Utah Utes News: Postgame Notes: No. 23 Utah vs. No. 3 Oregon

11/20/2021

Postgame Notes
(at) No. 23 Utah 38, No. 3 Oregon 7
Salt Lake City, Utah (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Sat., Nov. 20, 2021
Kick: 5:44 p.m. | End: 8:52 p.m.
Attendance: 52,724
General


  • The victory over No. 3-ranked Oregon made the Ducks the highest-ranked opponent in the College Football Playoff poll to be defeated by Utah since the CFP was established in 2014.
  • Against the AP poll, Utah’s win over Oregon (No. 4) was the highest ranked victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium, surpassing a win over No. 5 Stanford in 2013.
  • It ties the highest overall AP-ranked victory in program history, matching a win over No. 4 Alabama in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.
  • Utah is 2-0 against AP-ranked opponents in 2021, adding to the Oct. 16 home win over then-No. 18 ASU. The last season in which Utah had multiple victories over AP-ranked foes was in 2015 (No. 13 Oregon, No. 23 California).
  • Utah clinched the Pac-12 South Division title with the win over Oregon. Since joining the Pac-12 Conference in 2011, the Utes have won at least a share of the South four times (2015, ’18, ’19, ’21).
  • The South title earns Utah a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, Dec. 3 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. That game is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT (5 p.m. in Las Vegas) and will air on ABC.
  • Head coach Kyle Whittingham improved to 142-69 in his head coaching career at Utah, passing Ike Armstrong (141 wins) as the winningest head coach in program history. Armstrong was head coach at Utah from 1925-49.
  • Utah is 7-1 in Pac-12 play for the second time since joining the conference, and first since finishing 8-1 during the 2019 season.
  • Utah picked up its first win in the ABC primetime slot since Nov. 30, 2019 (45-15 over Colorado). All-time on ABC, the Utes are now 17-7-1.
  • Utah has ensured it will finish the season with a winning record for the eighth straight season, and 15th time in 17 seasons under the direction of head coach Kyle Whittingham.
  • Junior wide receiver and return specialist Britain Covey had 191 all-purpose yards in the game (6 rush, 36 receiving, 59 kickoff return, 90 punt return). It brings Covey to 3,730 career all-purpose yards, and passes former Ute Kevin Dyson (3,561 from 1994-97) for fourth in the Utah record book.
  • Dating back to the 2020 season, Utah has won seven straight games inside Rice-Eccles Stadium. It is the longest such streak at home since the Utes claimed 11 in a row during 2018-19. Including that run (since Oct. 12, 2018) Utah has won 18 of its last 19 in Salt Lake City.
  • Utah has sold out Rice-Eccles stadium in 69 consecutive games, dating back to the 2010 season opener. Saturday’s official attendance of 52,724 was a record for Rice-Eccles Stadium and reset the facility’s previous record of 51,922 in Utah’s last home game vs. UCLA (Oct. 30).
  • Oregon won the coin toss, deferred to the second half, and elected to defend the North goal.

Offense


  • Utah’s 38 points are the most for the team all-time against an AP top-10-ranked opponent.
  • The Utes dominated the Ducks for four quarters with Oregon giving up the most points by an opponent since they lost to Oregon State 41-38 in 2020.
  • Sophomore running back Tavion Thomas (21 carries, 94 yards) rushed for three touchdowns and now has a program-record 17 rushing touchdowns on the season. Thomas’ first touchdown brought him to 15 this season—tying the previous record with Zack Moss (2019) and John White (2011).
  • With three touchdowns on the night, Thomas has five multi-touchdown games this season and six in his career (including one while playing for Cincinnati.
  • Excluding the Nov. 13 game at Arizona in which Thomas did not play, Thomas has scored three-plus rushing touchdowns in three straight games played.
  • Thomas is the first Utah player since at least 2000 with three different three-touchdown games in a season (via Sports Reference), logging four each vs. UCLA (10/30) and at Stanford (11/5).
  • Junior tight end Brant Kuithe had 118 receiving yards on five catches (23.6 yard average).
  • After Rising was unable to connect with Kuithe on Utah’s fifth play of the game, Kuithe reeled in his remaining five targets, including a season-long 49-yard reception during the second quarter. It was Kuithe’s longest catch since the 2019 season.
  • Kuithe surpassed the 100-yards receiving mark during the third quarter. It is the second 100-yard receiving game of Kuithe’s career, and first since Nov. 16, 2019 vs. UCLA (career-high 132). It’s also the first 100-yard receiving game for a Utah player since Britain Covey (6-134, 1 TD) in the 2020 season finale vs. Washington State (12/20/20).
  • Kuithe’s 118 receiving yards are the second-most by a tight end in the Pac-12 this season.
  • Sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising made his eighth straight start (10-of-18, 178 passing yds, zero INT). Rising also kept the ball five times for a net eight yards and a touchdown. It was Rising’s fifth rushing score of the season.
  • Britain Covey had three receptions for 36 yards, now totaling 1,833 receiving yards in his career. It ranks Covey 10th all-time at Utah, passing Henry Lusk (1,807 from 1991-95).
  • Utah has scored 35 or more points in seven games this season, including four straight. Six of those seven performances have come against Pac-12 opponents.

Defense


  • Oregon was held scoreless in a half for the first time this season, and first time overall since the second half of the 2020 Fiesta Bowl vs. Iowa State (Jan. 2, 2021).
  • It was also the first time the Ducks had been held to one touchdown since 2018 in the Redbox Bowl against Michigan State (W, 7-6).
  • Junior linebacker Devin Lloyd had one tackle for loss among his six total stops on the evening. It brings Lloyd to 21.0 TFLs this season and 42.0 TFLs in his career.
  • In the Utah career record book, Lloyd is now No. 4 in program history after passing Bradlee Anae (41.5 from 2016-19). For a single season, Lloyd is tied for third all-time at Utah with Jimmy Bellamy (1991) and Nate Orchard (2014).
  • Lloyd’s TFL yards this season (9th; 89) and in his career (7th; 183) also rank in the top-10 in the Utah record book.
  • Freshman Cole Bishop had seven tackles (1.0 TFL), one tackle short of tying his career-high.
  • Junior Mika Tafua (1.0), freshman Junior Tafuna (1.5) and freshman Zemaiah Vaughn (0.5) combined for three sacks. It marked the first time that Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown has been sacked three times since Sept. 4 vs. Fresno State.
  • Tafua has at least one sack in three straight games and seven of the last nine.
  • Of Utah’s 34 sacks as a team this season, 22.5 have come from the defensive line (19.5 during Pac-12 play).
  • Freshman Aliki Vimahi recorded his third pass breakup of the season during the second quarter. It is Vimahi’s second straight game played with a breakup.
  • For the sixth time this season, the Utah defense forced a three-and-out on its opponent’s opening drive of the game.

Special Teams


  • Freshman Cole Bishop broke through to block a 36-yard Oregon field goal attempt during the first quarter. It is the second blocked field goal by Utah this season and includes a block by Devin Kaufusi during the win over Arizona State (Oct. 16).
  • The last time that Utah blocked two kicks in the same season was in 2018 (3; vs. Weber State, at Washington State and vs. Washington).
  • Britain Covey returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown as time expired for the first half. It is Covey’s second punt return touchdown this season (80 yards at San Diego State) and fourth of his career.
  • Covey is the first Pac-12 player with multiple punt return touchdowns in a season since 2017, when both Dante Pettis (Washington; 4) and Shun Brown (Arizona; 2) accomplished the feat.
  • Covey’s four career punt return scores ties the Utah record held by Steve Odom (1971-73) and Steve Smith (1999-2000).
  • Covey is the seventh Ute all-time with multiple punt return touchdowns in a season. The last was Kaelin Clay, who had three in 2014 and shares the single-season record with Steve Smith (1999).
  • Covey increased his program-record punt return yards to 1,049 for his career. He also has returned 85 punts in his career, second-best in program history behind LaVon Edwards (112; 1988-91).
  • Covey now has 384 punt return yards this season on 22 returns. His yardage ranks fifth at Utah for a single season, just short of Erroll Tucker (389 in 1985).
  • Freshman Cameron Peasley (33 yards) and sophomore Michael Williams (36 yards) each punted once in the game.
  • Sophomore Jadon Redding went 5-of-5 on PATs and also made a 26-yard field goal during the fourth quarter.
  • Redding is now 101-of-103 on PATs in his career, ranking seventh at Utah in career PAT percentage (.980).
  • Freshman Jordan Noyes handled kickoff duties for the Utes, booting six times on the night with four touchbacks.

COURTESY UTAH ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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