Connect with us

Sports

Utah dominates USC, upends CFP picture

The Utes trailed USC by 14 points in the first half. From that point on, Utah outscored the Trojans 44-7 and potentially knocked them out of the CFP.

News Agencies

Published

on

Utah dominates USC, upends CFP picture

USC’s College Football Playoff dreams may have gone up in flames on Friday night in Las Vegas.

The fourth-ranked Trojans almost certainly would have locked up a spot in the four-team playoff with a win over No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 title game. But the Utes had other ideas.

Utah overcame an early 14-point deficit and stormed back to win 47-24 to capture its second straight Pac-12 championship and clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl.

Advertisement

A two-loss team has never made the College Football Playoff, so the loss by USC may open the door for No. 5 Ohio State to slide into the field of four.

It was a stunning turn of events after a scintillating start from Caleb Williams and the USC offense. Williams, the Heisman Trophy favorite, was on fire early before an early hamstring injury limited his mobility. He added to his Heisman reel in the first quarter with a beautiful on-the-move deep ball to Tahj Washington and a special 59-yard scramble.

Williams was in total command, and USC appeared to be well on its way to both a conference title and a shot at the national championship.

Advertisement
USC quarterback Caleb Williams (13) is tackled by Utah safeties R.J. Hubert (11) and Cole Bishop (8) during the Pac-12 championship game on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

USC quarterback Caleb Williams (13) is tackled by Utah safeties R.J. Hubert (11) and Cole Bishop (8) during the Pac-12 championship game on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

But Utah managed to withstand the USC barrage and get back into the game.

Utah scored twice in the final four minutes of the second quarter, flipping what was a 17-3 USC advantage into a tie ballgame at halftime.

During a thrilling first-quarter run, Williams suffered hamstring injury which left him at less than 50%, according to USC coach Lincoln Riley.

Advertisement

It went unnoticed on the broadcast, but Williams’ pocket mobility got more and more limited as the half progressed. And when the second half got underway, Williams could barely move.

Advertisement

Without any threat of using his legs — either to scramble, extend plays or pick up critical yardage via designed runs — Williams was a sitting duck. Utah’s defense teed off.

USC went three-and-out on its first three second half possessions and Utah took its first lead on a major gaffe from USC’s much-maligned defense.

On a third-and-19 play, Cam Rising hit Money Parks for a 57-yard touchdown on a play that featured multiple missed tackles by the USC defense.

Advertisement

It wouldn’t be the only display of lackluster tackling from USC.

After Utah extended its lead to 10 points, 27-17, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Williams led a gutsy 75-yard touchdown drive to make Utah’s lead just 27-24 with 10:52 to play.

Just when it seemed like the tide was turning back in USC’s favor, the defense could not even put up a semblance of resistance.

Advertisement

Only 44 seconds later, Cam Rising hit tight end Thomas Yassmin on a play-action pass. The 251-pound Yassmin easily escaped one arm tackle and then bullied his way through Calen Bullock and into the end zone. That 60-yard touchdown returned Utah’s lead to 10 points, 34-24, with 10:08 to play.

On the ensuing drive, Williams made one more incredible play by scrambling and finding Jordan Addison deep on a fourth-down play. But two plays later, he made a critical mistake. Williams stared down a receiver and Utah’s R.J. Hubert read it the whole way to haul in a back-breaking interception in the red zone.

Three plays after the interception, Utah’s Ja’Quinden Jackson put the final nail in the coffin when he reeled off an electric 53-yard touchdown run, extending Utah’s lead to 40-24 with 5:29 to play.

Advertisement

Williams and the USC offense picked up the slack for a porous defense all year long. And on this night, the defense was completely ill-equipped to return the favor.

By the time the dust settled, Utah had accumulated 533 yards of offense, including 223 yards on the ground and a stellar 310-yard, three-touchdown performance from quarterback Cam Rising.

Williams would finish the night with 363 yards and three touchdowns, and a lot of that production came on one leg. It wasn’t a performance that should detract from his Heisman candidacy, but an individual award will likely be the furthest thing from Williams’ mind if the Trojans end up falling outside the top four on Sunday.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Maria Menounos Expecting First Baby with Husband Keven Undergaro After Decade-Long Journey Maria Menounos Expecting First Baby with Husband Keven Undergaro After Decade-Long Journey
Entertainment1 hour ago

Maria Menounos Expecting First Baby with Husband Keven Undergaro After Decade-Long Journey

Maria Menounos is going to be a mom! The TV host, 44, and husband Keven Undergaro are expecting their first...

'Clueless' star Elisa Donovan talks reuniting with Alicia Silverstone for Super Bowl ad: 'It was, without doubt, surreal' 'Clueless' star Elisa Donovan talks reuniting with Alicia Silverstone for Super Bowl ad: 'It was, without doubt, surreal'
Entertainment2 hours ago

‘Clueless’ star Elisa Donovan talks reuniting with Alicia Silverstone for Super Bowl ad: ‘It was, without doubt, surreal’

Elisa Donovan and Alicia Silverstone star in “Clueless.” (Photo: CBS via Getty Images) More than 27 years have passed since...

Recomendado: 5 películas con Jamie Lee Curtis, la actriz que es mucho más que la víctima perfecta de un psicópata enmascarado Recomendado: 5 películas con Jamie Lee Curtis, la actriz que es mucho más que la víctima perfecta de un psicópata enmascarado
Entertainment6 hours ago

Recomendado: 5 películas con Jamie Lee Curtis, la actriz que es mucho más que la víctima perfecta de un psicópata enmascarado

A los 64 años, la intérprete -hija de dos leyendas de Hollywood, Tony Curtis y Janet Leigh- consiguió su primera...

The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champio, and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT All-Stars' The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champio, and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT All-Stars'
Entertainment12 hours ago

The final countdown: A ‘robbed’ fan favorite, a pandemic champio, and an ‘icon’ vie for one last spot on ‘AGT All-Stars’

Comedian Josh Blue, poet Brandon Leake, and viral sensation Kodi Lee compete for the one remaining spot in the ‘America’s...

The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champion and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT: All-Stars' The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champion and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT: All-Stars'
Entertainment12 hours ago

The final countdown: A ‘robbed’ fan favorite, a pandemic champion and an ‘icon’ vie for one last spot on ‘AGT: All-Stars’

Comedian Josh Blue, poet Brandon Leake, and viral sensation Kodi Lee compete for the one remaining spot in the ‘America’s...

Chris Brown apologizes to Robert Glasper for social outburst after losing at the Grammys Chris Brown apologizes to Robert Glasper for social outburst after losing at the Grammys
Entertainment15 hours ago

Chris Brown apologizes to Robert Glasper for social outburst after losing at the Grammys

Chris Brown is sorry for being a sore loser at the Grammy Awards. The singer, 33, took to Instagram on...

I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel with original stars in the works at Sony I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel with original stars in the works at Sony
Entertainment15 hours ago

I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel with original stars in the works at Sony

Another summer, another hook-wielding psycho killer — and maybe some familiar faces too. More than 25 years after I Know...

Could 'The Last of Us' finale beat the Oscars in the ratings? We break down the numbers Could 'The Last of Us' finale beat the Oscars in the ratings? We break down the numbers
Entertainment15 hours ago

Could ‘The Last of Us’ finale beat the Oscars in the ratings? We break down the numbers

The fungal zombies are coming for the Oscars. In a programming matchup that’s certain to create an agonizing Sophie’s choice...

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Bucks win eighth straight game 127-108 over Trail Blazers behind 27 points from Brook Lopez Bucks win eighth straight game 127-108 over Trail Blazers behind 27 points from Brook Lopez
Sports35 mins ago

Bucks win eighth straight game 127-108 over Trail Blazers behind 27 points from Brook Lopez

Bucks win eighth straight game 127-108 over Trail Blazers behind 27 points from Brook Lopez

ESPN says FSU football will have most returning production in FBS for 2023 ESPN says FSU football will have most returning production in FBS for 2023
Sports1 hour ago

ESPN says FSU football will have most returning production in FBS for 2023

FSU ranks first nationally in ESPN's returning production metric, returning 87% of their 2022 production in 2023.

UFC plans to open a Performance Institute in Mexico City by the fourth quarter of 2023 UFC plans to open a Performance Institute in Mexico City by the fourth quarter of 2023
Sports1 hour ago

UFC plans to open a Performance Institute in Mexico City by the fourth quarter of 2023

The UFC announced Tuesday it will open its third Performance Institute, this one in Mexico City, by the fourth quarter...

Ranking the opponents Ranking the opponents
Sports2 hours ago

Ranking the opponents

After all that anticipation and wondering what the Big 12 conference was going to do to Oklahoma with the 2023

Capel on Boeheim's comments, NIL, the grind and more Capel on Boeheim's comments, NIL, the grind and more
Sports2 hours ago

Capel on Boeheim’s comments, NIL, the grind and more

Jeff Capel talked about Jim Boeheim's comments, the landscape of NIL and a lot more Monday morning.

How to watch to Arkansas-Kentucky, projected lineups, more How to watch to Arkansas-Kentucky, projected lineups, more
Sports3 hours ago

How to watch to Arkansas-Kentucky, projected lineups, more

HawgBeat provides everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday's game between Arkansas and Kentucky.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023: Time, date, TV channel, halftime show for Eagles-Chiefs in Super Bowl 57 How to watch the Super Bowl 2023: Time, date, TV channel, halftime show for Eagles-Chiefs in Super Bowl 57
Sports3 hours ago

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023: Time, date, TV channel, halftime show for Eagles-Chiefs in Super Bowl 57

Now that the matchup is set, here's all the info you need.

Tom Brady gets emotional as Bill Belichick heaps praise on his former QB: 'The greatest .. Tom Brady gets emotional as Bill Belichick heaps praise on his former QB: 'The greatest ..
Sports4 hours ago

Tom Brady gets emotional as Bill Belichick heaps praise on his former QB: ‘The greatest … it was incredible’

Belichick joined his former quarterback on the first episode of Brady's podcast since he announced his retirement.

Technology Hot News

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" . Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .
Technology3 weeks ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors
Technology3 weeks ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung
Technology3 weeks ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency
Technology3 weeks ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Because of a "fraudulent tweet".. Because of a "fraudulent tweet"..
Technology3 weeks ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions
Technology3 weeks ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices. The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.
Technology3 weeks ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

New Twitter. New Twitter.
Technology3 weeks ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement