Utah slides by Colorado 24-17

Kelvin York rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and Trevor

Reilly had a late interception to help Utah slide by Colorado 24-17

on Saturday afternoon.

In a matchup of the two teams at the bottom of the Pac-12 South,

the Utes raced to a 21-0 first-half lead before the Buffs roared


On fourth-and-10, Sefo Liufau completed a 14-yard TD pass to

Nelson Spruce that made it 24-17 with 2:30 remaining. The ensuing

onside kick bounded high over the Utah line and out of bounds.

But the Buffs forced a Utah punt that was downed at the 10 – Tom

Hackett’s third kick inside the 10-yard-line.

On the next play, defensive end Reilly dropped back from the

line and caught the ball at the 21-yard-line. A year of frustration

was evident as Reilly threw the ball high into the south end zone

stands before he was greeted by a horde of celebrating teammates on

the sidelines.

Adam Schulz, a former walk-on who was pressed into service when

starter Travis Wilson was sidelined with an intracranial artery

injury three weeks ago, completed 19 of 33 passes for 233 yards for


Utah broke a five-game losing skid and Dres Anderson became the

seventh Ute to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season, the first

since David Reed had 1,188 in 2009. He caught seven passes for 94

yards against the Buffs, which put him at 1,002 for the season.

Liufau was pressured mercilessly in the first half but finished

23 of 46 for 241 yards and two touchdowns for the Buffs.

In the third quarter, Liufau finally had time to throw and

lofted a pass to Scott Fernandez down the middle of the field for a

34-yard touchdown.

Just when it looked like the Utes would put the game out of

reach late in the third quarter, the Buffaloes made a big play.

Jake Murphy caught a pass near the goal line and as he reached for

the end zone, he lost the ball and Jeffrey Hall returned the fumble

for 42 yards. A 15-yard face mask penalty on Schulz tacked on 15


The ensuing drive stalled at the Utah 2, but Will Oliver kicked

a 19-yard field goal to draw Colorado within 21-10 with 12:17 to


Andy Phillips countered with a 46-yard field goal for Utah

before the Buffs made their late push.

The opportunistic Utes used two fumble recoveries to spark short

touchdown drives in the first quarter. The Buffaloes had just 11

fumbles all season but Liufau was sacked by Tenny Palepoi and lost

the ball at the Colorado 34.

Schulz completed three passes on the drive to Jake Murphy, the

last of which was a 16-yard touchdown. Murphy, in his third game

back from a broken wrist, had eight catches for 93 yards.

Later in the first quarter, Liufau was hit just before he threw

by Hunter Dimick and LT Tuipolutu took the ball off a bounce and

rumbled to the Colorado 6-yard-line. On the next play, York ran up

the middle and Utah led 14-0.

York scored again from one yard out after Dres Anderson

highlighted an 80-yard drive with a 49-yard dazzling catch. In his

final game as a Ute, York posted a career-highs in yards and

carries (31).

In the first half, Addison Gillam intercepted Schulz and

returned it to the Utah 5. But the Buffs couldn’t punch it in and

Reilly, who had 14 tackles, stuffed Tony Jones for a 4-yard loss on


Both teams have struggled since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 and

this season-ending contest have been tight all three years with

Utah claiming the last two.

The Utes, who beat Stanford and lost nail-biters to Arizona

State and Oregon State, have wondered all year what could have been

without the key injuries and few friendly bounces of the ball.

After a 10 consecutive season ending in bowl games, the Utes

have now finished back-to-back campaigns with losing records.