Utah quarterback Travis Wilson orchestrated the biggest upset at home in school history and the most significant victory the Utes have had since moving to the Pac-12 three years ago.
The Utes shocked unbeaten and No. 5-ranked Stanford by making a goal-line stand in the final minute of the game and by Wilson throwing two TD passes in the 27-21 victory. Utah’s first signature Pac-12 win earned it selection as the Week 7 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.
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. However, it did beat No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl following the 2008 season.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan marched Stanford down to the Utah 6-yard line with a minute remaining. On third down, he threw an incomplete pass and, then, on fourth down, amid heavy pressure, Hogan overthrew his wide receiver. The loss ended the 13-game winning streak of Stanford (5-1, 3-1).
A week after throwing six interceptions, Wilson helped keep Stanford’s defense off balance with a mix of draws and wide receiver screens. Wilson finished 23 of 34 for 234 yards with touchdown passes of 51 and 4 yards. Despite cutting his throwing hand on a hard tackle early in the third quarter, Wilson continued playing well.
A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.
This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”
Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.