No. 18 Washington rallies to beat Utah
SEATTLE — With one game-winning kick, Tristan Vizcaino basically erased a season of struggles.
Vizcaino atoned for an earlier miss and drilled a 38-yard field goal as time expired as No. 18 Washington scored twice in the final minute to rally for an improbable 33-30 Pac-12 Conference victory over Utah on Saturday night.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words for it,” said Vizcaino, who earlier missed a 30-yard field goal and an extra point. “It felt great, one of the best if not the best feeling you can have as a kicker.”
Trailing 30-23, Washington (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) forced a punt and got the ball back with 2:03 left at its own 39. Jake Browning threw three incompletions before hitting Andre Baccellia for 14 yards on fourth down.
Browning’s 28-yard completion to Will Dissly gave the Huskies a first-and-goal at the 2 and Myles Gaskin ran it over on the next play to tie it 30-30 with 58 seconds left.
Utah went three-and-out and punted to the Washington 28 with 29 seconds left. Consecutive completions of 18 and 31 yards gave the Huskies a first down at the Utah 21 with 17 seconds left. After an incompletion, Vizcaino drilled the game-winner.
“I think the team was really, really happy for him,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “I’ve been saying that for a while. It’s been tough at times, but he’s got a powerful leg and he can be very accurate. I don’t know how far that field goal was, but he had a lot more to it and that’s usually how he kicks it.”
Tyler Huntley’s 5-yard touchdown run capped a 12-play, 66-yard drive to put Utah in front 30-23 with 10:52 left. His run followed a 39-yard completion to Jake Jackson to the Washington 5.
The Huskies, whose season-long kicking woes continued against Utah, went for it on fourth-and-8 from the Utes’ 15, but Browning was stopped after a gain of 6 on a scramble right with 4:31 remaining.
After being gashed for much of the game, however, the Huskies defense came up with a big stand to give the offense one last shot.
“You just have to keep attacking,” Browning said. “We practice that a lot just going through clutch drives in practice. We just have to keep battling. No one was saying much, we just knew we had to respond. It was awesome to see Tristan hit the game winner. I think he was getting booed at one point by the fans but he made it when it mattered.”
Browning completed 26 of 35 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns. Huntley passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns for Utah (5-6, 2-6).
“We didn’t do enough,” Huntley said. “We still left a lot of points off the board.”
Huntley drove the Utes 80 yards in 10 plays, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown pass to Raelon Singleton to put Utah in front 23-16 with 1:37 left in the third quarter. Huntley kept the drive alive with a 36-yard completion to Siaosi Wilson on third-and-8 to the Washington 42.
Washington came right back on a 76-yard touchdown pass from Browning to Gaskin to tie it 23-23.
Gaskin had 52 yards rushing and added 114 receiving yards on six catches. He scored three touchdowns.
Utah pulled even at 16-16 on the opening drive of the second half on Matt Gay’s 25-yard field goal. Huntley keyed the 59-yard drive with consecutive completions of 25 and 31 yards that gave the Utes a first-and-goal from the 9.
On the ensuing possession, the Huskies drove 62 yards to the Utah 13, but Vizcaino’s 30-yard field-goal attempt was wide left.
Vizcaino, who was 8-for-14 on field-goal attempts entering the game including 3-for-9 from 30 yards or longer, put the Huskies in front 16-10 with 34-yard field goal with 1:58 left in the half.
Gay’s 44-yard field goal on the final play of the half pulled Utah within 16-13.
Browning put the Huskies up 13-10 with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Lavon Coleman with 9:45 remaining in the first half. It was Browning’s 76th career touchdown pass, moving him past Keith Price for most in school history.
Utah erased an early 6-0 deficit with back-to-back scoring drives, thanks to a successful onside kick.
The Utes answered Washington’s first touchdown with a nine-play, 79-yard scoring march. Huntley’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Rae Singleton put the Utes up 7-6 with 3:04 left in the first quarter.
The Utes immediately got the ball back, recovering the onside kick at the Utah 48. Utah drove to the 10-yard line before settling for Gay’s 28-yard field goal to make it 10-6.
Dante Pettis set up Washington’s first score with an 18-yard punt return to the Utah 32. Gaskin capped the seven-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown run, but Vizcaino missed his third extra-point of the season.
“Had to be aggressive against a team like this,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “On the road in particular, it’s a tough place to play, and you have to be aggressive. We went for some fourth downs, converted them, had the onside kick and fake punt. So yeah, we’re playing to win. Like I said just came up short. I thought we played very well for 58 minutes.”
NOTES: Washington RB Myles Gaskin’s first-quarter touchdown was the 38th rushing TD of his career, tops in school history. He had been tied with Bishop Sankey. ... Troy Taylor, in his first season as Utah’s offensive coordinator, was Washington QB Jake Browning’s high school coach at Folsom, Calif. ... Washington S JoJo McIntosh was ejected in the second quarter for targeting, which was not called on the field, but assessed upon review. ... The starting time for the Nov. 25 Apple Cup game between No. 18 Washington and No. 14 Washington State was announced as 5 p.m. PT. ... Utah needs to win one game to become bowl eligible for the fourth straight year. ... The Utes are 10-1 in bowl games under coach Kyle Whittingham.