Utah threw six touchdown passes, five by quarterback Travis Wilson, as the Utes defeated the Fresno State football team 59-27 Saturday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Bulldogs fall to 0-2 to start the season and drop back-to-back regular season games for the first time under head coach Tim DeRuyter.
"Clearly we didn't get it done again this week," DeRuyter said. "We saw some encouraging things, but clearly not enough to beat a good Utah team so give them credit."
Utah, behind the arm of Wilson, jumped on Fresno State big in the first half. The Utes scored 17 points in the first quarter and another 14 in the second to take a 31-7 lead into the locker room.
Wilson, playing just two and a half quarters, finished the afternoon completing 11-of-20 passes for 181 yards and those five TDs. Ute receivers Kenneth Scott and Dres Anderson each had two touchdown catches in the game.
Fresno State used its two quarterback system once again in this game and each quarterback led the `Dogs on two touchdown drives.
Bulldog quarterback Brandon Connette entered the game for the first time with four seconds left in the first quarter, a period in which the Bulldogs did not pick up a first down. He finished the game completing 16-of-24 passes for 177 yards and two total touchdowns. He threw one touchdown pass to Malique Micenheimer in the second quarter and ran for another score in the third, as he racked up 40 yards rushing on 16 carries.
"We did some positive things, more positive things than we did last week," Connette said. "On offense, we moved the ball a lot better and that was one of our goals... Thing is we got to finish more drives in the end zone."
Junior quarterback Brian Burrell, who started, came back in at the start of the fourth quarter and immediately led the Bulldogs into the end zone, hitting Greg Watson on a 42-yard touchdown pass. Burrell finished the day going 8-of-16 passing for 106 yards and two touchdowns - his second was to Watson again as time expired.
Josh Harper led all receivers with six catches for 83 yards. Watson caught three passes for 62 yards and the two TDs and Aaron Peck had four receptions for 67 yards.
"We showed spurts, but we were not consistent," Harper said of the offense. "We know what we can do, but we have to keep working on consistency."
Utah outgained the Bulldogs 526 to 338 with the Utes picking up 268 yards through the air and 258 on the ground. Fresno State had 283 yards passing, but were sacked seven times on the afternoon.
Junior safety Charles Washington led the team with 11 tackles. Fresno State had two sacks of its own, one by Tyeler Davison and one by Jeff Camilli, but clearly the team dug too deep of a hole early on just like they did last weekend in the loss to USC.
"It's tough on the road when you dig those types of holes," DeRuyter said. "We'll be happy to get back home, but we got to fix those things in order to win on the road."
The Bulldogs now return to Fresno State to host 19th-ranked Nebraska next Saturday. It will be the Bulldogs' third-straight game against a Power Five team to open the season.
"We knew it was going to be a difficult slate coming in," DeRuyter said of the tough schedule to start the year. "It is what it is and we got to fight through it."
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