No. 6 Utah was trudging around with their College Football Playoff and Pac-12 title hopes on the line. Then they unleashed Brant Kuithe.
The Utes tight end helped the team overcome a rather slow start against Colorado on Saturday night to notch a 17-7 halftime lead in chilly Salt Lake City.
Kuithe wound up leading the team in both rushing (44 yards) and receiving (63 yards and two touchdowns) through two quarters as the team eventually got going with 17 unanswered after allowing the Buffs to strike first on the scoreboard. Tyler Hunley, ever efficient as usual, was 9-of-10 for 91 yards and the two TD passes while fellow senior in the backfield Zach Moss was held to only 23 yards rushing following a minor injury sidelined him for a series.
CU quarterback Steven Montez found Brady Russell for the only score in the first quarter on a short touchdown pass before finishing the half with 75 yards. The signal-caller was sacked twice and under pressure on just about every dropback either way as the run game couldn’t get much going for a team that failed to convert a third down.
Still, the Buffs looked far more competitive in the game than the two records would suggest and are carrying the weight of not just their own fan base but USC’s as well. A Utah loss gives the Pac-12 South to the Trojans but, as things stand, that’s not going to be the case if the home squad keeps rolling with the momentum they started to gather as things wore on during a cold night in the Beehive State.