The 21st ranked Utes wanted to do two things at Fresno State on Saturday night. Win, and win big.
The team did both.
Kendall Thompson, filling in at quarterback for the injured Travis Wilson, wasn’t spectacular, but he led the team to a 45-24 win over the Bulldogs. Utah used a combination of defense, special teams and Devontae Booker to get the job done, though it took a while to get going.
The scoring began with an unlikely source in the first quarter. Stevie Tui’kolovatu is a 320-pound defensive lineman. The junior recovered a fumble after a sack on Fresno QB, Zack Greenlee by Kylie Fitts popped the ball loose. The Utes took their first lead at 10-3. It was a lead they never relinquished.
Devontae Booker added the only other touchdown of the first half on a spectacular spinning 30-yard run, and Utah led 17-3 at the half.
In the third quarter, Booker added a second score, all part of a 153-yard effort on the ground, which boost the Utes’ lead to 24-3.
And the fourth was a point parade. Utah and Fresno combined for 42 points over the final quarter, including a pair of special teams touchdowns by the Utes. Corey Butler-Byrd returned a kick 98 yards, and then less than two minutes after that, the freshman, Britain Covey returned a punt 77 yards for his first collegiate score.
Utah finishes their non-conference schedule at 3-0, and begin Pac-12 play next week at Oregon.