 20-19 win over then-No. 12 Washington on Sept. 7.
Cal: The Bears knew they had a slim chance to win a high-scoring affair with their third-string quarterback, but they didn’t expect their defense to struggle almost as much as their anemic offense. Cal managed just 83 yards of total offense and only crossed midfield once — on its first possession of the game. Evan Weaver, the top tackler in the nation, had 22 stops but many were too far from the line of scrimmage.
Utah: The Utes shut out a conference opponent for the first time since they joined the Pac-12. During the five straight touchdown drives, Utah converted six third downs in a row. After allowing only 25 yards passing to Arizona State, the Utes defense held the Bears to 60 yards through the air. The blowout allowed the Utes to rest their stars, Huntley and Moss, much of the second half for next week’s big game at Washington.
Cal: After a bye week, the Bears host Washington State on Nov. 9.
Utah: Visits Washington next Saturday afternoon.