Utah stuns BamaUtah is the best of the BCS busters. Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and the No. 7 Utes upset fourth-ranked Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night to finish 13-0.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Utah is the best of the BCS busters.
Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and the No. 7 Utes upset fourth-ranked Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night to finish 13-0.
With the victory, Utah became the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls. The Utes beat Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl under coach Urban Meyer, going for his second BCS national title with Florida when his Gators play Oklahoma on Thursday in Miami.
Johnson’s pinpoint passing led Utah to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and the Utes refused to wilt when Alabama pulled to 21-17 early in the second half.
Utah’s defense was equally impressive, intercepting John Parker Wilson twice and sacking him eight times, with the seventh sack forcing a fumble that sent crimson-clad Alabama fans streaming for the exits with just more than five minutes to go.
After surging to No. 1 in the rankings with a 12-0 regular season, Alabama closed the season with two consecutive losses, the first against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
Alabama could have used suspended All-America left tackle Andre Smith, but even he might not have been enough to stop a Utah defense that played with speed, ferocity and discipline.