For the seventh time in the last nine games, the rivalry game came down to the final play. Unfortunately for BYU, this is their fourth consecutive loss to their rival. This installment of the Holy War didn't disappoint, as it had it's typical fair share of big plays, drama, and intensity.
Why are we reopening this wound you may ask? So we can clean it out and clear it of infection. There are a ton of bitter feelings and unhappy memories festering in there. Let's get it over with quickly and get on to real healing.
Cutting the Stitches: The First Half
Utah seemed to have BYU's offense figured out all throughout the first half, as they were able to effectively contain Taysom Hill, both on the ground and in the air, keeping the Cougars scoreless through the first half. On the other hand, the Utes were able to execute an efficient game plan through the first two quarters, putting 13 point on the board.
Washing it Out: The Second Half
BYU was able to execute more successfully in the 3rd quarter, as they finally got on the board with two Justin Sorenson field goals, while keeping the Utes scoreless. The Cougars had cut it to a one possession game, trailing only 13-6 entering the 4th quarter
The Utes were first to find the end zone in the 4th quarter, after Travis Wilson found Karl Williams on a two yard touchdown pass to cap off their drive. With five minutes remaining in the game, BYU scored for the last time on a one yard Michael Alisa touchdown run. The Cougars had a couple more possession before the game ended, but were unable to find the end zone.
This loss is a tough pill to swallow for the BYU seniors, who were never able to taste victory over the Utes, but alas, they'll have to find a way to cope.
Rinse: Interesting Stats
The Utes now lead the series 6-3 during the Bronco-Whittingham Era.
Taysom Hill finished the game 18-48, a completion percentage of 37%, which is only slightly better than the 33% with which he entered the game. Travis Wilson went 24-35, a completion percentage of 68%.
No player on either team was able to rush for 100 yards.
The game was surprisingly clean in the turnover department, with the only turnover being Hill's interception late in the 4th quarter.
Utah committed 8 penalties for a total of 65 yards, compared to 7 penalties and 55 yards for BYU.
BYU ran 95 plays, compared to Utah's 68.
Utah went 1-14 on 3rd conversions, while BYU did 5-21.
The Utes were able to execute a solid and steady game plan. There were no trick plays, onside kicks, etc. They played assignment sound defense, and ran a very balanced offensive attack. This proved to be enough to down the Cougars for the fourth consecutive year. BYU's offense was able to move the ball well, but wasn't able to capitalize when they needed to.
Unfortunately, the Cougars will have to sit on this four game losing streak to their rival for a while. It will be three seasons before these two teams meet again.
See, that wasn't so bad. The wounds are better off than they were before, now that we've looked back at it again in retrospect. Breathe in deep and turn your thoughts toward Middle Tennessee on Friday.