Utah Holds Off BYU to Win the Las Vegas Bowl

By EFN Staff
Published: 12/20/2015

Utah 35, BYU 28


After scoring 35 first-quarter points in stunning fashion, No. 22 Utah appeared to have the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl wrapped up early. In-state rival BYU had other plans as it scored the game’s next 28 points but its improbable comeback bid fell just short. In the 95th meeting between the teams but just the first bowl-game matchup, the Utes improve to 58-34-4 all-time against the Cougars.

Player of the game

  • Utes running back Joe Williams finished with 25 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. The junior finishes the season with 399 rushing yards and three touchdowns over the final three games after rushing for 78 yards and no scores over his first seven games.

Key stats

  • In the last 17 games between the teams, 15 have been decided by 7 points or fewer.
  • Utah improves to 15-4 all-time in bowl games, including an 8-1 record under head coach Kyle Whittingham.
  • After turning the ball over just 15 times in 12 regular-season games, BYU turned the ball over five times against Utah, all coming on its first five drives.
  • Utah scored 35 points in the first half -- it’s most in a first half this year -- on 76 total yards, its fewest yards in any half this season.
  • Despite throwing three interceptions in the first quarter, BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 56 attempts.
  • BYU finished with 381 yards of total offense while Utah racked up just 197 yards. 

Key play                                                                                                           

  • On third-and-one at the Utah 44-yard line with 3:13 remaining in the game, Williams rushed for 3 yards to give Utah a first down that allowed it to run out the clock.