Colorado State runningback Uldis Jaunarajs (22) is taken down by Corey Dodds (93) and Kite Afeaki (99) in the first quarter. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Nov. 6, 2004
By DOUG ALDEN
AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY - Alex Smith threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns, Morgan Scalley returned a fumble 88 yards for a score and No. 7 Utah beat Colorado State 63-31 on Saturday night for its first 9-0 start in school history.
Marty Johnson scored three touchdowns to help the Utes (9-0, 5-0 Mountain West) break the school record for points in a season with 412. That tops the 405 points scored in 1985 and Utah still has two regular-season games to go.
The Utes, who have had two other 8-0 starts, scored more than 50 points for the third straight week and moved a step closer to a perfect season and a possible Bowl Championship Series bid - the first for a school outside the six BCS conferences.
An Orange Bowl representative attended the game and the Utes once again put on a scoring display, although hoping for a spot in the national title game might be aiming a little high. Utah was sixth in the BCS standings entering the weekend and had little trouble beating the Rams (3-6, 2-3) for the second straight season.
Colorado State's Caleb Hanie was 11-for-25 for 190 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions. Hanie also ran for a touchdown during Colorado State's 21-point fourth quarter against the Utah reserves.
The Utes scored three touchdowns in each of the first two quarters and rested Smith, who is hoping to be Utah's first Heisman Trophy finalist, for most of the second half. He came back in midway through the fourth quarter after Colorado State's three touchdowns, and threw his fourth TD pass of the game, but the outcome was never in question.
Smith, 18-1 as a starter, completed 21 of 26 passes and ran nine times for 55 yards. He led Utah on an 80-yard scoring drive to open the game, capping it with a 5-yard scoring pass to Paris Warren. It was one of three TD catches for Warren.
Scalley also had an interception, the first of two for him in the game, early in the second quarter and returned it 40 yards to the Colorado State 22. Smith hit Steve Savoy on the next play for a touchdown that put the Utes up 28-3.
The Utes forced another fumble in Colorado State territory when Hackenbruck knocked the ball from Jimmy Green and Eric Weddle returned it 31 yards to the 13. Johnson scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to put the Utes up 42-3 with 39 seconds left in the second quarter.
Colorado State made it 42-10 at halftime on a 26-yard pass from Hanie to Damon Morton with 12 seconds left in the half. Hanie and Morton also connected on a 24-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.