Utah nabbed its biggest win as a member of the Pac-12 on Saturday when it toppled Stanford, 27-21. The win not only bolstered a Utes team coming off a 5-7 season, but it also put a dent in Stanford's conference title chances, and it may have taken the Cardinal out of the national title hunt altogether.
Over at Utah blog Block U, they're reveling in the milestone win, but they also recognize that the team needs to use this game as a stepping stone for the rest of the season:
Now comes the hard part - building on this win. As great as it was, and it was, Utah can't get too wrapped up in the emotion of it. They have a tough game on the road next week against Arizona and can only add to the statement they made Saturday night with a victory.
Yes, Utah football has re-arrived. The catch, though? Now they've got to stay.
Stanford fans, meanwhile, are left to figure out where the team will go from here. The loss was deflating, for sure, but there is plenty left for the Cardinal to accomplish this season. Stanford blog Rule Of Tree found optimism in the box score -- the Cardinal actually were not outplayed, at least not on paper.
Here's the surest sign of optimism. You have impressions that the team was totally outplayed. I did too -- until I looked at the box score. One team had 6.9 yards per play and gave up 5.6 defensively. That team, oddly, is Stanford. It also had a special teams touchdown. If you'd told me before the game that this'd be the statistical state of play, I'd predict a 14-to-17 point win or so. The reasons this didn't happen are pretty obvious: Jordan Williamson missed FG (which is the biggest turning point of the game: instead of going up 17-7 and being in control, the team misses and gives up the tying touchdown); two fumbles lost; the final empty possession.
If you think sloppiness and wastefulness on offense will continue, feel free to remain concerned. If not, well, everything's still in front of this team. Go forth.
Stanford still controls its North Division destiny, and judgment is coming soon: UCLA looms this week, followed by games against Oregon State and Oregon.
Here are highlights from Utah's upset: