After trailing 21-7 in the first half, Utah and head coach Kyle Whittingham knew the ways of old weren’t going to help them upset USC yesterday. So, after they pulled within one point following Cameron Rising scoring his third rushing touchdown, Whittingham and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig knew the right decision was going for a two-point conversion.
“Field goals were not going to be part of the equation this game,” he said.
It turned out to be the right move, as Rising found the end zone again the next play to give Utah what would end up being the final lead of the game and a 43-42 win.
UTAH GOES FOR 2 AND GETS IT!😱
USC ON UPSET ALERT!
🎥: @CFBONFOX pic.twitter.com/eWgeJV4v2g
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 16, 2022
It was a gutsy call but when playing against a top-ten team, these are the play calls that are the deciding factor between a win or loss.
“I talked to Coach Ludwig when the drive started and said if we score here and the clock isn’t in our favor, we are going for two,” Whittingham said. “If there are a couple of minutes left, we will kick the PAT. So it played out exactly to our benefit. When there were 35 seconds left, it was already predetermined. We knew the play call. We had talked about it at the onset of the drive.’
Utah delivered USC its first loss of the season and Lincoln Riley’s first defeat during his time with the Trojans. Kyle Whittingham’s team was able to use 36-21 scoring run in the second half to take down Caleb Williams (25-of-42 passing, 381 passing yards, five touchdowns) and USC. The play of Rising, who threw for 415 yards and had five touchdowns on the day, led Utah, who is now 5-2.