In 1999 Cher's "Believe" was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Movies like "The Matrix," "Star Wars Episode I," and "The Sixth Sense," were in theaters. The Runnin' Utes were a year removed from a Final Four run, and many of the players on the current football team were just going into kindergarten, if not pre-school.
It was December 19th, 1999, when the Utes took on Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl, the last time the two schools lined up against each other. Utah beat the Bulldogs 17-16, in what was basically Mike Anderson's NFL spotlight. Anderson rushed for a school and Las Vegas Bowl record 254 yards and two touchdowns (he was eventually drafted by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft).
The game was basically dominated by Utah's offense, as the Utes put up 548 yards to Fresno's 279. Although, Utah also didn't do themselves any favors by having 15 penalties for 151 yards. Special teams was the huge story line in this game. Fresno blocked two of Utah's field goals, including one that went back 75 yards for a Fresno touchdown. Utah got to a couple of kicks as well, including a crucial blocked PAT by Colby Knight that would have put Fresno up 17-14 in the fourth, and that PAT ended up being the difference in the contest.
Utah quarterback Darnell Arceneaux saw his first game action since a concussion earlier in the season, when T.D. Croshaw was knocked out of the game by a shoulder injury. It seems the QB injury bug has been around a lot longer than some fans remember. Arceneaux went 8-of-15 for 94 yards, and Croshaw before him went 3-of-9 for 120 yards and one interception.
Utah sealed the victory when kicker Cletus Truhe finally got a field goal attempt past the line of scrimmage with a 33-yard field goal with five minutes left in the game. The victory was Utah's first bowl win since the '94 Freedom Bowl, and only Utah's second bowl win since the 1964 Liberty Bowl.
|Rushes - Yards||32-132||54-334|
|Time of possession||24:06||35:54|
|Series Record||Utah lead 5-4|
|First Game||1980 (Utah 27-12)|
|Last Game||1999 (Utah 17-16)|
|Series Streak||Utah 2 in a row|
|Last Fresno Win||1997 (27-13)|
|In Salt Lake||4-1|