Linebacker Devin Lloyd capped a brilliant defensive effort with an interception for a touchdown and Tavion Thomas rushed for four scores Friday night as Utah remained in the driver’s seat for a Pac-12 South title with a 52-7 shellacking of host Stanford.
Thomas finished with a career-best 177 yards on 20 carries for the Utes (6-3, 5-1 Pac-12), who now need just two wins in their final three games to earn a spot in the conference championship game.
Thomas scored on 10- and 5-yard runs in the first quarter, then added 58- and 11-yarders in the second as Utah built a 28-0 lead in the game’s first 23 1/2 minutes.
TJ Pledger sprinted 96 yards for a fifth Utah touchdown and Jadon Redding nailed a 29-yard field goal on the last play of the second quarter, sending the Utes into halftime with a 38-0 advantage.
Stanford (3-6, 2-5) played much more competitively in the second half, getting onto the scoreboard on the first drive of the third quarter with a 4-yard run by Isaiah Sanders.
Utah, which was coming off an impressive 44-24 win over UCLA, matched that point total when Lloyd jumped at the line of scrimmage, snatched a Jack West pass and fell into the end zone for a touchdown.
Earlier in the game, Lloyd made five tackles for losses.
Micah Bernard added a sixth rushing TD for the Utes from 11 yards out with 1:48 to play to complete the scoring.
The run pushed Bernard over the 100-yard mark with 110. Pledger finished with 107 on just four carries as Utah rolled up 441 rushing yards and 581 total yards.
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising went 13 of 22 for 140 yards without a touchdown or interception. The Utes lost one fumble but benefitted from two Cardinal turnovers.
Stanford’s West finished 12-for-18 for 59 yards with the one interception. En route to a fourth straight defeat, the Cardinal totaled 167 yards, with E.J. Smith producing a team-high 53 on the ground on seven carries.
–Field Level Media