WACO, Tex. (ABC4 Sports) – After struggling through three quarters at Baylor, the #12 Utes got it going in the fourth behind behind backup quarterback Nate Johnson to stun the Bears, 20-13.
Utah trailed 13-6 entering the fourth quarter, but Johnson rallied the Utes to victory, scoring the game-tying touchdown on a 7-yard touchdown run.
Jaylon Glover then scored the go-ahead TD with 17 seconds left in the game on a 11-yard touchdown run. Glover could have taken a knee at the one-yard line, to set up a game-winning field goal on the final play.
Instead, the Bears had a glimmer of hope, especially after Sawyer Robertson completed a 47-yard pass to Hal Pressley to the 22-yard line with one second left. But Utes defensive back Miles Battle defended the final pass of the game in the end zone to preserve the victory.
“Great job by our fellas finding a way to win,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said. “There’s a way to win every single game. And you’ve just got to figure out what that is.”
Ja’Quendin Jackson, who suffered an injury in the season-opener against Florida, led the Utes on the ground with 129 yards rushing on 19 carries. Glover added 40 yards on the ground, while Johnson finished with 32 yards on 11 carries.
Bryson Barnes made his second start of the season at quarterback in place of the injured Cam Rising, but could not generate much offense. The Utes had just two field goals by Cole Becker through three quarters before Johnson took over.
Johnson led a 15-play, 88-yard drive that ate up 8:05 on the clock, capped by his game-tying touchdown run.
Then after Cole Bishop intercepted Robertson at the Baylor 29 yard line, Glover capped the comeback with a touchdown run.
Barnes completed just 6-of-19 passes for 82 yards and an interception. Johnson was 6-of-7 for 82 yards through the air. Barnes also had 21 yards rushing on eight carries.
After both teams traded first quarter field goals, Baylor took a 10-3 lead in the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Robertson, who was starting in place of injured starting quarterback Blake Shapen.
Becker and Isaiah Hankins each kicked field goals for the only scoring in the third quarter.
Baylor outgained Utah 377 to 339, but the Utes defense held the Bears to just four yards of total offense in the fourth quarter before Baylor’s final drive.
Freshman Mikey Matthews led Utah in receiving with four catches for 48 yards. Levani Damuni had a team-high nine tackles for the Utes.
Robertson led Baylor on offense, completing 12 of 28 passes for 218 yards and two interceptions. Zemaiah Vaughn had the other interception for the Utes.
Utah’s defense has now held Florida and Baylor to just two total touchdowns in two games.
As for Rising, Whittingham is uncertain when his starting quarterback will take the field for the first time this season.
“Cam is doing really well,” Whittingham said. “It’s just a matter of having complete confidence in the knee, and the medical staff saying we’re going to turn him loose.”
Utah (2-0) will next host Weber State September 16th at noon.