7:00 PM ET, November 13, 2004
War Memorial Stadium, LITTLE ROCK, AR
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- A brownout that delayed the start was the only thing that slowed down Utah on a bitterly cold Saturday night.
Ignoring the 99-minute delay, Utah (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, no. 7 AP) rolled to a 45-28 victory over Wyoming in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated, bolstering the Utes' hopes of cracking the Bowl Championship Series party.
"There's still another big week of football for us and for the rest of the country, and for a lot of teams two more weeks," said Utah's Alex Smith, who passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 105 yards and another score. "There's still lots to happen, and I said this before, I think it will all take care of itself."
After the delay, caused by a power failure, Utah built a 31-7 halftime lead, then stretched it to 45-14 en route to clinching a second straight Mountain West title.
Utah's school-record 10-0 start combined with Wisconsin's 49-14 loss to Michigan State could move the Utes into the top six in the BCS standings and a likely berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Utah is 6-0 in conference play with one game left, against rival BYU at home.
Utes coach Urban Meyer admitted the delay made it difficult to keep his players fired up.
"That was 'Coaching 101," he said. "I kept looking through the manual and I couldn't find that, how to handle an hour-and-a-half delay."
Wyoming players said the late start was not a factor in the team's early miscues: three turnovers in the first four possessions.
Utah committed only one giveaway -- a meaningless fumble late in the contest.
"The thing I'm most impressed with in their offense is they don't make mistakes," Wyoming defensive tackle Zach Morris said.
Morris said that Smith "is a great player. He's definitely the best player in our conference, but he's got a lot of guys around him to help him out."
Cowboys coach Joe Glenn was proud his team outscored the Utes 21-14 in the second half and said Utah deserves to be in a BCS bowl.
"Absolutely. There's no question about it," he said. "That quarterback is special. Big guy can run. The offensive line is awesome."
Smith completed 17 of 27 passes as Utah scored on its opening five possessions. He has 27 touchdown passes and only two interceptions on the season.
Steve Savoy had a 15-yard run that put Utah up 38-7 and a 10-yard TD among his six receptions as the Utes racked up 488 yards of offense.
John Madsen's 15-yard catch made it 45-14 on the final play of the third quarter.
Wyoming (6-4, 3-3) had no answer for the Utes' attack, which came close to its averages of 45.8 points and 500 yards.
Morgan Scalley's sixth interception of the season set up a 26-yard pass from Smith to Paris Warren, putting Utah up 24-7 with 11:04 left in the first half.
Utah bolted to a 14-0 lead on Smith's 27-yard keeper and Marty Johnson's 1-yard run before Wyoming scored on a 41-yard pass from Corey Bramlet to Jovon Bouknight, who had six catches for a career-high 142 yards and two TDs.
Bramlet, who was 17 of 28 passing for 278 yards and intercepted twice, scored on two short runs in the second half and tossed a 20-yard TD to Bouknight with 34 seconds left.
Smith's opening touchdown came after Corey Dodds recovered a Wyoming fumble on the game's second play.
Marquess Ledbetter's interception on the Cowboys' next drive led to a 64-yard Utah march capped by Johnson's scoring run.
The game was played in a biting wind that made it feel like 15 degrees.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-12||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||3-4|
|TD||12:53||ALEX SMITH 27 YD RUN (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||5:30||MARTY JOHNSON 1 YD RUN (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||3:39||JOVON BOUKNIGHT 59 YD PASS FROM COREY BRAMLET (DERIC YAUSSI KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||0:14||DAVID CARROLL 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 67 yards.
|TD||11:04||PARIS WARREN 26 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 86 yards.
|TD||4:08||STEVE SAVOY 10 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 58 yards.
|TD||10:23||STEVE SAVOY 15 YD RUN (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||2:16||COREY BRAMLET 2 YD RUN (DERIC YAUSSI KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||0:00||JOHN MADSEN 15 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||0:46||COREY BRAMLET 1 YD RUN (DERIC YAUSSI KICK)|
Drive info: 19 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||0:34||JOVON BOUKNIGHT 20 YD PASS FROM COREY BRAMLET (DERIC YAUSSI KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 20 yards.