Junior college transfer Terrance Cain completed 20 of 29 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns and senior Matt Asiata rushed for two more scores as 19th-ranked Utah opened its season with a 35-17 win over Utah State on Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Cain completed 11 of 15 passes for 198 and two scores in the first half as Utah raced to a 26-17 lead over the Aggies.
Getting the start ahead of true freshman Jordan Wynn, Cain led a nearly unstoppable offense that put Utah State on its heels in new head coach Gary Andersen's first game.
Utah built a 14-10 lead in the first quarter, when Cain completed six straight passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns as the Utes overcame a slow start.
Utah State opened the scoring when Chris Ulinski's 29-yard field goal capped an impressive drive on the first possession of the game.
After recovering a fumble, the Aggies had a chance to extend their lead, but three plays lost four yards and Ulinski missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.
Utah countered on its second possession when Cain hit David Reed on a short slant pass. Reed broke a tackle and raced 65 yards for a touchdown that gave the Utes a 7-3 lead.
Cain struck again on Utah's next possession, when he hit John Peel for a 22-yard touchdown on another quick slant.
Utah State stayed close, however, when Robert Turbin stunned the crowd by bursting up the middle and scoring on a school-record 96-yard touchdown run.
On the first play of the second quarter, Asiata gave the Utes a 21-10 lead when he took a direct snap and ran two yards for a touchdown.
After the Aggie offense failed to move, Utah marched down the field again. A 23-yard pass from Cain to Peel gave Utah a first-and-goal, but Utah State's defense held three times from the one and the Utes came up empty handed -- at least briefly.
Utah State could not drive the ball away from its own goal line and, on fourth down, Peter Caldwell's punt was blocked. The ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety, giving Utah a 23-10 lead with 6:48 remaining in the half.
On ensuing kick, the Utes took possession on their own 40 and quickly drove for another score when Ben Vroman kicked the first field goal on his career -- a 44-yarder that made it 26-10.
With 1:12 left, however, Utah State safety James Brindley intercepted a pass and returned it to the Utah five.
After a Utah offside penalty, Diondre Borel ran two yards for a touchdown that kept the Aggies in the game.
Utah State's defense forced Utah's first punt early in the third quarter, but the Aggie offense could not move.
After a USU punt, Asiata sparked a 10-play, 76-yard scoring drive. He ran in from the one with 6:30 left in the third quarter to give Utah a 33-17 lead.
From there, Utah's defense took over and secured the Utes' 15th consecutive win.