Bradon Godfrey (81) makes a 36-yard pass completion against Colorado State defensive back Zac Bryson (10) during the first quarter. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Nov. 11, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Brett Ratliff passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns and Utah became eligible for a bowl in a 35-22 win over Colorado State on Saturday.
The Utes (6-4, 4-2) gained 526 yards and kept alive their slim hopes of winning a share of the Mountain West Conference title by staying within reach of first-place Brigham Young, which plays at Utah in two weeks.
Ratliff completed 20 of 32 passes with one interception. Defensive back Eric Weddle took a few snaps at quarterback, including a 6-yard touchdown run that put Utah up 14-0 in the second quarter, as the Utes ran several trick plays to guarantee they will be at least eligible for a fourth-straight bowl appearance.
Colorado State (4-6, 1-5) lost its fifth straight, the Rams' longest streak since losing the final five games of 1991. The Rams had never lost four in a row under coach Sonny Lubick until this season and will try to snap the skid next week at home against TCU.
Caleb Hanie was 11-for-26 for 183 yards and a touchdown for the Rams, who gained just 163 yards in the second half in a cold, steady rain. Billy Farris added touchdown pass in the final minute, then Utah ran out the clock after recovering the onside kick.
It was all but over before that.
After Colorado State opened the second half with a 33-yard field goal, the Utes took control of the game with two touchdowns. Darryl Poston scored on a 14-yard run and Ray Stowers scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard run that put Utah up 35-16 with 14:37 left in the game.
Derrek Richards set up Poston's run with a leaping catch at the sideline on a high pass from Ratliff.
The Utes used a triple reverse to set up their next score. Sean Smith ended up with the ball and took it 30 yards to the Colorado State 17 late in the third quarter. Stowers ended the drive with a 2-yard run.
Richards also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ratliff to give Utah a 21-13 lead with 36 seconds left in the first half.
Colorado State scored when Luke Roberts got behind Weddle in the second quarter and ran easily ran through two attempted tackles on his way to the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown that got the Rams within 14-7.
The Rams scored again and had a chance to tie it after Gartrell Johnson scored on a 6-yard run, but they botched the extra point on a bad snap.