Alex Smith passes during the first half against Wyoming.
Nov. 14, 2004
By ROBERT W. BLACK
Associated Press Writer
LARAMIE, Wyo. - A brownout that delayed the start for 99 minutes was the only thing that slowed down No. 7 Utah on Saturday night.
After power was restored, Utah rolled to a 45-28 victory over Wyoming, clinching a second straight Mountain West title and boosting the Utes' hopes for a marquee bowl.
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.
Alex Smith passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a game-high 105 yards and another TD as Utah scored on its first five possessions. Smith, who completed 17 of 27 passes, 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.
Helped by Wyoming's ineptness, Utah piled up 318 yards and a 31-7 lead by halftime. The Cowboys coughed up the ball on three of their first four drives.
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.
Bramlet, who passed for 278 yards but was intercepted twice, scored on two short runs in the second half and tossed a 20-yard TD to Bouknight with 34 seconds left after the Utes' only turnover.
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 TD run.
The start was delayed 1 hour, 39 minutes because of a partial power outage, leaving fans shivering in twilight and a 15-degree wind chill until kickoff at 6:45 p.m.