Thomas’ 4 TD runs lead Utah past Stanford 52-7
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Tavion Thomas ran for four TDs in the first half, TJ Pledger scored on a school-record 96-yard run and Utah ran past Stanford 52-7 on Friday night.
The game was a mismatch from the start as the Utes (6-3, 5-1 Pac-12) scored TDs 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 TDs and one field goal on seven drives in the first half with the only stop coming on a botched snap.
Thomas raced for a 58-yard score on a one-play drive for the of his four TDs, tying the school record he had also matched last week against UCLA.
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 an FBS game in the past 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 on 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.
Utah: The win 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.
Stanford: McKee’s absence obviously hampered the Cardinal’s offense but this was a complete mismatch on both sides of the ball. Stanford allowed 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 2 and fell into the end zone for the score.
Utah visits Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Stanford visits Oregon State on Saturday, Nov. 13.