Kaelin Clay

Utah receiver Kaelin Clay had the best Valentine’s Day tweet


Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay had one of the 2014 season’s more unfortunate moments on the football field when he prematurely dropped a football on his way to a clear touchdown against Oregon in early November. Clay immediately took responsibility for the bonehead play that even caught the attention of Taiwanese animators. The good news is Clay has found a way to laugh about his infamous moment on the field.

Yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, Clay took to Twitter to share a Valentine message to all of his followers. In it, he takes a jab at himself, showing humility and a sense of humor that can warm a person’s heart.

Of course, the real message to be shared here goes out to all football players; do not ever drop the football until you cross the goal line.

No. 22 Utah runs over Colorado State to win Las Vegas Bowl


Colorado State played Saturday’s Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl with head coach Jim McElwain watching from a proverbial plush leather recliner from Gainesville, Fla., and it showed. No. 22 Utah did everything it wanted on offense while stifling Colorado State’s potent passing attack for a 45-10 blowout victory.

Utah scored a Las Vegas Bowl-record 21 first-quarter points – thanks to 202 yards of total offense on 15 plays – to grab a 24-10 halftime lead and it the revved the engines (powered by Royal Purple, of course) from there, scoring three unanswered touchdowns to create the 45-10 final with 12:28 to spare.

The 35-point margin is the second-largest in the game’s 23-year history, trailing only Oregon State’s 55-14 smashing of New Mexico in 2003.

The combination of Travis Wilson and Davontae Booker proved too much for the Colorado State defense to handle. Wilson completed 17-of-26 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and an interception and eviscerated the Rams’ rush defense – particularly in the red zone – to the tune of 91 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Booker added 26 carries for 162 yards and a 60-yard touchdown, which came one snap after Colorado State had pulled within 14-7 midway through the first quarter and ended any semblance of momentum the Rams would enjoy on the afternoon.

Garrett Grayson completed 20-of-34 passes for 227 yards and an interception (he also caught Colorado State’s only touchdown, a 39-yard throwback from receiver Charles Lovett), and All-American wideout Rashard Higgins snagged seven passes for 109 yards, but Colorado State lost this game up front. The Rams were out-rushed 359-20.

After forcing a three-and-out to open the game, Utah’s first snap came from the Colorado State 47-yard line. Offensive coordinator Dave Christensen dialed up an end around-turned-reverse-turned-throwback pass from Wilson to Kaelin Clay for a 36-yard completion, a Vegas-inspired gamble that got the Utes off to a hot start. Overall, Utah racked up 548 yards of offense on 77 plays (7.11 yards per play) with 29 first downs and nine third-down conversions in 14 tries.

Colorado State closes its season at 10-3 – its first 10-win season since 2002 and, much like that 2002 season, the Rams close the year by dropping their final two games – and will turn its full attention toward finding McElwain’s full-time successor.

Utah, meanwhile, wraps up its 2014 season at 9-4, its best showing since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. The Utes will close the season ranked inside the top 25 for the first time since 2010, when they garnered a No. 23 ranking in the coaches’ poll.

No. 22 Utah handling Colorado State halfway through Las Vegas Bowl


No. 22 Utah used big plays and solid defense to build a 24-10 halftime lead over Colorado State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

This being Vegas, both teams’ first scores were set up by successful rolls of the dice. After taking possession of its own 47, Utah’s first play from scrimmage was an end around-turned-reverse-turned-throwback pass from Travis Wilson to Kaelin Clay, good for a 36-yard gain. Wilson rushed in two plays later to put the Utes up 7-0.

After forcing a three-and-out, Utah swiftly moved 71 yards in six plays, capped by a 16-yard scoring strike from Wilson to Delshawn McClellon to go up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

Colorado State responded by moving 77 yards in five plays on the ensuing possession, scoring on a 39-yard pass from senior wide receiver Charles Lovett to quarterback Garrett Grayson.

Utah quickly seized back momentum, though, as Devontae Booker raced 60 yards to pay dirt on the next play from scrimmage.

Overall, Utah scored a Las Vegas Bowl-record 21 first quarter points by gaining 201 yards of total offense on just 15 plays.

Jared Roberts knocked in a 41-yard field goal at the 2:09 mark of the first quarter to pull the Rams within 21-10, and Andy Phillips answered with a 38-yarder at the 8:25 mark of the second quarter to push the lead back to 14. Phillips missed a 38-yard try on the final play of the half.

Wilson has completed 12-of-18 passes for 124 yards with a touchdown and an interception while adding seven carries for 59 yards and a score. Combined with Booker’s 92 yards on 10 rushes, Utah is out-rushing Colorado State 203-13.

Grayson has completed 12-of-18 throws for 136 yards, and All-American receiver Rashard Higgins has notched four receptions for 83 yards.

Utah will receive the ball to open the second half.

Taiwanese animators offer take on Utah fumble returned for Oregon TD


Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay had an unfortunate moment Saturday night against Oregon. After racing downfield for what looked to be a 78-yard touchdown to give the Utes a 14-0 lead on the Ducks, Clay dropped the football just before crossing the goal line. Oregon picked up the loose football and returned it the length of the field for a touchdown while Utah players were caught celebrating. Clay took to Twitter to take responsibility for the loss on his own selfish celebration, but here’s hoping he can one day crack a smile and laugh about it.

Maybe it would help if the whole sequence was given the signature Taiwanese animation treatment.

You know something has hit it big when the talented Taiwanese animators feel a need to offer their take on the story. This animated package of highlights has a little bit of everything to offer, from Marcus Mariota flying to the field riding an Oregon Duck, to Utah players popping champagne bottles on the field to a Flying V fumble return.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhHre38QeZI%5D

Kaelin Clay takes responsibility for premature TD celebration


Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay had 152 receiving yards on five catches against Oregon. He had zero touchdowns in the game.

Clay had a costly DeSean Jackson moment against Oregon last night. After appearing to haul in a 78-yard touchdown pass, Clay instead dropped the football just before crossing the goal line. As he proceeded to celebrate the touchdown, which looked to give Utah a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, Oregon’s Erick Dargen walked up to the football, sitting at the goal line with the play still live. Dargen picked it up but quickly lost control as a Utah player, seeing what was unfolding, attempted to gain control of the ball. Dargen’s fumble was recovered by Oregon teammate Joe Walker, who then made his way down the left sideline with a handful of blockers. Walker returned the fumble 100 yards and it was Oregon that would celebrate a touchdown on the bizarre sequence.

Clay, who earlier this season struck a Desmond Howard Heisman Trophy pose in Michigan Stadium, took to Twitter to take full responsibility for the play.

That’s good, because there really was nobody else to blame for this one particular bonehead play. Did it ultimately cost Utah a chance to upset Oregon? This is hard to say as the play happened early in the game and Oregon still went on to score enough points to win the game even without the quick 14-point swing.

Just a recommendation to any football player out there. If you want to avoid allowing something like this to happen, it might be a good idea to just hand the football to the official after you think you scored a touchdown. Odds will be much better you just scored a touchdown.