Moss, Utah run past West Virginia 30-14 in Heart of Dallas Bowl
DALLAS (AP) — Zach Moss ran for 150 yards with a career-long 58-yard run for a touchdown, Tyler Huntley scored twice on 2-yard keepers and Utah got its fifth consecutive bowl victory, a 30-14 win over West Virginia in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday.
On a drizzly and chilly day in Cotton Bowl Stadium, the Utes (7-6) led for good after Moss took a third-and-1 handoff, quickly burst into the open field and went all the way to the end zone to cap their opening drive.
Utah improved to 11-1 in bowl games under Kyle Whittingham, the former defensive coordinator whose debut as head coach was a Fiesta Bowl win at the end of the 2004 season. He co-coached that game with Urban Meyer, who had taken the Florida job three weeks earlier but returned to be part of Utah's postseason win over Pittsburgh after Whittingham had been promoted to head coach. With the win, Whittingham tied Alabama's Nick Saban for most bowl wins by an active coach.
West Virginia (7-6) finished the season with its third straight loss. The Mountaineers had only 153 total yards without junior quarterback Will Grier, who broke a finger Nov. 18, and 1,000-yard rusher Justin Crawford, a senior who bypassed the bowl game in advance of the NFL draft.
Utah: Both of Huntley's TDs came after West Virginia miscues. The first came after a muffed punt return set Utah up at the Mountaineers 13, and the second came after an offside penalty on a short punt gave the Utes a second chance on fourth down. Huntley then completed a 25-yard pass completion on the fourth-and-3 play before scoring on another short run.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers missed Grier, who broke the middle finger on his throwing hand early in a loss against Texas. They also lost their regular-season finale without him. Grier, whose 34 TD passes were the second most in a season for West Virginia, already has said he will return next year for his senior season.
Utah: Huntley and Moss will both be back, and their junior seasons will begin at home on Aug. 30 against Weber State. For the start of what will be Whittingham's 14th full season, the Utes could have back 14 of their starters from the bowl game (eight on offense, six on defense).
West Virginia: Grier can be back in the lineup for the 2018 season opener Sept. 1 against Tennessee in Charlotte. It will be the third time in five years the Mountaineers will open a season against another Power Five opponent in an NFL stadium.