Tulsa
Utah
13 - 25 Final
  for this game

Ratliff, Weddle lead Utah to sixth straight bowl win

Dec 24, 2006 - 7:43 AM FORT WORTH, Texas (Ticker) -- Utah coach Kyle Whittingham pulled some razzle-dazzle out of his bag of tricks in the season finale.

Brett Ratliff completed 23-of-34 passes for 240 yards and Louis Sakoda booted four field goals as Utah won its sixth consecutive bowl game with a 25-13 victory over Tulsa at the Armed Forces Bowl.

After yielding 19 fourth-quarter points in a loss to BYU on November 25, Utah (8-5) won for the fourth time in five outings and raised its all-time bowl record to 9-4.

"I was really pleased with the way our offense came out in the second half and stuck the ball into the end zone for a touchdown," Whittingham said. "Our defense played the run really tough and we did a great job on third downs."

"Our receivers made some great catches and ran some great routes tonight," Ratliff said. "We were close on a lot of interceptions and things could have gone the other way. It was just our night tonight in big situations."

Leading 9-7, the Utes surprised the Golden Hurricane early in the third quarter when Ratliff hit Brian Hernandez, who turned a four-yard loss into a 14-yard touchdown by flipping a lateral to Brent Casteel on a hook-and-ladder play.

"We practice that a lot, but we had never run it in a game this season," Whittingham said. "We saved it for the bowl game. And if we go to another bowl next year, you might see it again."

Tulsa defensive back Bobby Blackshire intercepted Ratliff early in the fourth quarter, leading to quarterback Paul Smith's one-yard TD run to cap an eight-play, 37-yard drive that cut the deficit to 19-13.

However, Utah put the game out of reach with 1:05 to play as two-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Eric Weddle scored his ninth touchdown of the season by taking a direct snap on offense and turned the left corner for a four-yard score.

"Our coaching staff gives me great directions on where I can go and which areas I can attack," Weddle said. "There was one play where I saw the middle stacking up, so I cut it to the outside and got a first down."

Weddle, who scored three touchdowns against San Diego State - including two on interception returns - finished with 10 carries for 56 yards and picked off Smith on the game's final play.

In addition to his time on offense, Weddle had six tackles and recovered a fumble.

"Give a lot of credit to an outstanding Utah team," Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "I'm very proud of my team, though. Our seniors have put Tulsa football back on the map. They've continued to battle and persevere though a lot of challenges over the last four years."

Smith was 20-of-27 yards for 158 yards and scored a one-yard TD run in the second quarter to cap a 10-play, 85-yard drive to give Tulsa a 7-6 lead.

"We were pretty positive going in at halftime," Smith said. "We had been in that kind of situation before, so being down by two at halftime, we were not concerned at all. I was confident all game, especially when the momentum shifted and we got the ball back."

The game's Most Valuable Player, Sakoda kicked three of his four field goals in the first half, including a career-best 45-yarder halfway through the first quarter.

"This feels great," Sakoda said. "Kickers usually don't get recognition like this. My first punt almost got blocked, but after that, I settled down and got off some good kicks."








  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TULSA 0 7 0 6 13
    UTAH 3 6 10 6 25 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UTAH - FG, LOUIE SAKODA 44 YD, 7:10. UTAH
    3-0
    2ND QUARTER: TULSA - TD, PAUL SMITH 1 YD RUN (JAROD
    TRACY KICK), 1:59. TULSA 7-3
    UTAH - FG, LOUIE SAKODA 39 YD

    Dec 23 11:24 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    TD UTAH
    ERIC WEDDLE 4 YD RUN
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    TULSA 13
    UTAH 25 1:05 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 11:11 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF TULSA 7
    UTAH 19 10:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 10:52 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    TD TULSA
    PAUL SMITH 1 YD RUN
    (PAT FAILED)
    TULSA 13
    UTAH 19 10:54 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 10:49 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TULSA 0 7 0 7
    UTAH 3 6 10 19 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UTAH - FG, LOUIE SAKODA 44 YD, 7:10. UTAH
    3-0
    2ND QUARTER: TULSA - TD, PAUL SMITH 1 YD RUN (JAROD
    TRACY KICK), 1:59. TULSA 7-3
    UTAH - FG, LOUIE SAK

    Dec 23 10:39 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 34 YD
    TULSA 7
    UTAH 19 3:02 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 10:28 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    TD UTAH
    BRENT CASTEEL 10 YD PASS FROM BRETT RATLIFF
    (LOUIE SAKODA KICK)
    TULSA 7
    UTAH 16 11:51 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 10:06 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 41 YD
    TULSA 7
    UTAH 9 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Dec 23 9:36 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 41 YD
    TULSA 7
    UTAH 9 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 9:36 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 39 YD
    TULSA 7
    UTAH 6 8:50 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 9:01 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    TD TULSA
    PAUL SMITH 1 YD RUN
    (JAROD TRACY KICK)
    TULSA 7
    UTAH 3 13:01 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 8:50 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TULSA 0 0
    UTAH 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UTAH - FG, LOUIE SAKODA 44 YD, 7:10. UTAH
    3-0

    Dec 23 8:41 PM


  • ARMED FORCES BOWL
    AT FORT WORTH TX
    NCAAF ARMED FORCES BOWL
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 44 YD
    TULSA 0
    UTAH 3 7:50 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Tulsa vs. UtahDec 23 8:21 PM