No. 23 Utah cruises to Las Vegas Bowl win
LAS VEGAS — Utah quarterback Travis Wilson ran for three touchdowns and passed for another Saturday, leading the No. 23 Utes to a 45-10 rout of Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Wilson rushed for a season-high 91 yards on 11 carries and completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards.
Utah (9-4) scored three times in the first quarter and finished with 548 total yards, including 359 on the ground. Devontae Booker ran for 162 yards and a TD and Troy McCormick ran for 86.
Colorado State (10-3) fell behind in the first three minutes and never got its vaunted offense in gear. The Rams played a ranked team for the first time this season — they have lost their last 16 games against teams in the Top 25.
Garrett Grayson completed 21 of 35 passes for 242 yards, but he was unable to avoid Utah’s rush in the second half when the Rams were forced to throw the ball.
Utah, which led the nation with 52 sacks, dropped Grayson twice in the game, one each by Jason Fanaika and Nate Orchard.
Grayson threw an interception and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, and Utah turned both into touchdowns.
Wilson ran for a 12-yard touchdown and backup running back Bubba Poole scored on a 10-yard run.
Colorado State interim coach Dave Baldwin hoped to confuse Utah’s defense by using multiple formations, but it didn’t work. The Rams ran the ball early with little success and couldn’t mount a passing attack in the second half. They finished with 8 yards rushing.
Rams wide receiver Rashard Higgins caught seven passes for 109 yards.
Utah didn’t do much wrong in the opening half, taking a 24-10 lead, rolling up 327 yards and scoring on its first three possessions. The only time the Utes stumbled came on the final play of the second quarter, when a 38-yard field goal attempt by Andy Phillips hit the post.
But by then, the Utes were in high gear. They combined with Colorado State to score 31 points in the first period, a Las Vegas Bowl record, and used big plays to set up each of their touchdowns.
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
AIR FORCE 38, WESTERN MICHIGAN 24: At Boise, Idaho, Shayne Davern ran for a career-high 101 yards and two touchdowns and Air Force beat Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Air Force finished the season 10-3 after going 2-10 last year. Miami of Ohio was the last previous team to follow a 10-loss season with 10 victories, going from 1-11 in 2009 to 10-4 in 2010.
Dexter Walker returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown for Air Force.
Western Michigan finished 8-5 after going 1-11 last season. Zach Terrell threw three touchdown passes to Corey Davis for the Broncos, 0-6 in bowl games.
NEW ORLEANS BOWL
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 16, NEVADA 3: At New Orleans, Terrance Broadway passed for 227 yards and a touchdown, Hunter Stover kicked three field goals and Louisiana-Lafayette beat Nevada in the New Orleans Bowl.
Broadway set an NCAA Division I bowl record by completing his first 14 passes.
Stover made a career-long 46-yard field goal in the first half and added kicks of 35 and 30 yards tp help the Ragin’ Cajuns (9-4) completed their fourth consecutive nine-victory season with their fourth straight New Orleans Bowl win.
Cody Fajardo passed for 124 yards and rushed for 49 more for Nevada (7-6), marking the second time he has passed for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 in a season.
NEW MEXICO BOWL
UTAH STATE 21, UTEP 6: At Albuquerque, N.M., Nick Vigil ran for a touchdown and combined with brother Zach to make 16 tackles in Utah State’s victory over UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.
Utah State (10-4) won a bowl game for the third straight year.
UTEP (7-6) is 0-6 in postseason play since winning the 1967 Sun Bowl.
Linebackers Nick and Zach Vigil helped prevent the Miners from putting together consistent drives, with senior Zach making nine stops. Nick scored on a 3-yard run for a 14-3 lead in the third quarter.
BOWLING GREEN 33, SOUTH ALABAMA 28: At Montgomery, Ala., Roger Lewis caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from James Knapke with 1:04 remaining to lift Bowling Green past South Alabama in the Camellia Bowl.
The Falcons (8-6) responded one play after the Jaguars (6-7) took their first lead. Lewis got several yards beyond Roman Buchanan downfield, and Buchanan came up clutching his right hamstring.
Game MVP Knapke was 25-of-39 passing for 368 yards and two long touchdowns to Lewis.