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