Utah 23, San Diego St. 7
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Darrell Mack rushed 22 times for 131 yards and had a touchdown reception and Louie Sakoda kicked three field goals as Utah defeated San Diego State 23-7 Saturday for the Utes’ third win in a row.
Quarterbacks Brian Johnson and Corbin Louks each threw for touchdowns as Utah’s balanced offense gained 282 yards rushing and 232 passing.
The Aztecs (3-3 overall, 1-1 Mountain West Conference) had 12 first downs and 211 yards total offense in their first conference loss.
Mack, who didn’t play the first game and planned to redshirt this season before a spate of injuries hit the Utes (4-3 overall, 1-3), topped the 100-yard mark for the third straight game.
As the Utes’ ground game wore down the Aztec defense, both Utah quarterbacks found lanes for touchdown passes in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Louks hit Jereme Brooks for a 11-yard touchdown reception after Johnson completed consecutive passes of 27 and 32 yards. After Louks scrambled for 41 yards on the next Ute possession, Johnson came back in and threw a 7-yard touchdown toss to Mack for the final margin.
Johnson completed 21 passes in 28 attempts for 208 yards and one interception.
The Aztecs threatened late in the fourth quarter, driving to the Utah 17-yard-line. But Kevin O’Connell threw an incomplete pass, was sacked twice and then penalized for throwing past the line of scrimmage. O’Connell completed 14 of 31 passes for 114 yards and an interception.
On Utah’s opening drive, Mack rushed for 27 yards to the 2-yard-line where Corey Boudreaux forced a fumble that passed over the goal line and out the side of the end zone giving the Aztecs possession on the touchback.
Utah alternated quarterbacks throughout the first half but stuck mostly with the running game and utilized six different ball carriers in the first two drives. Even though the Utes rolled up 249 yards of total offense in the first half, they scored just three Sakoda field goals, including a career-long 51-yarder.
Sakoda lined up for a fourth field goal attempt in the final quarter but threw a looping pass to Bradon Godfrey that came up a yard short of the first down.
SDSU scored the game’s first touchdown on Brandon Sullivan’s 5-yard run. The drive was aided by a trick play when tight end Alston Umuolo took a pitch from O’Connell and passed it back to the quarterback for a 35-yard gain.
Utah now leads the all-time series 14-12-1 over the Aztecs.