White's frustration with the offense's first-half performance, even though the Utes held a 17-14 lead, drove him as the third quarter began. Determined to "just put the team on my back and just run," White ripped off gains of 14, 18 and 15 yards on consecutive plays as the Utes drove to a field goal.
Later in the quarter, White sprinted through the left side for 25 yards, topping the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
And as the fourth quarter began, White's 14-yard run helped the Utes move into position for his 11-yard touchdown, which enabled them to tie the game with a two-point conversion. Presumably, that was the last carry of White's college career, because he's unlikely to recover in time for a bowl game even if the Utes (5-7) receive a bid, coach Kyle Whittingham said.
The 1,000-yard achievement "doesn't mean a lot to me, but it means a lot to these guys that helped me get there," White said, citing his blockers and coaches.
The injury aside, Friday's game was satisfying for White, who finished with 168 yards on 20 carries. He was hurt early in last November's loss to Colorado after posting only 28 yards. This season, he missed the Utah-BYU game in September with an ankle injury and was slowed in subsequent games.
So after gaining a school-record 1,519 yards in 13 games last season, White entered his 11th game of the year Friday needing 127 yards to become Utah's first back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher.
He had 53 yards on eight carries in the first half and produced 115 yards on 12 attempts in the second half, finishing with 1,041 yards.
Utah's 1,000 club
John White • 1,519 (2011)
Carl Monroe • 1,507 (1982)
Dameon Hunter • 1,396 (2001)
Darrell Mack • 1,204 (2007)
Mike Anderson • 1,173 (1998)
Del Rodgers • 1,127 (1981)
Quinton Ganther • 1,120 (2005)
Keith Williams • 1,076 (1991)
Eddie Wide • 1,069 (2009)
Eddie Johnson • 1,046 (1986)
John White • 1,041 (2012)
Eddie Johnson • 1,021 (1984)