Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Travis Wilson accounted for four scores as No. 23 Utah crushed Colorado State, 45-10, in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Wilson was 17-for-26 for 158 yards with a touchdown and an interception and added 11 carries for 91 yards and three scores for the Utes (9-4), who improved to 3-1 in this bowl game.
"Definitely happy with how we played," said Wilson. "I wish I had a little bit better completion percentage. I missed on a couple of those deep balls. I was seeing that the running was really working for me so I was taking advantage of it."
Devontae Booker had 26 carries for 162 yards and a score and Bubba Poole added a rushing touchdown for Utah, which won its first bowl game since a 30-27 overtime triumph versus Georgia Tech in the 2011 Sun Bowl.
"Proud of how our boys played today, and that really was a product of the preparation of the last three weeks," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "They did a great job the last three weeks preparing themselves the last three weeks. All they had to do was come out and do what they did the last three weeks and execute."
Garrett Grayson was 20-for-34 for 227 yards with an interception and also caught a touchdown pass for the Rams (10-3), who fell to 6-8 in bowl games.
Colorado State was being coached by offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin as former head coach Jim McElwain bolted for Florida earlier this month.
Utah's first snap of the game was a trick play that saw a reverse go to the left before a lateral back to the right got the ball to Wilson, who went deep for a 36-yard completion to Kaelin Clay. Two plays later, Wilson ran it in from eight yards out for a 7-0 lead.
The Utes' second touch saw the team find the end zone again, as Wilson went to the left corner of the end zone where Delshawn McClellon made a leaping grab for a 16-yard score. Troy McCormick's 49-yard run set up the touchdown.
Colorado State got on the board on its next possession with a trick play of its own. At the Utah 39, Charles Lovett took a toss to the right and then went back to the left for Grayson, who caught the pass and raced into the end zone to make it a 14-7 game with 5:42 to play in the first quarter.
Utah, though, quickly answered, as Booker took the first snap up the middle and raced down the right sideline for a 60-yard score and a 21-7 lead.
The Rams were able to get a 41-yard field goal from Jared Roberts to make it an 11-point game with 2:09 to play in the first quarter, and had a chance to cut further into their lead when Wilson was picked off by DeAndre Elliott, but the team was unable to move the ball and had to punt.
Utah moved the ball 37 yards on eight plays, capping the drive with a 38-yard field goal from Andy Phillips to make it a 24-10 game with 8:25 left in the first half.
Phillips attempted another 38-yard field goal on the last play of the first half, but hit it off the left upright and it stayed out.
Colorado State got into scoring position on its first possession of the second half as Roberts lined up for a 44-yard field goal attempt, but he missed it well to the left.
Utah took advantage of the miss to build on its lead, as Wilson capped a 10- play, 73-yard match with a 15-yard run into the end zone for a 31-10 advantage with 4:12 to play in the third.
Early in the fourth, Utah recovered a fumble at the CSU 12, and the next snap saw Wilson run it in for a 38-10 lead 1 1/2 minutes into the final frame.
Grayson had a pass picked off on Colorado State's next possession and that led to a 10-yard TD run by Poole.
Utah improved to 14-4 in bowl games, overall ... Utah leads the series with its former Mountain West Conference foe, 56-22-2 ... Utah totaled 548 yards to just 278 for Colorado State ... The Utes controlled the ball for nearly 34 minutes ... Colorado State's Rashar Higgins led all receivers with seven catches for 110 yards.