Speaking of big plays, how about linebacker Corey Dodds and his fumble recovery for a score and the game clinching interception after Parker's fumble return? You can bet he received a game ball!
You just know things are going to go your way when Dodd scores your first touchdown via a fumble recovery in the opponent's end zone. 7-0 Utes!
It was just that type of night for Utah, and just the opposite for Colorado State. Rams quarterback Brad Van Pelt had one of his most disappointing performances as a Ram with two lost fumbles and two interceptions. He was actually benched in the first half before getting back into the game and rallying the Rams before Parker's big fumble return.
The Rams defense played well and held the Utes to 284 yards of total offense, but it was not enough with the offense's miscues, especially the four consecutive turnovers during a first half string that lead to Van Pelts benching.
It was not the typical big numbers game for Brandon Warfield, but he did muster 78 rushing yards on 20 carries including a 10 yard scamper for a score with 6:05 remaining in the first half. Warren kept some of the pressure off of starting quarterback Alex Smith who had an incredible 17-21 performance for 158 yards. Smith also had a 1 yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak that put the Utes up 21-7 during the third quarter.
Smith's favorite target on the night was once again Paris Warren. Much like Warfield, he did not put up monster numbers but was clutch and had 8 receptions for 76 yards.
Congratulations to the entire Utah football program as everyone from head coach Urban Meyer right down to the trainers deserve a pat on the back. The Utes came in prepared and came out with a hard fought victory in Fort Collins.
Now about those Oregon Ducks…