LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- Utah quarterback Brett Ratliff finally got
sacked -- and sacked, and sacked, and sacked, and sacked and sacked.
Wyoming's defense dished Ratliff, who hadn't been sacked this
season, severe grief Saturday on the way to a 31-15 win, the
Cowboys' first against Utah since 1999.
Cowboys redshirt freshman Karsten Sween, meanwhile, shone in his
second start, throwing for 202 yards and a touchdown and running
for a 4-yard touchdown.
The touchdown gave the Cowboys (3-4, 2-1 Mountain West
Conference) a 17-0 lead to open the second quarter. By early in the
third, the score was 31-0.
Wyoming wouldn't score after that, but it hardly mattered.
Cowboys coach Joe Glenn credited his defense, which held the
Utes (4-3, 2-1) to just 33 yards rushing and 111 yards passing.
"Relentless' is the word," he said.
"They couldn't run on us. They couldn't throw on us. When
you're offensive coordinator for the other team, that's a long day
in the box, when anything you call just gets stuffed."
The Cowboys finished with 100 yards rushing and 202 yards
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham also praised the Cowboys' defense,
which led the nation in pass defense before the game. "They are
not full of superstars, but they play real hard and are tough
guys," he said.
He said his team dug itself into "a big hole" committing
Besides getting sacked, Ratliff had trouble with fumbles and
interceptions. He fumbled late in the first half, setting up Sween
for a 24-yard touchdown pass to Michael Ford that put the Cowboys
up 24-0 going into halftime.
"Karsten put it in a spot where I was the only one who could
get it," said Ford, who finished with five catches for 92 yards.
"He believed in me, and I feel that he has confidence in me to
make the big plays."
Three plays into the second half, Julius Stinson picked off a
Ratliff pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown and a 31-0
lead. "This was our best all-around game of the season -- offense,
defense and special teams," Stinson said.
Despite the wide lead, Sween said he didn't let up in the second
"Third quarter, we wanted to still go out and get drives
going," he said. "We weren't too conservative because we didn't
want to shut down and have them make a comeback."
Utah didn't score until Eric Weddle's 35-yard fumble return in
the third quarter made it 31-7. In the fourth quarter, Derrek
Richards scored on a 3-yard touchdown pass, and Bradon Godfrey
caught the 2-point conversion to make it 31-15.
The Utes took possession once more, but Ratliff was intercepted
by Dorsey Golston and the Cowboys ran out the clock.
Jake Scott gave the Cowboys a 3-0 lead with a 47-yard field goal
on Wyoming's first possession, and Wade Betschart's 2-yard
touchdown run made it 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. Sween's
4-yard touchdown run occurred on the first play of the second