SALT LAKE CITY — Saturday’s game between Utah and UCLA had big implications for standings in the PAC-12 South, and the Utes trailed for the entirety of the contest before ultimately falling short on a final drive to try to send it to overtime.
UCLA came out early to secure a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, a lead they would hang on to for the rest of the game.
The Utes were good for two field goals in the second quarter and a third in the third, narrowing the gap to 10-9 at one point. However, UCLA found the end zone again in the third quarter on a 14-play drive capped off by a short TD run from Perkins to make it 17-9.
Both teams punted several times in the fourth quarter, and UCLA had an opportunity to stretch their lead to two possessions with about 8 minutes to play. However, Ka’imi Fairbarn missed the field goal attempt from 49 yards out to give Utah the ball back.
Utah was forced to punt again, but their defense returned the favor to give the offense another shot with just over 3 minutes left to play.
That drive looked promising, with Travis Wilson evading a sack to convert on 4th-and-9. However, a short time later, a bobbled play-action play knocked the ball loose, and the Bruins recovered the fumble with just over a minute left to play.
With two time outs, Utah was able to stop UCLA and force a punt with less than 10 seconds on the clock. That punt return went nowhere, though, giving UCLA the win.
Utah was 8-2 overall and 5-2 in conference ahead of Saturday’s game, while UCLA was 7-3 overall and 4-3 in conference. The Utes fall to 8-3 overall and 5-3 in conference. They previously were tied with USC for the lead in the PAC-12 South at a 5-2 conference record, though the Trojans had the tiebreaker for their win over Utah, but with the loss Saturday, the Utes fall out of contention to lead the division.
Tune in to FOX 13 News at Nine Saturday for highlights from the game.
The Utes play next on November 28 when they take on Colorado. That game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. MT.