quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 227 yards, rushed for 70 and accounted for three touchdowns as the Utes overwhelmed FCS North Dakota 37-16 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night at Salt Lake City.
Utah debuted its new pass-first, spread offense with first-year offensive coordinator Troy Taylor and the difference was apparent from the start.
Huntley had his mistakes with some bad decisions and some errant throws, but he repeatedly made plays with his arms and legs and posted career-highs in passing and rushing yards. Running back Zack Moss finished with a career-high 128 yards rushing and a touchdown on 22 carries. Oregon transfer Darren Carrington had 10 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown.
“I liked the play-calling,” coach Kyle Whittingham said. “I thought the play selection was very good, very balanced.”
The Utes’ scheme is designed to throw early and often, but Taylor has insisted the run game will be a big component. Utah ran for 272 yards.
North Dakota quarterback Keaton Studsrud threw for 175 yards and a touchdown. The run game was bottled up for 51 yards.
at 37, New Mexico State 31: Manny Wilkins had touchdown passes of 53 yards to Jalen Harvey and 60 yards to John Humphrey, Kallen Ballage rushed for two touchdowns and the Sun Devils hung on.
Wilkins passed for 300 yards. The Aggies’ Tyler Rogers threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns, but he had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.