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College football roundup: Utah races past Stanford 52-7

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising hands off to running back Tavion Thomas on Nov. 5, 2021, at Stanford.
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising hands off to running back Tavion Thomas, who rushed for 177 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-7 rout at Stanford on Friday night.
(D. Ross Cameron / Associated Press)

Tavion Thomas ran for four touchdowns in the first half, TJ Pledger scored on a school-record 96-yard run, and Utah ran past Stanford 52-7 on Friday night in Palo Alto.

The game was a mismatch from the start as the Utes (6-3, 5-1 Pac-12 Conference) scored touchdowns on their first two drives and didn’t allow the Cardinal (3-6, 2-5) to get a first down until it was 21-0 in the second quarter.

Utah just added on from there, scoring five touchdowns and one field goal on seven drives in the first half with the only stop coming on a botched snap.

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Thomas raced for a 58-yard score on a one-play drive for the third of his four touchdowns, tying the school record he had also matched last week against UCLA.

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Pledger then outran the Cardinal defense on the first play of another drive for the longest run ever by the Utes.

Utah outgained Stanford 440-28 in taking a 38-0 halftime lead for the second-highest yardage discrepancy in the first half of a Football Bowl Subdivision game in the last seven seasons, 24 yards shy of Boise State’s edge against Connecticut in 2018.

The Cardinal, who were playing without injured starting quarterback Tanner McKee, suffered their most lopsided loss since a 57-7 defeat to Notre Dame in 2003. Stanford has lost four straight games.

Thomas led the way for Utah with 177 yards in 20 carries a week after running for 160 yards and four scores against the Bruins.

Cameron Rising went 13 for 22 for 140 yards but mostly just had to hand the ball off for success on offense for the Utes, who finished with 441 yards on the ground.

The victory puts the Utes in prime position to win the Pac-12 South and earn a trip to the conference title game in Las Vegas on Dec. 3. Utah can clinch the South with wins over division bottom-dwellers Arizona and Colorado even if the Utes lose to Oregon.

McKee’s absence obviously hampered the Cardinal’s offense, but this was a complete mismatch on both sides of the ball. Stanford gave up the most yards rushing in 11 seasons under coach David Shaw.

The defensive play of the game for the Utes came when linebacker Devin Lloyd leaped and intercepted a pass from Jack West at the two-yard line and fell into the end zone for the score.

Up next, Utah visits Arizona on Nov. 13, while Stanford visits Oregon State that same date.

It remains to be seen how playing time might be split between Kedon Slovis and Jaxson Dart, but USC’s chance for success likely rests in the run game.

Boston College 17, Virginia Tech 3

Boston College players celebrate after defeating Virginia Tech on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Boston.
Boston College players celebrate after defeating Virginia Tech on Friday night.
(Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

Phil Jurkovec ran for a touchdown in his surprising return to the starting lineup for Boston College, and the Eagles (5-4, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) halted a four-game losing streak with a victory over the Hokies (4-5, 2-3) in Boston in their annual red bandana game.

Jurkovec, a 6-foot-5 junior who injured his throwing hand in Week 2, was thought to be lost for the season after surgery. He completed just seven of 13 passes for 112 yards but gave the Eagles a spark after the offense sputtered in his absence by recovering a fumble on their first drive and scoring the touchdown.

Pat Garwo rushed for 116 yards in 30 carries and a three-yard score for BC.

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister left because of an undisclosed injury in the first quarter and didn’t return. He threw just one incomplete pass before the injury.

After winning big over its rival, Michigan State will come off an emotional week and beat Purdue, and Oregon will reassert its Pac-12 dominance.

Backup Knox Kadum completed seven of 16 for 73 yards for the Hokies. Malachi Thomas rushed for 70 yards.

BC wore its special red bandana-trimmed uniforms, continuing a tradition to honor Eagles graduate Welles Crowther.

A former lacrosse player who was working in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Crowther died helping to rescue people during the attack. Survivors identified him by his signature red bandana.


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