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Williams rushes No. 21 Utah past Oregon State

Williams rushes No. 21 Utah past Oregon State
Published On: Sat, Oct 15
Sep 21, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Ryan Williams (11) drops back to pass against the Savannah State Tigers in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Joe Williams answered the call on Monday so he'd have a chance to answer the bell come Saturday.

Williams rushed for 179 yards and one touchdown as No. 21 Utah survived a late Oregon State comeback for a 19-14 victory at Reser Stadium.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham contacted Williams, who started the first two games before walking away from football, with his corps of running backs decimated by injuries. It didn't take much to persuade the 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior to come back.

"I made a decision personally to reflect on things that I needed to take care of," Williams said of his departure, "but I'm always so grateful to coach Whit for bringing me out of (junior college) to come here to play. He called and asked me to come and help the team out, and it was a quick yes."

The Utes (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) became bowl eligible on a wet and blustery day after gaining only 78 yards in the second half. Troy Williams completed 4 of 13 passes for 42 yards on the day as Utah went primarily with its ground game.

"We knew coming into the game it was going to be hard to score with the bad conditions," he said, "but we found a way. It was a heavy running day, and we have a great offensive line and great backs.

"Joe did a great job today, so we were able to get it done."

Joe Williams, who came within eight yards of his career best, matched his high with 34 carries but was stuffed on fourth down at the Oregon State 25 with 37 seconds left to play.

However, the Beavers (2-4, 1-2) turned the ball over on downs on their final possession to end the game.

Third-string quarterback Marcus McMaryion came on after injuries to starter Darell Garretson and backup Corey Blount to cap a 65-yard drive with a 14-yard pass to Hunter Jarmon with 1:48 to play.

Troy Williams scored Utah's only touchdown of the second half on an 8-yard run with 3:18 left to play. The Utes finished with a season-low 317 yards to 297 for Oregon State.

Joe Williams rushed 15 times for only 37 yards in the second half as Utah went almost exclusively to its ground game.

"I had a little fatigue here and there," he said, "and I don't have that quick step I had about four weeks ago. I'm just going to take it day by day and get my conditioning back."

Oregon State lost its first two quarterbacks to leg injuries late in the fourth quarter.

Garretson, who completed just one of his first 16 passes, finished 4-for-20 for 24 yards before hurting his left ankle, and Blount threw one incompletion before being helped off the field with an injured left knee after his fumble at the Oregon State 11 to set up Utah's last touchdown.

Afterward, the thought of who might start at quarterback next week against No. 5 Washington wasn't Beavers coach Gary Andersen's primary concern.

"I'm not going to talk about injuries," he said. "We're down some guys, but that's another reason I'm proud of this group. There were so many ways they could have said, woe is me.

"All of our worries are about those kids as individuals (getting healthy). Marcus is up now and we'll see about the other guys health as we go."

Oregon State receiver Victor Bolden didn't catch his first pass until midway through the fourth quarter to keep his streak of games with at least one reception alive at 30. All three of his catches, for 25 yards, came during a long drive that ended when Garrett Owens hooked left a 27-yard field goal try with 8:23 to go and the Beavers down 12-7.

"It hurts to see one of your brothers go down," Bolden said. "Next guy has to step up and get the job done.

"Our confidence wasn't low; we still have confidence. We know we can compete with any team in the country."

Utah took advantage of Oregon State miscues on special teams to score three times for a 12-0 halftime lead.

After a 15-yard punt, the Utes drove 73 yards in 10 plays and scored on Joe Williams' 5-yard run for an early 7-0 lead. They added a safety on the last play of the first quarter when the Beavers long snapper sent the ball over punter Nick Porebski's head and out of the end zone.

Utah went 55 yards after Oregon State's free kick in 12 plays before settling for a 25-yard field goal by Andy Phillips.

Joe Williams finished the half with 142 yards on 19 carries as the Utes had a 229-55 edge in total offense.

Oregon State's best scoring opportunity came late in the half when Devin Chappell recovered a backward pass at the Utah 42. However, a personal foul by senior tackle Sean Harlow for unnecessary roughness pushed the Beavers back into their own territory and led to Pobreski's fifth punt of the half.

NOTES: Utah's leading rusher, Armand Shyne, was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered in last week's win over Arizona, which led to Williams' return to the team this week. ... Oregon State's Ryan Nall, who had a career-best 221 rushing yards against California before injuring his foot late in the game, started and carried just once for 32 yards in the first half but reaggravated the injury and didn't return.

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