Football overmatched against Utes, loses by 63

(Source: Robert Casey)
University of Utah quarterback Travis Wilson gets hit as he throws in the game against Weber State University. Wilson was part of five touchdowns for the Utes in the first half.

The Weber State University football team traveled to Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon to face the University of Utah. The Wildcats fell behind quickly and lost the game 70-7.

The Utes got on the board first as quarterback Travis Wilson faked a handoff, which caused the Wildcat defense to go left, and Wilson kept the ball and ran it 38 yards into the end zone. That put the score at 7-0.

The Wildcats strung together a drive of their own on the following drive, getting a pair of long third down conversions, but were held back after a holding penalty brought them out of field goal range.

After the punt, on the first play of the drive, Ute wide receiver Sean Fitzgerald broke away on the left side downfield as a Wildcat defender stumbled. Fitzgerald took the ball all the way to the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown. That brought the score to 14-0, which is where the first quarter ended.

(Source: Robert Casey)
Weber State University quarterback Austin Chipoletti throws the ball in a game against the University of Utah. The Wildcat offense, outside of one drive, had a tough time moving the ball against a Pac-12 defense.

“We definitely moved the ball really well,” Wilson said. “I was really grateful that I got a chance to get my legs in there too and run a little bit. The wide receivers did a great job of getting open, and we made some really great plays.”

The Utes put up 35 points in the second quarter, a school record for most points scored in one quarter. The score at the half was 49-0.

The Wildcat offense looked out of sync in the first half as it had multiple three-and-outs and a few lucky drops that could have gone for interceptions for the Ute defense. WSU’s offense finished with 90 total yards on 39 plays.

“That’s a big, physical, explosive football team,” said WSU head coach Jody Sears. “Just the speed, the size and the strength reared its ugly head and exposed us on several occasions. There aren’t any excuses.”

Wilson finished the half 14-19 for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 93 yards and two rushing scores.

“(Wilson) did a nice job today,” said Ute head coach Kyle Wittingham. “He threw the ball efficiently again for the second week in a row. His completion percentage was outstanding. You got an idea of what kind of speed he has on those two long runs.”

After an early second-half touchdown by the Utes, the Wildcats finally got on the board with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that was capped with a three-yard touchdown by running back Josh Booker. That brought the score to 56-7 in favor of the Utes.

“We just went out and ran our offense,” Booker said. “And that’s the crazy thing. We go out and run our offense, and we just so happened to get out and win that series, and we just so happened to get in the end zone that series and move the ball.”

The Utes took the momentum right back, taking a punt return to the 28-yard line, which was punched in two plays later by Ute running back Lucky Radley. That brought the score to 63-7, ending the quarter.

The Utes added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 70-7.

“I think it is a good experience for us,” said WSU quarterback Jordan Adamczyk. “The game speed will slow down in Big Sky play. Going into these games, you just got to go into it the same way, study the same way.”

Sears will now prepare for next week’s game against Utah State University, and he will use this game as a measuring stick to where he wants his team to be in the coming weeks.

“That’s the level we got to get to,” Sears said. “We can’t let this define us. We got to take the challenge and continue to grow this program. We’re going to take these things head-on and grow from it.”