Utah 17

(3-3, 0-3 away)

Colorado State 21

(3-2, 3-0 home)

6:30 PM ET, October 8, 2005

Hughes Stadium (CO), Fort Collins, CO

1 2 3 4 T
UTAH 7 0 7 317
CSU 0 3 0 1821

Top Performers

Passing: J. Holland (CSU) - 226 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: K. Bell (CSU) - 25 CAR, 140 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Anderson (CSU) - 8 REC, 120 YDS, 1 TD

Colorado State holds off late Utah rally

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- The Utah Utes had three chances to get a yard at the end of the game -- three tries to score a touchdown and maybe regain some of their championship form from last season.

All three times, Colorado State stopped them.

The Rams (3-2, 2-0 Mountain West) stonewalled Utah on the goal line with less than a minute left for a 21-17 win Saturday, putting the Utes (3-3, 1-2) on their first losing streak since 2002 and keeping them winless on the road this season.

"We should have won the football game," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.

After Kyle Bell ran 49 yards to give CSU a 21-17 lead with 2:36 remaining, Utah moved 76 yards in 10 plays -- capped by Quinton Ganther's 20-yard run on fourth down -- to Colorado State's 4-yard line.

On first-and-goal, Ganther ran for three yards. On the next two plays, quarterback Brian Johnson tried to push over the line and was stopped each time for no gain.

The Utes then called timeout with 27 seconds remaining.

On fourth-and-goal, Ganther again tried to stuff it up the middle. But Rams defensive end Jesse Nading was there to make the stop.

"I slipped," Ganther said, who finished with 18 carries and 112 yards. "I cost the team the game last week and I didn't want to cost them again."

Johnson said he believed he got into the end zone on one of his carries.

"That can't happen," he said of the way the game ended. "It was inexcusable."

Johnson continued to struggle on the road. He completed 15-of-27 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown, but also threw two interceptions -- one on the Rams 23-yard line in the second quarter and the other in the fourth quarter that set up CSU's second touchdown.

The game offered more proof of how far Utah has fallen since last year's undefeated season and win over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. There's no Alex Smith to come through in the clutch and little hope of winning a third-straight Mountain West Conference.

"We're beyond adversity now," Whittingham said. "Now we're up to the point where we have to see what kind of character we have, what kind of men we are."

For Colorado State, the win was sweet revenge after last year's 63-31 loss in Salt Lake City. CSU and Texas Christian now are the only undefeated teams in the conference.

For three quarters, Utah seemed poised to beat the Rams.

The Utes scored on its first possession of the game with a fake field goal to take an early 7-0 lead. Holder Eric Weddle picked up the ball on the Colorado State 9-yard line and ran into the end zone along the right side.

By the beginning of the fourth quarter, Utah was leading 14-3 and had held Bell -- who had rushed for 197 and 183 yards in his two previous games -- to just 42 yards on 17 carries.

Then things began to fall apart.

Justin Holland hit Matt Bartz and David Anderson for touchdowns less than four minutes apart to give CSU a 15-14 lead with 11:16 remaining. Holland completed 18-of-25 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Utah drove down the field on its next possession, but could manage only a 24-yard field goal by Dan Beardall to make it 17-15.

That's when Bell took over. He had runs of 6, 12, 9 and 1 yard before breaking through for a 49-yard score that made it 21-17.

"We couldn't sustain and keep up the things we were doing during the first 3½ quarters," Whittingham said.

Bell finished with 25 carries for 140 yards and the score.

"We stuck with our game plan after struggling," Bell said. "We knew that if we kept pounding it at them, the (offensive line) would wear them down and the big plays would come."