SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Tyler Huntley had 327 total yards and four passing touchdowns as Utah defeated short-handed UCLA 48-17 on Friday night.
The Utes (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) snapped a four-game losing streak and are one win away from becoming bowl eligible.
UCLA (4-5, 2-4) was without starting quarterback Josh Rosen due to a concussion sustained last week against No. 12 Washington. He did not travel to Salt Lake City and his absence was obvious as the Bruins were held to 249 total yards. Rosen’s 339.1 passing yards per game ranks fourth in the nation. Redshirt freshman Devon Modster made his first career start.
Neither team’s offense look particularly coherent in the first half, but Utah exploded in the third quarter to put the game away. The Utes scored on their first three drives of the second half after leading 17-10 at halftime.
Utah running back Troy McCormick caught a 75-yard touchdown on a wheel route on the first play of the third when a UCLA defender ran into a receiver.
Zack Moss, who finished with career-highs in rushing yards (153) and attempts (23) and scored two touchdowns, took a handoff 20 yards for a score after a straight arm to a linebacker to go up 31-10.
Huntley iced it with a 13-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered McCormick to take a 38-10 lead with 8:20 left in the third. Huntley’s four touchdown passes matched a career high.
Utah’s running game had been pedestrian during its losing streak and several players had requested more attempts. They got it with season-high 50 rushes — 41 between Huntley and Moss — against the worst run defense in the nation. UCLA entered allowing 307.13 rushing yards per game.
Modster completed 8 of 12 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown before being replaced by freshman Matt Lynch in the fourth. The Bruins were held to 12 first downs and converted 3 of 12 third downs.