Colorado Wins First Road Game Since ’07, Upset Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Coleman Petersen missed a 48-yard field goal try with two seconds remaining as Colorado escaped with a 17-14 victory over Utah on Friday, ending the Utes’ hopes for a Pac-12 South title and halting the Buffaloes’ school-record 23-game road losing streak.
Petersen missed all three attempts after entering the contest leading the Pac-12 in field goals made with 17. With the loss by Utah (7-5, 4-5), UCLA will represent the South in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game.
Tyler Hansen passed for 264 yards and a touchdown to lead Colorado (3-10, 2-7), which won outside its home state for the first time since Oct. 27, 2007, when the Buffs beat Texas Tech 31-26.
Colorado dominated from the start. At halftime, the Buffs led 10-0 and held a 254-39 total-yardage advantage and 11½-minute edge in time of possession.
Utah running back John White left the game in the third quarter with a left ankle injury. He carried 10 times for 28 yards.
Utah had everything to play for and Colorado nothing, other than pride for 26 seniors who had never won a road game.
The Utes had won four straight. A win Friday, coupled with an Arizona State loss against California on Friday night and UCLA loss against Southern California on Saturday night, and Utah would be win the Pac-12 South.
Colorado had other plans.
The Utes didn’t get their initial first down until the 2:56 mark of the second quarter, eliciting mock cheers from the crowd of 45,026.
The team was booed as it went into the locker room trailing 10-0.
White had his sights set on Utah’s single-season rushing mark of 1,507 yards. But he had just 28 yards on 10 carries before leaving with 14:05 left in the third quarter with a left ankle injury.
He moved into second place on the single-season list ahead of Dameon Hunter (1,396) and now has 1,405 yards on 290 carries.
Utah right guard Sam Brenner suffered a neck injury on the play after White was hurt. Brenner raised his right arm as he was being loaded into the ambulance on a backboard to cheers from the crowd. Team officials said was taken to a local hospital but had full movement in all extremities.
The last time the Utes had been shut out in the first half was against Cal, a turning point in the season as they won four straight after that embarrassing 34-10 loss.
On the flip side, Friday marked the first time Colorado led on the road all year.
The Buffs took a 7-0 lead with 9:08 left in the first quarter as Hansen capped the 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard leap into the end zone.
Defensive penalties kept alive both Colorado first-half scoring drives.
An unnecessary-roughness penalty against defensive back Mo Lee kept a Buffs drive alive after Stewart was stopped short on third-and-3.
Hansen completed passes of 19 yards to Richardson and 20 yards to Ryan Deehan after the penalty to move the ball into the red zone.
On a 15-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in Will Oliver’s 23-yard field goal, Utah committed two costly penalties.
A defensive holding call against Ryan Lacy gave the Buffs a first down after an incompletion on third-and-13. And Reggie Topps was whistled for pass interference to move the ball to the Utah 23-yard line.
The Utes offense finally caught fire after the injuries to White and Brenner. Jon Hays completed a 26-yard pass to DeVonte Christopher on third-and-10, and backup running back Tauni Vakapuna carried four straight times for 25 yards, including the 3-yard touchdown run that pulled Utah within 10-7 with 10:29 left in the third quarter.
Hansen brought the Buffs right back, capping an 11-play, 82-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Evan Harrington with 4:47 left in the third quarter to put Colorado ahead 17-7.
Hays pulled Utah within 17-14 on a 6-yard TD pass to Shawn Asiata with 54 seconds left in the third.
But Peterson missed a 26-yard field goal that would have tied the score with 8:55 to play.
His first miss was from 42 yards.
Now the Utes have to find out what bowl game they will be invited to play in.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.