Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
Having a dad who played at BYU and then became a Cougar coach for the past 28 years, and with older brothers who played at BYU over the years, left tackle Matt Reynolds grew up with the BYU-Utah rivalry.
Still, his first game against the Utes was an eye-opening experience.
"It caught me a little bit by surprise," he said. "But as far as playing in the game, I had watched the game all of my life. My redshirt year, I also watched the game and got a closer introduction to what it was going to be. But even then I don't know if there's a way to prepare for a game that's so intense and hard-fought by both sides. It's just something you have to experience."
Reynolds said the rivalry has become more intense now that he's a player.
"As a fan growing up, you kind of just watch it. As a player this is the way to cap off your season. With the way our season has gone, with struggling at the beginning and kind of starting to trend upwards and progress during the season, this would be the perfect way to end our regular season of play, with a win."
"I don't think we will lose or gain a single recruit because of conference affiliation. BYU is very distinct, very specific and very separate from any program in the country about our purpose through church ownership and a faith-based education. The kids that come to BYU are very clear about why they want to be here. I don't see that ever changing, regardless of whom we're recruiting against."
— BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall on recruiting against the University of Utah, which
is joining the Pac-12 next season.
Saturday will mark the 47th consecutive year the BYU-Utah game has been played in the month of November. Next season, Utah will visit BYU on Sept. 17. It will be only the second time in the 86-year history of the rivalry that the game will be played in the month of September.
With 258 yards rushing against New Mexico, BYU has rushed for more than 200 yards in four straight contests. ... The Cougars have outscored their last three opponents 93-0 in the first half (38-0 vs. UNLV, 35-0 vs. Colorado State and 20-0 vs. New Mexico). ... BYU has limited each of its last three opponents to 10 or fewer points. That's the first time the Cougars have accomplished that feat since 1984.
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