Colorado drop finale to Utah to finish season 4-8 under Coach Prime
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jaylon Glover ran for a career-high 107 yards to lead Utah to a 23-17 victory over Colorado in the Pac-12 finale for both teams on Saturday.
Glover paced a running attack for the Utes that generated 268 yards with his first career 100-yard game. Sione Vaki and Ja’Quinden Jackson added 68 rushing yards apiece. Luke Bottari threw for 61 yards and ran for a pair of touchdowns while filling in for Bryson Barnes at quarterback. Barnes did not play because of an illness.
Utah (8-4, 4-4 Pac-12) beat the Buffaloes for the seventh straight time in their rivalry series.
Ryan Staub threw for 195 yards and a touchdown while making his first career start for Colorado. Travis Hunter had 107 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions.
The Buffaloes (4-8, 1-8) totaled 262 yards against Utah’s defense.
Utah stuck to the ground on offense throughout the first half. Bottari attempted only three passes before halftime and completed all three. The Utes did not throw a pass until the opening play of the second quarter and piled up 135 rushing yards by halftime.
Conservative play-calling worked well for the Utes on the opening drive. Utah ran eight straight plays, culminating in Bottari’s 2-yard keeper, to take a 7-0 lead. Connor O’Toole stripped the ball while sacking Staub on Colorado’s opening drive and Van Fillinger recovered to set up Utah's scoring drive.
The Buffaloes got on the board with a trick play in the second quarter. Jimmy Horn, Jr. took a lateral pass from Staub and hit a wide-open Dylan Edwards for a 30-yard score, cutting Utah’s lead to 10-7.
Colorado could draw no closer after halftime.
Bottari threw a 16-yard pass to Luca Caldarella on 4th down to set up his second touchdown run in the third quarter on a 1-yard keeper. Becker’s third field goal, a 31-yarder, extended Utah’s lead to 23-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Colorado: A porous run defense and ill-timed penalties dashed any hopes the Buffaloes harbored of springing an upset.
Utah: Bottari, a senior walk-on, was fifth string on the depth chart in fall camp before making his first career start on Saturday.
Utah will play in its third straight bowl game.
Colorado’s season is finished.