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SALT LAKE CITY — Jumping out to a 21-0 lead to start the game, Utah looked like it had the momentum to dominate Washington State and win the game. But a non-existent offense and a failure to hold Washington State allowed the Cougars to come back in a 28-27 victory.
With a 3-0 start to the season, Utah was looking to get its first win in a Pac-12 opening game and to extends its winning streak. But in back-to-back seasons, Utah lost late in the game and cost Utah some momentum moving forward in the season.
Utes...They spotted you 21 point lead...0-4 in pac-12 openers. — Justin Reeeeeves (@JustinFreeves) September 28, 2014
> Once again, the Utes lose a close game. What a monumental let down. > > — Matias Calquin (@MatiasCalquin) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/MatiasCalquin/status/516072898973679617)
> When Utah joined the Pac-12, Wazzu was the worst program in the conference. They've now passed the Utes with ease. Think about that. > > — TheJazzyUte (@TheJazzyUte) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/TheJazzyUte/status/516072084834091008)
While the loss hurt the team and fans alike, there was a small minority of Utah fans that tried to look on the positive side despite a demoralizing loss.
Utes blew a winnable game. Implosion? Sure, but growing opportunity for the team. Looking forward to them grinding out Ws in conference play — Devin @ TBS (@TornByDevin) September 28, 2014
> Need some time to calm down after this awful performance by the [\#Utes](https://twitter.com/hashtag/Utes?src=hash). Hope they can win three more to get to a bowl game > > — andrew bitter (@tchegaucho13) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/tchegaucho13/status/516072926940913664)
In the loss, quarterback Travis Wilson struggled to connect with his receivers as a result of no offensive line push, dropped passes and simply because several passes were overthrown. Wilson finished the game going 18-of-38 for 165 yards.
Every time Wilson throws deep I don't even have to follow the ball because I know it won't be complete. :x — TheJazzyUte (@TheJazzyUte) September 28, 2014
> And Travis has Dres open deep but misses badly on the throw. He just looks off tonight. [\#Utes](https://twitter.com/hashtag/Utes?src=hash) > > — Dan Sorensen (@DSorensen) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/DSorensen/status/516055191099953152)
> [@JFurKSL](https://twitter.com/JFurKSL) Travis Wilson looks to have taken steps backwards in quality this game. > > — Michael Roberts (@robertsitalia) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/robertsitalia/status/516058909384003584)
Utah did have some highlights in the loss, including another Kaelin Clay punt return going for a touchdown, a strong ground performance by Devontae Booker and a defense that gave up little in the game for much of the night.
Kaelin Clay is pretty alright at returning punts and kicks. Scratch that. Best in the country. Wow. — Utes In The NFL (@UtesInTheNFL) September 28, 2014
> Utah has the best special teams unit in America. Second place isn't even close to them. > > — Dan Sorensen (@DSorensen) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/DSorensen/status/516021784374566912)
> Not to be outdone after the huge defensive and special teams TDs, the offense scores on a 76 yard run by Booker. [\#Utes](https://twitter.com/hashtag/Utes?src=hash) > > — Ben Gillis (@bsgillis) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/bsgillis/status/516024398487498752)
> Gionni Paul comes up big for the defense and picks off Halliday. Paul's second interception of the season gives the [\#Utes](https://twitter.com/hashtag/Utes?src=hash) life with 1:28. > > — Talon Chappell (@TalonChappell) [September 28, 2014](https://twitter.com/TalonChappell/status/516039436950183936)
While there were several factors in Utah’s collapse, Washington State is a difficult opponent and were ultimately the better team Saturday night. Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday finished the game going 39-of-61 for 417 yards, four touchdown and two interceptions.
Playing Wazzu sometimes seems as much psychological warfare as physical. That throw game is unrelenting. — Dan Sorensen (@DSorensen) September 28, 2014