11/16/14 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Jr, 6-6, 240 Utah and Stanford, the Pac-12's ultimate grinders, needed more than 60 minutes to decide which team is the conference's king of gritty victories. And then they needed more. Travis Wilson ended the defensive stalemate with a brief burst of offense in the second overtime, throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Scott to send No. 25 Utah to a 20-17 win over Stanford on Saturday night. "You see everybody on this team working so hard and to see it pay off, it's pretty awesome," Scott said. Kaelin Clay, whose careless goal-line fumble swayed the momentum in a loss to Oregon last weekend, caught a 25-yard TD pass on a wheel route on the first play of overtime before the Cardinal came back with the tying score.
Jordan Williamson kicked a career-long 51-yard field goal - the same distance Stanford coach David Shaw passed up late in the fourth quarter - to start the second session, setting the stage for the Utes' dramatic finish. Wilson, who regained the starting quarterback job after Kendal Thompson's season-ending knee injury against Oregon, found Scott on a slant route on third-and-1. Scott jumped up, lifted his arms in the air and was swarmed by teammates streaming into the end zone after spoiling Stanford's Senior Day celebration. The Utes improved to 2-1 in overtime. They had never played three overtime games in a season. - AP Sports
10/29/14 - (WR) - Dres Anderson, Sr, 6-2, 190 Utah announced Wednesday morning that senior wide receiver Dres Anderson will miss the remainder of the 2014 season due to a knee injury. Anderson is currently ranked as the No. 14 wide receiver prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com and No. 90 prospect overall. He was considered a second day draft pick, but the severity of his injury could push him out of the top-100 picks. It is unclear if the injury occurred in Saturday's win over USC or during practice, but Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the season and his readiness to work out for scouts prior to the 2015 NFL Draft is in question.
Anderson, the son of 10-year NFL veteran receiver Willie “Flipper” Anderson, led the Utes this season with 355 receiving yards and four touchdowns, averaging 16.1 yards per catch. He will finish his college career with 2,077 career receiving yards, which ranks fifth-best in school history. As a NFL prospect, Anderson is highly thought of due to his speed to release off the line of scrimmage and stretch the field. He has long, fast strides to eat grass in a hurry and accelerate past defenders, showing sticky hands and excellent tracking ability. Anderson is lean-muscled and doesn't have ideal NFL bulk, but he uses his frame well to pluck and is much tougher than he looks. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/28/14 - (K) - Andy Phillips, rSo, 5-10, 207 OCT 20 PAC-12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah kicker Andy Phillips, a sophomore from Draper, Utah, was three-for-three on field goal attempts with makes from 46, 43 and 38 yards in Utah’s 29-23 double-overtime win at Oregon State. He improved to 9-of-11 in 40+ yard field goals this season and 13-of-15 overall. Phillips, who leads the Pac-12 and ranks sixth in the nation in scoring (10.8 ppg), scored 11 total points against the Beavers, going 2-of-2 in PATs to improve to 26-of-26 this season and 67-of-67 in his career. Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Zane Gonzalez, K, ASU; Ka’imi Fairbairn, K, UCLA; Alex Wood, K, USC. - Pac-12 football
10/28/14 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Jr, 6-6, 240 Travis Wilson threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay with 8 seconds left to lift Utah past Southern California. Wilson put the Utes (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) in position for the winning touchdown when he was flushed from the pocket and scrambled 19 yards, diving as he approached the goal line. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but was overturned on review - giving Utah the ball a foot from the end zone. Devontae Booker was stopped just short on the next play before Wilson's touchdown pass on a sprint out to the right side - a catch that also was reviewed before it was confirmed. After Adoree' Jackson returned the kickoff to the USC 28, the Trojans' last-gasp effort was snuffed when Cody Kessler was sacked by Nate Orchard and Hunter Dimick on the final play. Southern California dropped to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-12. - AP Sports
10/22/14 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rJr, 5-11, 209 Devontae Booker doesn't elaborate on his recent success, mostly saying he just runs hard. That tactic seems to work just fine for the Utah junior, who has rushed for an average of 187.7 yards in the last three games for the No. 19 Utes. His last outing was a 229-yard, three-touchdown eruption against Oregon State last Thursday night, sending Utah to a 29-23 double-overtime victory over the Beavers in Corvallis. "Every time my name was called I just took it and ran with it, ran hard and fought for extra yards," he said. Those yards pushed Booker into a tie for fifth on Utah's single-game best list. It also was the top rushing performance in the Pac-12 so far this season. "That guy is a beast," Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said. "I think he's the best back in the Pac-12."
Although he's started just two games for the Utes, Booker ranks second in the conference for yards rushing per game with nearly 124. Only Javorius Allen of USC has more with an average of 129.9 per game. Booker has no doubt solidified his job as starter for Utah (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) which hosts the No. 20 Trojans (5-2, 4-1) on Saturday night. Allen and Booker should both have the attention of the opposing defenses. "It will be very pivotal," Whittingham said about the showdown between the two backs. "Just about every week, most weeks, football comes down to stopping the run and being able to run. We've got two teams doing a nice job. I think we're rushing for a few more yards per week than they are." - AP Sports
10/22/14 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rJr, 5-11, 209 Seven players ran for at least 170 yards this week - and all seven of their teams won. Utah's Devontae Booker led the way with 229 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-23 win over Oregon State. Booker has cracked 150 yards in three straight games, and the surging Utes have won back-to-back Pac-12 road games. Georgia's Nick Chubb made Bulldogs fans temporarily forget the absence of star Todd Gurley with 202 yards in a 45-32 win at Arkansas. Minnesota's David Cobb (194 yards) and Central Michigan's Thomas Rawls (167 yards) became the fourth and fifth players to reach 1,000 yards rushing on Saturday, though Rawls and the Chippewas fell to Ball State 32-29. - AP Sports
10/17/14 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rJr, 5-11, 209 Devontae Booker ran 19 yards for a touchdown in the second overtime to give No. 20 Utah a 29-23 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night. Booker finished with 229 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Utah (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12), which has won all four of its road games this season. Booker also ran for a 15-yard score in the first overtime to put the Utes in front 23-16. The Beavers (4-2, 1-2) answered with Sean Mannion's 2-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Villamin on fourth down to force another period. Trevor Romaine, whose 49-yard field goal as time expired in regulation tied the game at 16, attempted a 37-yard field goal that went wide right, giving the ball back to Utah for the game-winning drive.
It was Booker's third straight game with more than 150 yards rushing for the Utes, off to their best start since winning their first eight games in 2010. Mannion threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Villamin early in the fourth quarter to put Oregon State in front 13-9. But the Utes mounted a comeback and Booker ran 53 yards to the Oregon State 6. On fourth down, Booker plunged into the end zone with 4:20 left. Romaine's 49-yard kick sent the game to overtime. - AP Sports
10/17/14 - (RB) - Devontae Booker, rJr, 5-11, 209 Devontae Booker ran for a 19-yard touchdown in the second overtime, giving 20th-ranked Utah a 29-23 overtime victory over Oregon State on Thursday night at Reser Stadium. The Beavers (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) failed to score on their second possession of the overtime. Trevor Romaine, who kicked three field goals earlier, including one to force overtime, was wide right from 37 yards. Booker then carried three consecutive times to provide the winning score, his third touchdown of the game. He finished with 229 yards on 32 carries. He topped 100 rushing yards for the third consecutive game. Utah (5-1, 2-1) scored on the opening possession of overtime when Booker ran in from 15 yards. Oregon State answered with freshman wide receiver Jordan Villamin catching a 2-yard scoring pass from quarterback Sean Mannion on fourth down.
The Beavers forced the extra session when Romaine kicked a 49-yard field on the final play of regulation to knot the score at 16-16. Utah took a 16-13 lead with four minutes left when Booker nudged his way into the end zone on fourth down from a yard out. The touchdown came on the seventh consecutive carry by Booker on a 94-yard drive that featured Booker's 53-yard run to the 6-yard line, his longest gain of the night. The Beavers responded with a drive that included four consecutive completions by Mannion to reach the Utah 28-yard line in the final minute. A false-start penalty and a sack pushed the Beavers back and led to the kick that forced overtime. The Beavers took their first lead of the game three plays into the fourth quarter when Mannion, who earlier in the game moved into second place on the Pac-12 career passing yardage list, found Villamin open behind the Utah secondary for a 72-yard touchdown and a 13-9 advantage. - The Sports Xchange
10/13/14 - (K) - Andy Phillips, rSo, 5-10, 207 SEPT 22 PAC-12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah kicker Andy Phillips, a sophomore from Draper, Utah, accounted for more than half of Utah’s points in its 26-10 win over Michigan, making 4-of-5 field goals and 2-of-2 PATs for a total of 14 points. His clutch performance in the Big House featured makes from 35, 38, 48 and 50 yards. His only miss came after a lengthy rain delay, when his 41-yard attempt bounced off the upright. Phillips became the first Ute to make four field goals in a game since 2011 (Coleman Peterson). Phillips also had five touchbacks on six kickoffs. Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Darragh O’Neill, P, COLO. - Pac-12 football
10/13/14 - (ILB) - Gionni Paul, rJr, 5-10, 227 SEPT 22 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah linebacker Gionni Paul, a junior from Winter Haven, Fla., made his first appearance as a Ute since transferring from Miami (Fla.), and helped Utah take down Michigan on the road, 26-10. Paul, a redshirt last year who missed the first two games of this season while recovering from a foot injury suffered in the spring, had a game-high 14 tackles at Michigan, along with an interception and a fumble recovery. In the fourth quarter, his interception stopped Michigan’s first drive. Much later, after a two-hour, 24-minute weather delay, he recovered a fumble to halt the Wolverines on their first series out of the break. Paul led a Utes defense that never allowed the Michigan offense to enter the red zone. Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Scooby Wright III, LB, ARIZ; Greg Henderson, CB, COLO; Michael Doctor, LB, OSU; Jeremiah Allison, LB, WSU. - Pac-12 football
10/13/14 - (WR) - Kaelin Clay, Sr, 5-10, 188 SEPT 1 PAC-12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay, a senior from Long Beach, Calif, made an explosive Ute debut with a pair of long-distance touchdown returns during Utah’s season-opening 56-14 win over Idaho State. On his first touch as a Ute, Clay returned a punt 46 yards for a touchdown late in the first half. It was Utah’s first punt return for a touchdown since 2010. One quarter later, Clay returned his first and only kickoff return of the game 100 yards for a touchdown. He was the only Pac-12 player, and one of only four in FBS, to return a kickoff 100 yards during the opening weekend. He became the first Pac-12 player since 1999 (Deltha O’Neal, California) to score a touchdown on a punt return and a kickoff return in the same game. Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Casey Skowron, K, ARIZ; Zane Gonzalez, PK, ASU; Charles Nelson, PR, ORE; Garrett Owens, PK, OSU; Ty Montgomery WR/PR, STAN; Ishmael Adams, DB, UCLA. - Pac-12 football
10/13/14 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-4, 255 OCT 6 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Utah defensive end Nate Orchard, a senior from Salt Lake City, Utah, tied the school record with four sacks and recorded a career-high 11 tackles to help the Utes upset No. 8 UCLA, 30-28. Two of his sacks came in the fourth quarter and helped the Ute defense hold the Bruins to three consecutive three-and-outs. His 8-yard sack on third down stopped the first drive of the quarter and his 6-yard sack on first down in the third series of the quarter was the first of three consecutive sacks for the Utes. Orchard moved into the national lead in both sacks (8.5) and sacks per game (1.70) with his big game against UCLA and helped his team move into the national lead in sacks per game (5.6). Utah’s 10 sacks against UCLA is the second-most in school history. Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Dan Pettinato, DL, ARIZ; Jordan Simone, S, ASU; Jabral Johnson, LB, OSU; Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DL, UCLA. - Pac-12 football
10/08/14 - (K) - Andy Phillips, rSo, 5-10, 207 Andy Phillips kicked a 29-yard field goal with 34 seconds left for Utah, and UCLA's Ka'imi Fairbairn missed two field-goal attempts with no time on the clock as the Utes stunned the No. 8 Bruins 30-28 on Saturday night. Brett Hundley passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns for the Bruins (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12), who became the fourth team in the Top 10 to lose Saturday, and the fifth to fall this weekend. Utah (4-1, 1-1) drove 63 yards in 10 plays for the go-ahead kick, taking 4:16 off the clock behind the rushing of Kendal Thompson and Devontae Booker to set up the kick by Phillips, the one-time member of the U.S. Ski Team. Hundley drove the Bruins to the Utah 37, but Fairbairn missed a 50-yard field goal on an untimed down after Eric Rowe was penalized for running into Fairbairn on a failed 55-yard attempt as time expired. Booker ran for 156 yards and Oklahoma transfer Thompson added 83 yards on the ground for the Utes, who bounced back splendidly after blowing a 21-point lead last week in home loss to Washington State. - AP Sports
10/08/14 - (WR) - Dres Anderson, Sr, 6-2, 190 Utah 30, No. 8 UCLA 28...Utah capped a wild day filled with upsets in college football with a 30-28 victory over No. 8 UCLA on Saturday night in Pasadena, Calif. Andy Phillips kicked a 29-yard field goal with 34 seconds left to cap a 10-play, 63-yard drive and provide the winning margin in the Pac-12 game. No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 6 Texas A&M were among the other ranked teams to lose Saturday. No. 2 Oregon fell on Thursday night. UCLA (4-1,1-1 Pac-12) rallied from a 24-14 deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 28-27 lead on a 93-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Hundley to wide receiver Devin Filler and a 40-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Eldridge Massington.
The Bruins had a final shot at the win, but kicker Ka'imi Fairbaim missed two field goal attempts -- the first from 55 yards and the second from 50 yards after Utah's Eric Rowe was whistled for a 5-yard penalty for running into the kicker. Phillips kicked three field goals, defensive back Tevin Carter returned an interception 27 yards for the first score of the game, quarterback Kendal Thompson threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dres Anderson in the second quarter and running back Devontae Booker scored on a 6-yard run in the third quarter for Utah (4-1,1-1). Booker finished with 156 yards rushing on 33 carries and Thompson completed 10 of 13 passes for 95 yards and ran for 83 yards on 19 carries. - The Sports Xchange
09/12/14 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Jr, 6-6, 240 Just months after his career appeared to be over, Travis Wilson is back. Even better for Utah, the junior quarterback is surrounded by new playmakers. Wilson passed for 265 yards in the first half and newcomers Devontae Booker and Kaelin Clay each had a pair of touchdowns to help Utah blow past Idaho State 56-14 on Thursday night. "There's definitely a lot of weapons I can use and definitely a lot of places where I can spread the ball around," said Wilson, who faced the possibility of not suiting up again after a head injury last season. "I'm really blessed to have the opportunity to come back and play."
Wilson and the Utes struck quickly and often. Utah posted three touchdown drives of less than 42 seconds and added two other scores on kick returns. "We did out-athlete them," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "We made big plays at the skill positions." Clay, a junior college transfer, returned a punt 46 yards for his first touchdown. In the second half Clay broke away for a 100-yard kick-off return. "It felt great," Clay said. "I pride myself on special teams. That's a unit that kind of goes unnoticed, so I take a lot of pride in it." - AP Sports
08/24/14 - (DE) - Kylie Fitts, rSo, 6-4, 275 Former UCLA DE Fitts headed to Utah...Former UCLA defensive end Kylie Fitts is transferring to Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Fitts left UCLA about three weeks ago. He will sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules. He will have three years of eligibility beginning in the 2015 season. Initially, Fresno State and San Diego State were speculated as the top schools Fitts was considering. Fitts was a highly-regarded recruit in 2013. He played six games his freshman season with the Bruins. When Fitts announced why he was leaving UCLA, he cited "personal reasons and nothing to do with depth or playing time issues. - The Sports Xchange
08/18/14 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Jr, 6-6, 240 Utah names Travis Wilson its starting quarterback...Did you know that Utah had a quarterback competition going on this summer? Well it did, but now it's over, and Travis Wilson has been named the victor. I don't know if it comes with a WWE-style championship belt, but it probably should. Don't you think it'd make the players try harder if they got a belt? Anyway, while the result of the competition may not have been the biggest of surprises, it was somewhat interesting considering that Wilson's primary foe was Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson. Thompson was a member of Oklahoma's 2011 recruiting class and spent three years with the Sooners before announcing his transfer to Utah in February.
Thompson graduated from Oklahoma in May and was therefore eligible to play this season. He'll start the season on the sideline, though. Wilson played in nine games for the Utes as a sophomore in 2013, passing for 1,827 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 386 yards and five touchdowns, but there were the 16 interceptions he tossed as well. So while Thompson will start the year behind Wilson on the depth chart, should Wilson's turnover woes continue this year, Thompson could still find himself getting a shot. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
08/06/14 - (WR) - Dres Anderson, Sr, 6-2, 190 2014 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Dres Anderson, Utah Wide, Receiver, Senior...Anderson, who was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection last season, is the top returning receiver in the Pac-12. Last year, he became the seventh receiver in school history to reach 1,000 yards in a season, gaining 1,002 yards on 53 catches. Anderson led the Pac-12 and was 12th in the country in yards per catch (18.91) in 2013, while finishing fourth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards per game (83.5). He was tied for first in the nation in receptions of 50 yards or longer (7). - Utah football
08/06/14 - (WR) - Dres Anderson, Sr, 6-2, 190 2014 PRESEASON BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Dres Anderson, University of Utah, Sr.,...Anderson, who was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection last season, is preparing to start for his third season. Last year he became the seventh receiver in school history to reach 1,000 yards in a season, gaining 1,002 yards on 53 catches. Anderson led the Pac-12 and was 12th in the country in yards per catch (18.91) in 2013, while finishing fourth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards per game (83.5). He was tied for first in the nation in receptions of 50 yards or longer (7). Anderson has six career 100-yard receiving games, which is tied for fifth in school history. - Utah football
08/06/14 - (P) - Tom Hackett, Jr, 5-11, 187 2014 PRESEASON RAY GUY AWARD WATCH LIST: Tom Hackett, Utah...Hackett earned first-team all-Pac-12 honors last season. He led the Pac-12 in punt yards (3,300), average (43.4), punts inside the 20 (27, tie), 50+ yard punts (19) and long punt (70, tie). His 3,300 punt yards also set the school record for punt yards in a season. In his career, Hackett has placed 42% of his punts inside the 20 (42-of 101), including 18 inside the 10-yard line and 10 inside the 5-yard line. - Utah football
08/06/14 - (K) - Andy Phillips, rSo, 5-10, 207 2014 PRESEASON LOU GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST: Andy Phillips, Utah...A third-team Freshman All-American (as selected by Athlon Sports) and honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection, Phillips went 17-of-20 in field goals during the season, including 9-for-11 from 40+ yards. He tied for second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (85%) and tied for third in the conference in field goals made. Phillips also led the Pac-12 in PATs, going 41-for-41. - Utah football
07/28/14 - (QB) - Travis Wilson, Jr, 6-6, 240 Utah quarterback Travis Wilson has been cited at a concert on a charge of possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor. The Utah Department of Public Safety issued a statement Saturday saying the 20-year-old Wilson was cited Friday night in Salt Lake City and released at the scene. Team officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham said this week that Wilson is the favorite for the starting quarterback job heading into training camp. Last month, Wilson was cleared to play months after a concussion revealed a pre-existing medical condition last season. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound junior has started 16 games over two seasons. He completed 133 of 237 passes for 1,827 yards, 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions for the Utes last season before his concussion. - AP Sports
07/02/14 - (CB) - Eric Rowe, Sr, 6-1, 201 Utah's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 3. S Eric Rowe, Senior...A three-year starter and all-conference pick at free safety, Rowe is expected to make the move to cornerback in 2014 to help ease the loss of Keith McGill, a fourth round pick by the Oakland Raiders. Rowe's length, broad-shouldered frame and straight-line speed (Utah coaches reportedly clocked him at 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash) make him an intriguing prospect regardless of where he ultimately lines up. He enters his senior campaign with 202 tackles and 21 passes broken up and is well-versed in pro-style schemes given Utah's heavy man coverage philosophy.
It remains to be seen how well Rowe will acclimate to cornerback. He shows good balance, a quick turning motion and the fluid acceleration while operating as a deep centerfielder. He's alert in coverage and is quick to come downhill in run support. He breaks down well to make the efficient open-field tackle and flashes big-hitting ability. With only two interceptions among his 21 passes broken up, turning some of those deflections into turnovers would be a quick way to boost his draft stock. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
07/02/14 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-4, 255 Utah's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 2. DE Nate Orchard, Senior...Orchard initially signed with Utah as a wide receiver and with the last name Fakahafua. He adopted the last name of his guardians after two years at Utah but didn't wait that long to switch positions, earning time at defensive end, linebacker and special teams as a true freshman, notching four tackles and two passes broken up. Orchard emerged as Utah's starting left defensive end in 2012, earning honorable mention all-conference honors with 48 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He demonstrated an intriguing ability to make big plays in big games, registering a forced fumble that he recovered and took back for a touchdown against USC and eight tackles, including a sack, against Washington. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
07/02/14 - (DE) - Nate Orchard, Sr, 6-4, 255 Utah's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 2. DE Nate Orchard, Senior...Orchard continued his playmaking ways as a junior, posting five tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles in the Utes' shocking win over previously undefeated Stanford. He finished the year with 50 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Orchard's ascent as a legitimate NFL prospect is due to a combination of size, natural athleticism and his hard work. He has packed 60 pounds of muscle onto his frame since signing with the Utes as a 195-pound receiver and has retained his agility. He shows good quickness and balance to elude blockers and force quarterbacks to get off their spot. His flexibility and awareness makes his effective dropping off into coverage, as well. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com