Published: Friday, August 31, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 03:08
Courtesy of The Daily Utah Chronicle
UNC junior wide receiver Jace Davis, left, runs a route while Utah defensive back Keith McGill gives chase. Davis had three receptions for 21 yards Thursday.
Plagued by defensive miscues and problems in timing on offense, the UNC football team was overmatched against the University of Utah Thursday, losing, 41-0, in Salt Lake City.
The University of Northern Colorado defense began with a positive note. Sophomore corner Courtney Hall intercepted a pass by Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn for the first of his career. Wynn went on to throw two touchdowns, both to tight end Jake Murphy, on his way to 200 yards passing on 27 attempts. Senior halfback John White had 119 rushing yards en route to his way to his ninth straight 100-yard game.
By comparison, 74 of UNC’s 114 total yards came from 24 passing attempts by junior quarterback Seth Lobato.
UNC had 35 total rushing yards in the game, led by junior running back Tromaine Dennis’ 27 yards on 8 attempts. Two Lobato sacks and -14 yards from senior kicker Mason Puckett, who dropped to a knee attempting to punt a ball in the third quarter resulted in loss of yardage, as well.
Northern Colorado never crossed into Utah territory in the game.
Injuries hindered the Bears with sophomore defensive end Devontae Chapple limping off the field in the second quarter and senior tight end Doug Steele left the game early in the fourth with a head injury.
By the end of the second quarter it was already a 21-0 disadvantage for the Bears. UNC held the Utes to just a touchdown in the third but couldn’t contain their 13-point run in the fourth.
It would have been more had Utah kicker Coleman Petersen not missed a field goal and an extra point in the game.
The Utes also set a Rice-Eccles Stadium record with a 21-play, 91-yard drive that resulted in almost 11 minutes coming off the clock, and one of Murphy’s two receiving touchdowns.
Through all the negatives, there were positives for UNC. The Bears held held Utah scoreless for the first quarter and junior linebacker Clarence Bumpas recorded his 10th straight game with double-digit tackles, making 10.
The Bears will try to ride those positives to their first win in 12 games in their home-opener at 1:35 p.m. Sept. 8 at Nottingham Field against Colorado Mesa.