Postgame Notes: Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl | Heart of Dallas

Postgame Notes: Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl

Postgame Bowl Notes

2017 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl


Utah Bowl Notes:

  • Most Valuable Player in the game was Utah sophomore DB Julian Blackmon. He ended with two pass interceptions to tie a Heart of Dallas Bowl record and had two tackles in the game
  • Utes RB Zack Moss (150 yards, 20 carries) finished with the second-most individual rushing yards in Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl history. The record remains 181 yards by Myles Gaskin of Washington vs. Southern Miss on 26 rushes in 2015.
  • Utah became the sixth team with a 6-6 record to play in the postseason today in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. UU also is the second team in ZHODB annals among five squads to enter the game at 6-6 or 5-7 and win the postseason contest. Those 6-6 teams hold a combined 4-2 record in post-2017 to date and now have a combined mark for teams with records of 6-6 or 5-7 of 63-55 through 118 games played from post-2007 to post-2017.
  • Today’s rugged defensive struggle represents a tie for the best scoring defense by both squads in the history of the ZHODB with a composite 44 points. The previous top co-defensive effort was a combined 44 points by Houston (30) vs. Penn State (14) in 2012.
  • RB Zack Moss’ 58-yard scoring run in the first quarter was the fourth-longest scoring run in Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl history.
  • The five total field goals set a ZHDOB mark for combined three-pointers. Utah’s Matt Gay tied the individual record for most field goals made with three.
  • The Utes defense limited West Virginia to a ZHDOB-quarter-fewest minus six yards on 10 plays from scrimmage in the third quarter. WVU managed a short drive for a field goal after a muffed punt snap to take a 3-0 advantage in third quarter scoring.
  • Utah has the best winning percentage of any FBS team with 20-plus bowl appearances. The Utes are now 17-4 (.810 winning rate). Utah also has won five consecutive bowl contests and 11 of its last 12. Next in team winning percentage among Top Five in bowl games are Southern California (34-17, .667), which will play in Friday's Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium; Ole Miss (24-13, .649), Florida State (28-16-2, .630) and Oklahoma State (17-10, .629).
  • Head coach Kyle Whittingham is 11-1 for the best victory percentage among FBS coaches with 10-plus bowl appearances at .917. Whittingham has guided the Utes to 12 of their 21 all-time postseason berths.
  • Whittingham now is 111-56-0 (.665) through 13 seasons as head coach – all at Utah.
  • Utah now leads the series against West Virginia with a 2-0 edge. Their previous meeting was a 32-6 victory by the Utes over the Mountaineers in the 1964 Liberty Bowl played indoors at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Conventional Hall.
  • Utah played its first bowl game in Texas with a 26-0 Sun Bowl triumph over New Mexico on Jan. 2, 1939. The Utes have won or shared 24 conference football championships through the years.
  • Utah is 662-453-31 (.592) over 128 seasons in four different conferences as an independent from 1892-1909.
  • Utah is 2-0 in games played at Cotton Bowl Stadium with a previous victory over SMU 21-17 in 1996 and today’s victory.
  • Utah kicker Matt Gay, the 2017 Lou Groza Award winner, booted three fields, the most by any kicker in Heart of Dallas Bowl history. Gay finished the season with 30 made field goals, most of any FBS kicker.
  • The Utes opened the game No. 50 in NCAA FBS with 9-of-16 fourth down conversions (.563) and No. 98 in third down conversions at 56-of-157 for 36 percent.
  • Current teams from the Pac-12 Conference are 7-4-0 (.636) in 11 games played at Cotton Bowl Stadium. The first 2017 Pac-12 member to play in the historic structure was Colorado in the 1938 Cotton Bowl Classic, which fell to Southwest Conference champion Rice 28-14.


West Virginia Bowl Notes:

  • WVU is 744-491-45 overall (.598) and has won or shared 15 conference titles as a member of the Southern, Big East and Big 12 Conferences. The Mountaineers remain 18th all-time in NCAA FBS total victories.
  • The Mountaineers have a bowl record of 15-21-0 (.417) and played their second and third bowls in Texas at El Paso. They downed Texas Tech 7-6 in the 1938 Sun Bowl and the future UTEP (then West Texas State Mines) 21-12 in 1949.
  • West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is 53-37 (.589) as he finishes his seventh season as a head coach – all in Morgantown. He is 2-4 in bowl games. He is no stranger to coaching in Texas as an assistant at Texas Tech and Houston from 2000-09.
  • WVU is 1-1 in contests played at Cotton Bowl Stadium with a 28-22 triumph over SMU in 1975 prior to today’s tussle. The Mountaineers were ranked No. 11 nationally at the time.
  • West Virginia entered the game ranked No. 3 in NCAA FBS with 15-of-20 fourth down conversions and made its first fourth down attempt in the second quarter this afternoon. The Mountaineers were 60-of-171 for 35 percent and a No. 103 rating on third down conversions.
  • The 2.5 sacks by WVU’s David Long Jr. was a season individual high for the squad. The Mountaineers also tied their team high for sacks in one game against Baylor in Waco.
  • The Mountaineers ended 2017 3-of-3 on two-point conversion attempts.
  • Kyzir White’s 13 total tackles represented the second-highest game total in ZHODB annals. The record remains 15 by Northwestern’s Quentin Davie vs. Texas Tech in the inaugural bowl in the series vs. Texas Tech in 2011.
  • Current teams from the Big 12 Conference now are 145-141-12 (.507) in 298 skirmishes at Cotton Bowl Stadium and have played games in the stadium as members of the Southwest, Big 6-8, Big East, and other circuits. The first team from the current Big 12 roster to play in the historic oval was Texas on Oct. 21, 1921, at old Fair Park Stadium (at this same site) in a 21-0 loss to then-Southern Conference power Vanderbilt, which played the Longhorns eight times from 1921-28 in Dallas prior the start of the 1929 Oklahoma-Texas Red River Shootout/Rivalry (Cotton Bowl Stadium hosted the classic rivalry for the first time in 1930 – the first year of its existence). The Big 12 is 1-2 at Cotton Bowl Stadium in ’17 after Oklahoma edged Texas 29-24 last October in the AT&T Red River Rivalry.
  • West Virginia finished with 153 yards of total offense, less than one-third of its season average (485.2) and its lowest total this season. The Mountaineers played without three key starters: QB Will Grier (3,490 passing yards), RB Justin Crawford (1,082 rushing yards) and OG Kyle Bosch (All-Big 12). It marked the Mountaineers’ fewest yards in any game since at least 2013.
  • WVU also was 2-of-14 on third down conversions to tie the team’s fewest third down conversions with the 2-of-15 the Mountaineers had against Oklahoma State.
  • Today’s attendance was 20,507.