Utah stays unbeaten

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LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- Matt Asiata ran for a touchdown and caught another, Utah's special teams scored two touchdowns and its defense stifled punchless Wyoming in a 40-7 victory Saturday.

No. 14 Utah (7-0, 3-0 Mountain West) remained undefeated, having no problem clearing this hurdle after needing a last-second field goal to beat Oregon State last week.

Wyoming (2-5, 0-4) lost its fourth straight game, but managed to avoid being shutout for the third time this season.

Brian Johnson was 10-for-19 for 110 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for Utah, and Asiata added 37 yards on 11 carries. Sean Smith intercepted two passes, returning one for touchdown.

Wyoming's Karsten Sween, one of four quarterbacks to play for the Cowboys, was 8-for-18 for 52 yards and three interceptions. Devin Moore led Wyoming with 109 yards on 23 carries.

Playing in a stiff and frigid wind, Wyoming's offensive woes continued as the Cowboys turned the ball over five times, gained 252 total yards and converting 2-for-13 on third down. The Cowboys' only score came midway through the fourth quarter when third-string quarterback Chris Stutzreim found receiver Greg Bolling in the endzone with a lofting 18-yard pass.

Utah built a 33-0 lead early in the third quarter when Johnson, rolling to the right, found Asiata for a 13-yard touchdown pass.

The Utes added their final touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Wyoming's Taushaun Gipson brushed, but failed to catch, a punt by Utah and the ball rolled into the Wyoming end zone, where R.J. Rice fell on it to put Utah up 40-7.

Wyoming's best field position of the game came off a muffed Utah punt midway through the third quarter. But the Utah defense held Wyoming for three downs, and Sween's fourth down pass attempt was intercepted by Smith in the end zone and returned to the Utah 31.

Utah led 27-0 at halftime, fueled by defense and special teams. Wyoming threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, leading to three Utah scores.

Utah's defense opened the scoring four minutes into the game when Smith snagged a tipped pass and scrambled 25 yards through Wyoming's lunging offensive players for a touchdown.

Later in the second quarter, Utah's Aiona Key burst through the Wyoming line to block Austin McCoy's punt at Wyoming's 5. Key collected the bouncing the ball and darted into the end zone to make it 19-0 with about 9 minutes left in the first half.

Utah's offense added to the scoring when Asiata barreled 3 yards into the end zone to make it 26-0 in the closing seconds of the first half.

Utah's Louie Sacoda added field goals of 50 yards and 39 yards in the first half.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Matt Joyce sports writer


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