FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Limited to 111 yards in the second
half and 284 overall, Utah got a huge contribution from its
defense, which scored two touchdowns.
Cornerback Arnold Parker scored the biggest one, returning a
fumble 80 yards for a touchdown with 1:33 left as Utah stunned
Colorado State 28-21 on Saturday night.
Moments later, linebacker Corey Dodds intercepted a Colorado
State pass and the Utes (3-1, 1-0 Mountain West) ended a five-game
losing streak to the Rams (2-3, 0-1).
Colorado State quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt, benched in the
second quarter after four straight series that ended on turnovers,
returned to the game and rallied the Rams to two fourth-quarter
touchdowns and a 21-21 tie.
Trailing 21-7, Colorado State went 80 yards on a drive capped by
Van Pelt's 8-yard run on a quarterback draw.
After a short Utah punt, Van Pelt led the Rams 42 yards for
another score, with Marcus Houston running the final 3 yards with
Van Pelt's 28-yard pass to Chris Pittman triggered another
scoring threat in the closing minutes, and the Rams appeared
content to kick a field goal after reaching the Utah 22-yard line.
But Houston fumbled when hit by safety Dave Revill, and Parker
grabbed it and raced down the right sideline for the clinching
"I was lucky to be the guy taking it back," Parker said. "The
ball came right to me, but Dave Revill did all the work."
Revill said he "put a helmet on the ball. I followed him to the
corner and went to tackle him and it came out. I was worried
(Parker) wouldn't get in."
Ute coach Urban Meyer said the fact that Revill forced the key
turnover "should come as no surprise. He's an all-conference
defender. Revill made the play and got the ball to Arnold, the
fastest guy on our team."
"It was a critical error on my part," Houston said of the
fumble. "We can't expect to win games when we turn the ball over
It was one of six turnovers for the usually sure-handed Rams.
"I was surprised by all the Colorado State turnovers," Meyer
said. "That is very unusual for a Sonny Lubick team. They usually
get the turnovers."
Lubick, the Rams' coach, agreed.
"Six turnovers -- you're not going to beat anybody when we do
that," he said. "We've been so darn good at that the last few
Utah converted two of Colorado State's four first-half turnovers
into two scores and a 14-7 halftime lead, including Dodds' recovery
in the end zone of a fumbled pitchout from Van Pelt to Houston.
Brandon Warfield, the nation's No. 3 rusher who finished with 78
yards, scored on a 10-yard run after a Van Pelt fumble.
Justin Holland replaced Van Pelt and drove the Rams 80 yards for
a score. Holland was 6-of-7 passing on the drive, including his
4-yarder to a diving David Anderson for the TD.
Quarterback Alex Smith's 1-yard sneak, which capped a 57-yard
drive, put Utah ahead 21-7 late in the third quarter.
The teams exchanged a flurry of turnovers in the first quarter.
Colorado State drove to the Utah 26, where the Utes' Reza Williams
tipped a pass and teammate Lewis Powell intercepted.
Smith fumbled the ball away on the next play, but CSU then gave
it back on Houston's fumble at the Utah 21.
Smith completed a 33-yard pass to Paris Warren on third-and-19
as Utah drove to the CSU 1-yard line, where Warfield was stopped on
third and fourth down.
Two plays later, however, Houston couldn't handle Van Pelt's
pitchout at the goal line and Dodds recovered in the end zone for a
touchdown early in the second quarter.
Seven plays later, Van Pelt tossed an errant pitchout, and
Powell recovered. The Utes promptly drove 52 yards, with Warfield
running 10 yards off the right side for the TD.
On the Holland-led scoring drive, the Rams converted all four of
their third-down plays.
Van Pelt reentered the game late in the third quarter after two
ineffective series by Holland.