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Late comeback drives Utah over Oregon State

Oct 3, 2008 - 6:35 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Louie Sakoda kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired to give Utah a stunning 31-28 victory over Oregon State on Thursday.

The 15th-ranked Utes trailed 28-20 with 2:18 remaining, but quarterback Brian Johnson directed a 60-yard drive that was capped by a 25-yard scoring strike to Bradon Godfrey to cut the deficit to two.

"You could see the sense of urgency in our play and in our execution," said Johnson, who threw for 201 yards on 17-of-30 passing.

The Utes' first two-point conversion was incomplete, but they got a reprieve due to a pass interference penalty. Johnson took no chances on the second attempt, rolling around right end and into the end zone to tie the score at 28-28.

"I saw one official call incomplete," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "Then I saw the flag about a half hour later."

Utah's defense stopped Oregon State and Johnson led another drive that was capped by Sakoda's game-winner to keep Utah (6-0) undefeated.

"I think it was the exact same hash and yardage as the Air Force and I went out there said, 'Oh I got this,' " Sakoda said of a 37-yard kick to win a game in 2006 against the Falcons. "It wasn't the cleanest hit ball, but it went in."

Riley gave credit to Johnson and the Utes.

"I think they made some plays," Riley said. "We had some guys who had been in good position all night who were a little out of position - a little beat. And I thought their guy made a couple of great throws in a row."

Lyle Moevao threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns for the Beavers, who had shocked then-top ranked USC one week ago.

Moevao received help from freshman sensation Jacquizz Rodgers, who ran 25 times for 101 yards and caught four passes for another 76 yards. Rodgers' brother, James, had five catches for 82 yards.

Oregon State recovered a fumble early in the second half and made the Utes pay as Jacquizz Rodgers scored on a seven-yard run to make it 21-20.

The score remained the same until Moevao hooked up with Brady Camp on a two-yard touchdown pass to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive that covered 6:35. The successful PAT made it 28-20.

"I think it was a terrific game," Riley said. "I'm really proud of our team, how they played. We made a lot of mistakes. But we tried to overcome them with a lot of effort and a lot of good play.

"I'm really disappointed in the loss. I think this could have been a fantastic win, but I give them a lot of credit. I thought they played real well."

The first half saw the teams put 35 points on the board and end with Utah leading, 20-15.

Oregon State (2-3) created the first big break when Al Afalava picked off Johnson's pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point attempt was no good, so the Beavers led 9-3.

The Utes then ran off 17 straight points on a field goal, 14-yard TD pass from Johnson to Freddie Brown and a 12-yard run on an option play by Brent Casteel.

Moevao found Shane Morales from 24 yards to bring the Beavers within 20-15. The previous missed extra point forced a two-point conversion, which the Beavers missed despite getting a second chance on facemask penalty on the first attempt.