Brandon Warfield ran through the Cal defense for three scores Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Brandon Warfield scored his third touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run with 1:06 remaining as Utah rallied to beat California 31-24 Thursday night.
Warfield was held well below his average of 177 yards per game, finishing with 94 on 30 carries, but he could not be stopped in the fourth quarter. He carried seven times for 46 yards on the final drive, ending it by breaking an option around the right side and diving across the goal line.
Alex Smith was 18-of-27 for 136 yards and ran for a touchdown in his first start for the Utes (2-1), who won in front 46,768 red-clad fans - the largest crowd to see a football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Smith was starting for Brett Elliott, who broke his wrist last week in a loss at Texas A&M and is out for a month.
The Utes, who led 21-7 at halftime, were forced to rally after allowing 17 straight points in the third quarter.
Aaron Rodgers replaced Reggie Robertson at quarterback after just two series for Cal (1-2) and led the Bears, going 15-for-25 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Adimchinobe Echemandu ran for 80 yards and a touchdown and Geoff McArthur had 130 yards on eight catches, including two touchdowns for the Bears, who wore down in the fourth quarter.
Cal cut Utah's lead to 21-10 on Tyler Frederickson's 21-yard field goal, then got a huge break when Utah punter Matt Kovacevich's kick went just 19 yards and gave the Bears the ball at the Utah 28.
Echemandu scored on a 1-yard run to make it 21-16 with 3:18 left in the
third. The Bears' 2-point conversion attempt failed, but Cal forced Utah into a
three-and-out on the next series and once again Kovacevich couldn't get off a
good kick. This one went just 24 yards and gave the Bears the ball at the Utah
Utah tied it on Borreson's 35-yard yard field goal, capping a 16-play, 62-yard drive that included two conversions on third-and-long and another on fourth down. After a Cal punt to the Utah 37, Warfield and Smith led the Utes on the final scoring drive.
The Utes ended Cal's last chance when Lewis Powell forced Rodgers to fumble and Utah recovered.
The crowd topped the previous high of 45,634 for the 1998 game against instate rival Brigham Young.
By DOUG ALDEN
AP Sports Writer