Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:31 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham promised he’d keep the recent spate of FCS upsets over FBS teams foremost in his players’ minds this week.
The Utes took control against Weber State early enough they never had time to worry about it, scoring 35 points in the second quarter en route to steamrolling the Wildcats 70-7 on Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns in just one half of work while scoring on runs of 38 and 51 yards to lead his Pac-12 team to a dominating win against an in-state Big Sky foe.
“That’s a big, physical, explosive football team,” Weber State coach Jody Sears said. “Just the speed and the size and the strength obviously reared its head and exposed us on several occasions. But I offer no excuse. When you’re trying to lead 18- to 22-year-old men, there aren’t any excuses.”
The numbers piled up like I-15 traffic at rush hour as Utah took a 49-0 lead at halftime and racked up 628 yards of total offense, 338 yards rushing, seven sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Sean Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes and Lucky Radley rushed for 111 yards and two more scores, averaging 8.5 yards on 13 carries for Utah. Dres Anderson added four catches for 103 yards and a TD and Mike Honeycutt scored on a 21-yard fumble recovery.
WSU allowed the most points by an opponent since 1999, took its second-worst loss in school history, while Utah matched its 10th highest single-game score.
Sears wanted the game to be a learning experience for the Wildcats, though it was a hard lesson.
“It was a good experience for us,” Adamczyk said. “It definitely will slow down, the game speed will slow down for us in Big Sky play. Going into these games, you’ve just got to go into it like any other game, study for it the same way, but it definitely helps out when we start the Big Sky Conference play.”
Whittingham said the heavily favored Utes managed to gain something from the blowout while they work on their identity.
“We learned that we were able to do what we’re supposed to do,” Whittingham said. “We expected to play well and control the game. We’re still finding out about ourselves. I believe you don’t truly know who you are until the fourth or fifth week of the season.”
The Utes are off to a good start, he said. After taking a 14-0 first quarter lead, they gave the crowd of 45,053 plenty of fireworks for the rest of the half.
The Utes moved the ball at will with lightning-strike scoring drives: out of seven first-half TDs, their longest took just 1:34 off the clock, their shortest 12 seconds.
Their 35 points in the second quarter were the most in a quarter since the school began keeping the stat in 1968.
Whittingham noted the Utes’ ability to get big plays, as did Wilson, who completed 14 of 19 passes and rushed for 93 yards.
“We definitely moved the ball really well. I was really grateful that I got a chance to get my legs in there, too, and run a little bit,” Wilson said. “The wide receivers did a great job of getting open and we made some really plays. Last year we really lacked in making big plays. … So far, the last two games have been really good.”
The Wildcats finally snapped the shutout in the third quarter, converting a fourth and 1 inside the five and capping a 13-play, 75-yard drive with a three-yard scoring dive by senior running back Josh Booker with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
That was all the offense WSU could muster. Tony Epperson’s 12 punts came one shy of Weber State’s single-game mark.
Starting quarterback Jordan Adamczyk completed 8 of 17 passes for 88 yards; backup Austin Chipoletti, playing the majority of the second quarter, completed 4 of 7 for 16 yards.
Bo Bolen had 30 of WSU’s 69 rushing yards, Booker had 23 and freshman Zach Smith had 20.
Senior receiver Erik Walker was actually Weber State’s second-leading passer in the game, completing a 32-yard reverse pass that made BYU transfer Cody Raymond the leading receiver.
Weber State faces another in-state FBS foe next Saturday, Utah State, while the Utes will begin Pac-12 play at home against Oregon State.
Utah 70, Weber State 7
At Rice-Eccles Stadium
Weber State 0 0 7 0 — 7
Utah 14 35 14 7 — 70
Utah—Wilson 38 run (Phillips kick), 9:07.
Utah—Fitzgerald 80 pass from Wilson (Phillips kick), 5:13.
Utah—York 24 run (Phillips kick), 9:59.
Utah—D.Anderson 57 pass from Wilson (Phillips kick), 5:50.
Utah—Wilson 51 run (Phillips kick), 3:08.
Utah—Honeycutt 21 fumble return (Phillips kick), 2:57.
Utah—Fitzgerald 1 pass from Wilson (Phillips kick), :04.
Utah—Radley 17 run (Phillips kick), 12:31.
Weber State—Booker 3 run (Fackrell kick), 7:17.
Utah—Radley 11 run (Phillips kick), 3:47.
Utah—M.Williams 1 run (Phillips kick), 1:43.
First downs 13 24
Rushes-yards 43-69 38-338
Passing 136 290
Comp-Att-Int 13-25-0 17-24-0
Return yards 0 126
Punts-avg. 12-43.6 4-43.5
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 6-55 4-35
Time of possession 33:03 26:57
Rushing—Weber State, Bolen 7-30, Booker 9-23, Zac.Smith 7-20, Livingston 1-16, Copeland 2-13, Adamczyk 8-(minus 15), Chipoletti 9-(minus 18). Utah, Radley 13-111, Wilson 3-93, Poole 3-44, M.Williams 10-40, Schulz 4-29, York 4-23, Team 1-(minus 2).
Passing—Weber State, Adamczyk 8-17-0-88, Chipoletti 4-7-0-16, Walker 1-1-0-32. Utah, Wilson 14-19-0-264, Schulz 3-5-0-26.
Receiving—Weber State, Bolen 2-26, Corpus 2-21, Livingston 2-19, Zac.Smith 2-9, Raymond 1-32, Fowler 1-12, Walker 1-11, Kahawaii 1-4, Marciel 1-2. Utah, D.Anderson 4-103, Fitzgerald 3-87, J.Murphy 2-40, Poole 2-20, Denham 1-16, Hatfield 1-13, Fakailoatonga 1-9, Norwood 1-4, K.Williams 1-1, York 1-(minus 3).
Contact reporter Roy Burton at 801-625-4262, email@example.com.
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