SALT LAKE CITY — Always so reliant on the run, Stanford switched things up near the goal line with time winding down.
Two passes. Two incompletions. And that was that as No. 5 Stanford's 13-game winning streak was snapped, falling 27-21 to Utah on Saturday.
Soon after Utah quarterback Travis Wilson took a final knee, the raucous crowd stormed the field to celebrate the team's biggest upset at home. It was the first time in school history the Utes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) have knocked off a top-five program at Rice-Eccles Stadium. They beat No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl following the 2008 season.
Given the scare Utah gave No. 11 UCLA last week, the Cardinal (5-1, 3-1 Pac-12) knew this wouldn't be easy.
“Every team that comes here has been in deep water and they've been close games,” linebacker Trent Murphy said. “It was not a surprise to us that they played well.
“We're disappointed more than anything else.”
Stanford coach David Shaw tried to explain the curious play calling with a minute left to play, saying he wanted to save their final timeout.
On third down, Kevin Hogan gave the look of a run, only to drop back and pass, missing Charlie Hopkins.
Stanford then called timeout.
On fourth, with 2 yards to go for a new set of downs, Hogan, amid heavy pressure, overthrew Devon Cajuste.
“We could have changed the play but we didn't,” Shaw said. “We still had a chance but they got to the quarterback.”
Utah (4-2, 1-2) kept Stanford's stingy defense off balance all day with a mix of draws and wide receiver screens. Dres Anderson caught a 51-yard TD pass and scored another on a short run. Bubba Poole finished with 111 yards rushing and had another 75 on seven catches.
“This is as well as I've seen Utah play on the offensive side,” Shaw said. “They really strung things together.”
Ty Montgomery returned a kickoff for a touchdown for a second straight week. This time, Montgomery took the ball a few steps deep in the end zone and darted through the Utes before going 100 yards, tying a Stanford record.