Boise State 31, Utah 28
Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium
Boise State 14 3 7 7 - 31
Utah 7 7 7 7 - 28
1st quarter: The Broncos put 14 points on the board before the Ute offense touches the ball. An opening 80-yard Boise drive is followed by a second TD pass by Bart Hendricks after Utah's Daniel Jones fumbled fumbles on a kickoff return. The Utes cut the gap in half with a 40 scoring pass from Jonathan Crosswhite to Donny Utu.
2nd quarter: Utah knots the game when Jones makes an acrobatic 20-yard grab in the end zone with 6:46 remaining in the half. The Broncos keep their upset hopes alive, however, with a 14-play drive late in the quarter culminating with a chip-shot field goal with 15 seconds left to give Boise State a 17-14 lead at intermission.
3rd quarter: The Broncos go back up by double digits with an 88-yard TD drive on their first possession. Hendricks and Rodney Smith hook up for the 14-yard scoring pass. The Utes keep it close with a Crosswhite-led drive late in the period. A 38-yard bomb to Jerome Anderson sets up a 7-yard TD toss to Utu to cut the gap to 24-21 with under a minute to play in the quarter.
4th quarter: Utah running back Mike Anderson scores the go-ahead score on a 21-yard scamper with 7:34 to play, to give the Utes their first lead of the game. After Utah forces the Broncos to punt, the home team appears to be in good shape. But Boise State gets the ball back at the Utah one with two minutes to play. Nine plays and 99 yards later back-up quarterback Nate Sparks throws an 11-yard, game-winning TD pass to Smith with 45 seconds left.
Key play: Sparks hit Smith with a 34-yard pass to get the Broncos out of terrible field position on their game-winning drive late in the fourth.
Player of the game: Boise State receiver Rodney Smith. He caught seven passes for 96 yards and two second-half touchdowns.
Records: Utah 3-1, Boise State 3-1
Notable: Bronco fullback Brad Arbon, who hails from Centerville and who attended Woods Cross High, scored the second touchdown of the game to give Boise State a 14-0 lead with 7:40 to play in the opening quarter. Arbon is the only Utahn on the Bronco roster . . . The Utes continued to be hurt by penalties. They finished the game by being penalized 10 times for 81 yards. Three of the penalties were false starts - a vast improvement over last week when they had nine false starts against Hawaii . . . The all-time record in this series is now even at 2-2 . . . Both of Utah's tailbacks picked up 100 yards on the ground . . . Attendance: 36,037.
Quotable: "Boise State is a solid program and they will come in ready to play." - Utah coach Ron McBride prior to the game. The 17-point underdogs earned the victory.
Next up: Utah at Wyoming, Saturday, 1 p.m.