BOULDER, Colo. — Cameron Rising threw three touchdown passes before taking a seat for the second half, Ja’Quinden Jackson ran for three scores and No. 14 Utah routed Colorado 63-21 on Saturday night to remain in the chase for the last spot into the Pac-12 title game.
The Utes (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12, No. 14 CFP) entered the weekend with an outside shot at defending their league title, and things are starting to fall into place. UCLA did its part for Utah by knocking off Cal on Friday. Then, the big assist — No. 22 Oregon State surprising 10th-ranked Oregon, with the Utah fans at Folsom Field cheering when the score was flashed on the scoreboard. All that remains is No. 12 Washington beating Washington State late Saturday, and the Utes would earn a spot based on a tiebreaker. USC already has a spot for next Friday's game in Las Vegas.
The Utes built a 42-0 halftime lead and steadily started sprinkling in their backups. It didn't slow the Utes, who had 662 total yards of offense. Jackson scored on runs of 10, 2 and 66 yards.
The 63 points was the most allowed by Colorado since Oregon scored 70 on Oct. 27, 2012.
The Buffaloes (1-11, 1-8) brought to a close a dreary season that saw head coach Karl Dorrell fired in October and interim coach Mike Sanford go 1-6 in his place. The team lost seven games by 30 or more points.
A coaching search is underway at Colorado with rumors swirling around names such as Deion Sanders and Bronco Mendenhall. There was a fan in the south end zone wearing a suit featuring Colorado logos and a bag over their head. On the back of the bag was a letter to “Coach Prime,” urging Sanders to come to Boulder.
Maddox Kopp became the fourth Buffaloes quarterback to start this season. He finished with 123 yards passing and a late 1-yard touchdown to offensive lineman turned tight end Frank Fillip.
Utah tight ends Thomas Yassmin and Dalton Kincaid each turned in acrobatic scoring plays in the first half. Yassmin showed off his athleticism by catching a short pass and hurdling over cornerback Nikko Reed on his way to a 41-yard score.
Not to be outdone, Kincaid looked left on a long pass and quickly swiveled to the right to haul in a 29-yard pass from Rising while falling to the turf. Kincaid stayed down for several moments after the play.
Utah: The Utes finish the regular season with nine wins for a fourth time in five seasons.
Colorado: The Buffaloes dropped to 4-37 against AP top-25 teams since becoming members of the Pac-12 in 2011, according to Pac-12 research.
The announced attendance was 33,474. It's the lowest mark at Folsom Field (not counting the 2020 pandemic season) since Nov. 29, 2014, against Utah.
Utah: A berth in the Pac-12 title game — or a bowl game awaits.
Colorado: Naming a coach and preparing for 2023.
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