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Tom Smart /Deseret News

Crimson Corner: Ranking the top regular season wins for the Utes

By KSL.com | Posted - Sep 29th, 2015 @ 5:54pm



SALT LAKE CITY — The Crimson Corner is your home for Utah football all season long, and what a week it has been for the Utes. Plenty to talk about on this week's show on the Utes 62-20 win against Oregon, plus ranking Utah football's top 5 regular season wins of all time.

Here's the rundown of the show:

Utes destroy the Ducks in Eugene

We won't know until the end of the season just how big the Utes 62-20 win at Oregon is but watching the Utes destroy one of the top football programs in the country leaves no question that Utah is a contender in the Pac-12.

Love for Utah's O-Block

Each week on SportsBeat Sunday at 10:45 Hans Olsen and former Ute Christian Cox from 1280 the Zone dig into the film of each Ute game. This week they highlight the play of Utah's offensive line.

More Pac-12 honors

For the fifth time in four weeks a Utah player has earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. Quarterback Travis Wilson earned Offensive Player of the Week, with some calling his performance against Oregon the best of his career. Wilson finished 18-30 for 227 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 100 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Wilson had no interceptions or sacks.

Utah punter Tom Hackett was named the Ray Guy National Punter of the Week and Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. He did his best Odell Beckham Jr. impression on a punt fake in the third quarter against the Ducks.

Utes earning national recognition

The way Utah dismantled Oregon made waves throughout the college football world. Utah moved up from No. 18 to No. 10 in the latest AP Top 25.

It is the earliest the Utes have cracked the top 10 in the polls in school history. The win was so impressive that many national writers are projecting Utah to be in the college football playoff. Some are even going as far as to say Utah should be ranked No. 1 in the nation. While it is fun for us to talk about, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham doesn't want to hear it.

Pac-12 road warriors

Only one Pac-12 team won at home this week — Colorado vs. Nicholls State. In all other matchups, the road team prevailed, including UCLA over Arizona State, USC thumping ASU, Cal over Washington and Stanford over Oregon State.

Top 5 regular season wins in Utah football history

And last but certainly not least, we leave you with our Ute legends segment. In honor of Utah's impressive win at Oregon, we asked you on Twitter (@RoJackKSL) what are the five most important regular season wins in program history. Now, this doesn't include bowl games, so wins in the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls are excluded.

And since we really don't know just how big the Utes win over Oregon will be until later in the season, we've opted to not include it — yet.

No. 5: Utah 36, #8 Arizona State 31 - 1973

Led by Danny White and future NFL Hall of Famer Make Haynes the Arizona State Sun Devils came to Salt Lake City in 1973 with a 12 game winning streak, 7-0 record and No. 8 ranking. Quarterback Don Van Galder and Steve Odom led the Utes to a 30-10 lead and they held of a Sun Devil rally to claim just the second win in Utah history over a ranked opponent and first against a top ten opponent.

No. 4: Utah 34, BYU 31 - 1993

For years, Utah played second to BYU in the in-state rivalry. The tide finally turned in 1993, with big plays from Curtis Marsh and Jamal Anderson, and perhaps the biggest from Utah's kicker, Chris Yergensen.

BYU had won 14 of the previous 15 games, but since '93, Utah has a series advantage of 14-7, winning four straight and five of the last six.

No 3: #15 Utah 45, #11 Colorado State 31 - 1994

Both teams were unbeaten and ranked in the top 15 when the Utes traveled to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State in 1994. The game was a defensive struggle until halftime, with the Utes holding a 9-7 edge.

Then, everything changed. Both teams exploded in the second half, combining for 60 points. With Colorado State driving deep inside the Utah red zone with only a minute remaining, Harold Lusk intercepted Ram quarterback Anthony Hill in the end zone, returning it 100 yards for a touchdown, clinching Utah's first win over a ranked opponent in 21 years.

No. 2: LA Sweep - Utah 30, #8 UCLA 28; #19 Utah 24, #20 USC 21 - 2014

We couldn't help but pair these two impressive Ute victories in 2014 as the Utes swept the LA schools for the first time in the Pac-12.

Utah's win over UCLA was the Utes first road win over a ranked conference opponent in the Pac-12. Utah's defense slowed down the eighth ranked Bruins by sacking quarterback Brett Hundley ten times.

Against No. 20 USC, the Utes marched down the field with time running out, capped by a one yard touchdown pass from Travis Wilson to Kaelin Clay with just eight seconds remaining.

2014 truly marked the Utes arrival in the Pac-12, as previous conference wins - such as Stanford in 2013 - were never followed up. Utah finished 2014 with nine wins, including a bowl win over Colorado State.

No. 1: #10 Utah 13, #11 TCU 10 - 2008

Utah's 2008 matchup with TCU can be summed up in one word - epic. The tenth ranked Utes and eleventh ranked Horned Frogs were battling for conference supremacy, with the winner getting the inside track for a BCS bowl game. Utah's defense kept the game close enough for quarterback Brian Johnson and receiver Freddie Brown to make Ute history, connecting on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 48 seconds remaining to take their first lead of the game.

With the win, Utah went on to crush San Diego State and No. 14 BYU en route to a Sugar Bowl matchup against Alabama. Utah finished 2008 a perfect 13-0, ranked second in the country.

If you'd like to see a former Ute featured on the Crimson Corner, you can send us an email [HERE](mailto:rjackson@deseretdigital.com?subject=Crimson Corner Player Feature).

Produced by: Robert Jackson

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