WACO, Texas – After trailing 13-6 at the end of the third quarter, the No. 12 University of Utah Football team scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game, rallying for a 20-13 road victory at Baylor. Utah is now 2-0 with one non-conference game remaining.
Utah produced 377 yards of total offense, including a season-high 224 rushing yards, holding the Bears to 339 total yards and just one touchdown. Of the Utes’ 377 yards on offense, 166 came in the fourth quarter along with 14 of their 20 points.
The Utes also held the Bears to just 14 first downs and only three third down conversions, also winning the time of possession battle at 36:17 to 23:43.
It was once again “next man up” mentality for the Utes with players all over the field stepping up to lead Utah to victory. Quarterback Nate Johnson finished the game 6-of-7 passing for 82 yards, also rushing 11 times for 32 yards and the game-tying touchdown.
Running backs Ja’Quinden Jackson and Jaylon Glover put together gritty performances for the Utes with Jackson racking up a career-high 129 yards on 19 carries while Glover punched in the game-winning touchdown on the backend of his seven-carry, 40-yard performance.
True freshman wide receiver Mikey Matthews also stepped up for the Utes against the Bears, reeling in four catches for a career-high 48 yards with Money Parks adding three receptions for 33 yards. Matthews also had a 24-yard kickoff return with Mycah Pittman contributing two punt returns for 28 yards.
On defense, linebacker Levani Damuni and safety Sione Vaki both led the team with eight tackles each while Zemaiah Vaughn added five tackles and an interception. Safety Cole Bishop also racked up four stops with 2.0 tackles for loss and a pick.
Kicker Cole Becker was 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 on PATs for eight points with punter Jack Bouwmeester recording four punts for 182 yards, averaging 45.5 yards per punt while dropping three inside the 20-yard line.
FIRST QUARTER BREAKDOWN
With neither team finding the end zone during the first quarter, it quickly turned into a battle of the defenses inside McLane Stadium.
The Utes held Baylor to just 57 yards of total offense, including 26 yards through the air and 31 rushing. Unfortunately, the Utes were unable to get going offensively as well, only producing 43 total yards with just two first downs and a turnover.
SECOND QUARTER BREAKDOWN
The Bears were able to find their way onto the scoreboard at the 13:03 mark in the second quarter, taking a 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal after the Utes stopped them on third down at the Utah 17-yard line.
After Jackson broke free for a 44-yard rush to the Baylor 32-yard line on Utah’s next drive, Johnson connected with Devaughn Vele up the middle for a 22-yard gain to put the Utes in scoring territory. Once again though, Utah was unable to find the end zone, settling for a 31-yard field goal from Becker to even the score with 9:04 to go in the half.
The Bears would regain the momentum with 3:23 on the clock with a quarterback keeper for a four-yard touchdown, giving them a 10-3 advantage. It would be the final score of the quarter, marking the first time that Utah has been held without a touchdown in the first half since Nov. 19, 2022 at Oregon.
THIRD QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Baylor opened the scoring in the third quarter after Utah held them on a third-and-seven, forcing the Bears to settle on a 24-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game at 13-3 with 11:00 on the clock.
Utah’s defense was able to step up with 7:48 remaining in the quarter with Vaughn snagging an interception to give the Utes the ball back on the Baylor 37-yard line. The Utes would end their drive with a 46-yard field goal from Becker, cutting the Baylor advantage to 13-6 with 4:05 to go.
The Utes went on to force a three-and-out on Baylor’s next drive, with the quarter ending with Utah on its own 36-yard line.
FOURTH QUARTER BREAKDOWN
Utah started the quarter by turning the ball over on downs, but the Utes’ defense forced another three-and-out, giving them the ball back with 10:01 remaining in the game.
Johnson would start the drive under center, taking the Utes down field for 15 plays and 88 yards that included key first down catches by Matthews, ending with Johnson breaking through the Baylor defense for a seven-yard rushing touchdown to tie things up 13-13 with 1:59 left in the game.
Baylor took over on their own 26-yard line, but Utah’s defense wouldn’t give up a single yard with the Bears’ drive ending with an interception by Bishop to give the Utes the ball back on the Baylor 29-yard line with 1:35 to go.
The tandem of Glover and Jackson pushed the Utes to the Baylor 13-yard line with the Utes looking for the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute to play in the game. Lining up in the backfield, Glover took the ball from Johnson, busting through the Bears for an 11-yard rushing score, securing the road win.
The Utes return home to take on the Weber State Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 16 for Champions Weekend. The game will kickoff at 12 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.