Utah took advantage of a disastrous start by Brigham in the Las Vegas Bowl, scoring five first-quarter touchdowns on turnovers — including two interceptions by Tevin Carter — before holding on to beat the Cougars 35-28 on Saturday.
Carter returned one of the picks for a touchdown and another to the Cougars 1-yard-line as No. 20 Utah romped to a 35-0 first-quarter lead in the first meeting of the two heated rivals outside of the state of Utah. BYU turned the ball over the first five times it had the ball, with freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum throwing three interceptions and fumbling once.
That was all the scoring Utah (10-3) did, and it nearly cost the Utes the game. Mangum would bring BYU (9-4) back, throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for another with 3:23 left to get the Cougars within one score, but BYU never got the ball back.
Bronco Mendenhall's last game as BYU coach was almost over even before some of the fans settled into their seats, thanks to an opportunistic Utah defense that forced Mangum to fumble on the third play of the game. Midway through the first quarter, the Utes were already up 28-0.
In a statistical quirk, BYU actually outgained Utah offensively (89-69) in the first quarter. But Carter and Dominique Hatfield both scored on interceptions, Joe Williams had two 1-yard touchdown runs, and quarterback Travis Wilson added another TD on a 20-yard run.
BYU dominated much of the rest of the game, but it was too late. The Cougars scored just before halftime to make it 35-7, and scored three more times before finally running out of time.
BYU ended up with 386 yards to 197 for Utah, but the five early turnovers were the key.
New Mexico Bowl
Arizona 45, New Mexico 37: Anu Solomon threw two TD passes and ran for another score to help the Wildcats hold off the Lobos in Albuquerque. Arizona (7-6) and its quick offense overwhelmed the Lobos (7-6) in a game that saw New Mexico surge late after being down as many of 18 points.
Jared Baker ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns, and Cayleb Jones had 182 yards receiving and a touchdown. Linebacker Scooby Wright III, who battled injuries all season, came back for the bowl game and made two sacks.
For coach Rich Rodriguez's Wildcats, the New Mexico Bowl victory came only a year after Arizona made it to the Pac-12 Championship Game and eyed a playoff spot.
New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan rushed for three touchdowns and threw a 92-yard touchdown pass to Delane Hart-Johnson before leaving the game in the third quarter because of an injury
•Suspended Florida quarterback Will Grier has decided to transfer, coach Jim McElwain said. Grier was suspended in October for a one year by the NCAA for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He appealed, but the NCAA upheld the suspension.