It came down to the final play!
Playing against Florida in at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, popularly known as “The Swamp”, the 7th ranked Utes battled to the final play, but ultimately came up just short, falling 29-26.
With six lead changes in the game, it came down to the fourth quarter, where the Gators held a three-point lead with 12:48 on the clock. The train himself, Tavion Thomas, busted through the Gator defensive line with 6:26 remaining in the game to score a four-yard rushing touchdown to make it 26-22 in Utah’s favor.
Florida would end up driving 75 yards downfield while taking 4:57 off the clock, finding the end zone on its 14th play to take the lead once again, leaving Utah with just 1:25 to work with.
A pivotal 29-yard gain by Cameron Rising down the middle on a third-and-seven kept the Utes alive. Rising would find Dalton Kincaid open for nine yards to the Florida six-yard line on the next play, but the Gators wouldn’t give up another yard, holding on for the 29-26 victory on a goal-line stand.
The Utes finished the game with 446 yards of total offense, which included 216 passing yards and 230 rushing yards. Utah racked up 25 first downs compared to Florida’s 23 while averaging 6.3 yards per play.
Rising finished the game with 216 passing yards on 22-of-32 passing with one touchdown (1 INT). He added 91 rushing yards, with Tavion Thomas leading the Utes on the ground with 23 carries for 115 yards (5.0 ypc) and a touchdown.
Brant Kuithe was outstanding for the Utes against the Gators, recording 105 receiving yards. His 105 yards came on a career-high nine catches (11.7 ypc) with one touchdown.
Cole Bishop led the Utes with a career-best 12 tackles on defense along with a quarterback hurry, while Mohamoud Diabate finished with nine stops. In his return from injury, R.J. Hubert racked up a career-high eight tackles along with a 47-yard fumble recovery return, with Connor O’Toole adding seven tackles in his first game at defensive end.
Utah opens its home slate on Saturday, Sept. 10, when they host Southern Utah for its annual Hall of Fame game. The Utes and Southern Utah will kick off at 11:30 a.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.