Jeff Bottari, Associated Press

Locals in the NFL: Utah grad Devontae Booker posts breakout game against former club for Raiders

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted - Nov. 16, 2020 at 8:17 a.m.



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AROUND THE SHIELD — In four seasons with the Denver Broncos, Devontae Booker was a seldom-used offensive weapon, totaling 1,103 yards and six touchdowns in limited playing time for the team that drafted him with the 136th overall pick in 2016.

More than half of that production — 612 yards and four touchdowns, to be exact — came as a rookie.

So when the first-year Las Vegas Raiders running back and University of Utah graduate lined up against his former team Sunday afternoon at Allegiant Stadium, no one would've expected him to be fueled to perform.

Truth is, though, Booker didn't feel that way at all.

He just showed the Broncos what they were missing.

The 5-foot-11, 220-pound back ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries as the Raiders pulled away from the Broncos, 37-12 Sunday.

If Booker didn't think about facing his old team, though, his teammates certainly did.

"They've been telling me all week that they wanted to get this win for me," said Booker, who also had a 2-yard catch and made a tackle on special teams. "We just went out there and did what they needed to do.

"They're probably more excited than I am."

Booker still knows plenty of Denver ex-teammates — fellow Utah alums Tim Patrick and Garret Bolles being among them. And he admits it "felt good" to get the win over them.

Because winning feels good.

"It felt really good to go out there, and beat those guys," he added. "It started off slow for us in the beginning, but in the second half we came out and executed and just pounded it down their throat."

Playing primarily as a backup to breakout running back Josh Jacobs, Booker was averaging 6.8 yards on 33 carries before Sunday's game against the Broncos. Even that is well ahead of where he was during his final three seasons in Denver, when Booker played largely on special teams and averaged between 3.8 and 5.4 yards per carry out of the backfield.

Sometimes, all you need is a change of scenery.

"A lot of times, players just aren't in the right situation at the right time," Raiders coach Jon Gruden told Raiders.com. "Again, credit to (Las Vegas general manager) Mike Mayock and our scouting department for bringing him in here, and really you have to tip your hat to Booker in an odd offseason. He learned the offense on YouTube and he learned the offense on Zoom meetings, and he won the job in training camp and beat out a really good draft choice. So, it's good to see him have success, especially against his old team."

Booker learned the offense during a largely virtual offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and when it came down to running between the tackles in between hamming it up with some of his old Denver friends during pregame, he took advantage of it.

"I had a lot of old teammates talking to me on the field, as I was in the backfield," Booker said. "But it was just another game for me, and I had to take it to them.

"I couldn't do it without my teammates and the O-line."

Here's how other former local high school and college football standouts fared in Week 11 of the NFL's 2020 season.

Las Vegas 37, Denver 12

Raiders

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: 16 carries, 81 yards, 2 touchdowns; 1 reception, 2 yards; 1 tackle on special teams

Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: 1 tackle, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovered

Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State / BYU: Played as a reserve

Andre James, OT, Herriman HS: Played as a reserve

Broncos

Garett Bolles, OT, Utah / Westlake HS: Started at left tackle

Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: 4 catches, 61 yards

Cleveland 10, Houston 7

Nick Chubb piled up 126 yards and a touchdown in a snowstorm as the Browns improved to 6-3 with a win over the Texans (2-7).

Browns

Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU: 1 tackle on defense, 2 tackles on special teams

Porter Gustin, DE, Salem Hills: 1 tackle on defense

Texans

No locals on active roster

Miami 29, LA Chargers 21

Tua Tagovailoa threw two touchdowns, including one early in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner, as the Dolphins (6-3) outlasted the Chargers (2-7).

Dolphins

Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: 5 tackles, 1 QB hurry

Eric Rowe, DB, Utah: 6 tackles, 2 QB hurries

Chargers

Michael Davis, CB, BYU: 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 passes defended

Sam Tevi, OT, Utah: Started at left tackle

Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State / Fremont HS: 1 fumble recovery, 44-yard return

Alohi Gilman, S, Orem HS: Played as a reserve

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) and tight end Adam Shaheen (80) tackle Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Nick Vigil (59) after the Dolphins fumbled the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press)

Green Bay 24, Jacksonville 20

Aaron Rodgers threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns as the Packers held off the Jaguars to improve to 7-2.

Packers

Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: 8 rushes, 30 yards; 3 catches, 25 yards

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Inactive for Week 11

Jaguars

No locals on active roster

NY Giants 27, Philadelphia 17

Daniel Jones threw for 244 yards and ran or 54 and a touchdown to help the Giants (3-7) past the Eagles (3-5-1) to their third win of the season.

Giants

Jackson Barton, OT, Utah / Brighton HS: Not active

Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: Starting linebacker, had 2 tackles and a quarterback hurry

Eagles

Sua Opeta, OG, Weber State / Stansbury HS: Started at left guard

Arizona 32, Buffalo 30

Kyler Murray threw for 245 yards, including a 43-yard Hail Mary heave to DeAndre Hopkins on the final play from scrimmage, to help the Cardinals (6-3) rally by the Bills (7-3).

Cardinals

Kylie Fitts, LB, Utah: 1 tackle on defense

Leki Fotu, DL, Utah / Herriman HS: Inactive for Week 11

Bills

Zack Moss, RB, Utah: 7 carries for 20 yards rushing; 1 reception for -3 yards receiving

Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: 9 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss and a forced fumble

Jordan Devey, OL, Snow College / American Fork HS: Inactive for Week 11

Detroit 30, Washington 27

Matt Prater made a career-long 59-yard field goal at the buzzer to keep Comeback Kid Alex Smith from leading the 2-7 Football Team's comeback against the Lions (4-5).

Football Team

Alex Smith, QB, Utah: Started and completed 69.1% of his passes for 390 yards while taking two sacks.

Jared Norris, LB, Utah: Inactive for Week 11

Nate Orchard, DE, Utah / Highland HS: Inactive for Week 11

Lions

John Penisini, DL, Utah / West Jordan HS: Started at defensive tackle and finished with three tackles.

Miles Killebrew, S, SUU: Made one tackle on special teams in limited time off the bench.

LA Rams 23, Seattle 16

Malcolm Brown ran for 33 yards and two touchdowns, the second from 1-yard out with 6:22 left to help the Rams (6-3) hold off the Seahawks (6-3).

Rams

No locals on active roster

Seahawks

Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State: 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended

Cody Barton, LB, Utah / Brighton HS: Played as reserve

Bryan Mone, DT, Highland HS: Inactive for Week 11

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) watches from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (Photo: Butch Dill, Associated Press)

New Orleans 27, San Francisco 13

The Saints out-gained the Niners (4-6), 114-49 on the ground — including 45 yards on eight carries from former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill — to move to 7-2 on the season. But did they lose starting quarterback Drew Brees for an extended absence?

Saints

Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: 8 carries, 45 yards; 2 fumbles; 1 fumble recovery

Marcus Williams, S, Utah: 9 tackles; 1 pass defended

Kaden Eliss, LB, Judge Memorial HS: Played as a reserve

49ers

Fred Warner, LB, BYU: 5 tackles

Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: 5 punts, 239 yards

Pittsburgh 36, Cincinnati 10

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns to keep the Steelers (9-0) unbeaten with a win over the Bengals (2-6-1).

Steelers

No locals on active roster

Bengals

LeShaun Sims, CB, SUU: Inactive for Week 11

Thursday Night Football

Indianapolis 34, Tennessee 17

The Colts ended the game on a 24-0 run, including a blocked punt return with 59 seconds left in the third quarter, to rally past the Titans.

Colts

Julian Blackmon, CB, Utah / Layton HS: 4 tackles, 1 TFL

Noah Togiai, TE, Hunter HS: Played 16 offense snaps as a reserve

Titans

No locals on active roster

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