LAS VEGAS – The University of Utah Utes have won the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Saturday against the Colorado State University Rams, and they got things started with an explosive first quarter that saw them put up 21 points.
The Utes got out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run from quarterback Travis Wilson. They would add to that lead before the end of the first with another touchdown, this time on a pass from Wilson to Delshawn McClellon for 16 yards.
The Rams got tricky to bring the game to 14-7 on a play that began with a pitch to the right but turned into a cross-field pass to an open man, who then took the ball just shy of 40 yards for a touchdown. But Utah roared back soon after. Devontae Booker took a hand off up the middle before breaking out to the right side, chewing up open field as he ran 60 yards for another touchdown, making it 21-7 with about five minutes left in the first quarter. Colorado kicked a field goal to make it 21-10 going into the second.
Utah added another 3 points on a field goal, but a later attempt in the second didn't go as intended. Near the end of the second quarter, Utah drove down the field to set up a 38-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds left before halftime.
Andy Phillips lined up to take the kick, but Utah suddenly shifted, sending the placeholder into the quarterback's position and others to the outside. But the Utes apparently didn't get the look they were hoping for, and after a timeout was called they sent Phillips back out on the field to attempt the kick.
"Automatic Andy" didn't live up to his nickname, at least in this instance, as the ball bounced against the left upright, leaving the score at 24-10 as halftime began.
After halftime, Utah added to their lead with another touchdown run from Wilson, who rushed for 15 yards to score with a little more than 4 minutes left in the third.
Things got worse for the Rams after a bad snap went awry shortly after the fourth quarter began, and Utah recovered the fumble--setting them up with excellent field position. Travis Wilson rushed for 12 yards and a touchdown on the very next play to make it 38-10 Utah.
The fumble was the first turnover for the Rams, but it wouldn't be their last. Jacoby Hale intercepted a pass a short time later and went 13 yards, once again giving the Utes prime field position. That drive culminated in a 10-yard touchdown run from Bubba Poole, making it 45-10 Utah.
That lead held up for Utah, who came away from the game with a 45-10 win. Travis Wilson was the MVP of the game, according to a post made by University of Utah athletics.
The Utes entered the bowl game after a 8-4 season, having gone 5-4 in the Pac-12 South. The Rams had finished 10-2 overall, 8-2 in the Mountain West Conference.
We'll have more coverage of the game during FOX 13 News at 5 p.m. and again at 9 p.m.