SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Charlie Brewer threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns in his Utah debut to help the No. 24 Utes beat Weber State 40-17 on Thursday night.
Dalton Kincaid caught four passes for 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the opener for both teams. Tavion Thomas ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in his Utah debut.
Weber State took a 7-3 lead when Rashid Shaheed cut to the edge and returned a kickoff 100 yards untouched. He tied an FCS record with his sixth kickoff return for a touchdown.
Bronson Barron threw for 213 yards and a touchdown for Weber State, but the Wildcats had just 57 yards rushing.
The teams retreated to the locker rooms with 8:26 left in the first quarter because of a lightning delay that lasted 90 minutes.
Utah marched down the field quickly after play resumed. The Utes covered 75 yards in five plays, culminating in a 17-yard pass from Brewer to Kincaid, to go back ahead 10-7. Brewer completed four passes on the drive – including three in a row to get Utah into the red zone.
Devin Lloyd snagged a tipped ball at the Weber State 31 to set up a 12-yard touchdown run from Thomas that extended Utah’s lead to 19-7 in the second quarter.
Weber State had a chance to cut the deficit to five before halftime after mounting a 17-play drive and reaching the Utah 1. The Wildcats could not punch it in, coming up short on fourth down when Brandon McKinney stopped reserve quarterback Creyton Cooper for no gain.
The Utes shut the door on a potential comeback when Brewer connected with Solomon Enis on an 8-yard pass that made it 26-10 late in the third quarter.
Weber State: The Wildcats dug a big hole after totaling 23 yards and committing a costly turnover on their first four drives.
Utah: Dropped would-be touchdown passes by T.J. Pledger and Cole Fotheringham forced the Utes to settle for a pair of field goals in the first half and opened the door for Weber State to stay within striking distance for three quarters.
Utah will stay in the poll after dominating the defending Big Sky champions.
Weber State: At Dixie State on Sept. 11.
Utah: At BYU on Sept. 11.
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