PROVO — According to Utah's records, Saturday's 54-10 victory over BYU was the largest since a 49-0 decision in 1922.
The Cougars, however, dispute the latter — recording it as a 49-13 setback.
One thing that couldn't be disputed, however, was Utah's dominance this time around.
It was decisive and complete. The Utes recovered six BYU fumbles and intercepted a pass by quarterback Jake Heaps in the rout.
"I don't know what it was, if was just our night or what, but credit to the defense," said wide receiver DeVonte Christopher. "They were putting us in great position all night."
The win, Christopher added, was something the program needed. He expects the Utes to roll from here on out.
"To come out here and win 54-10, that's big," Christopher said. "That's going to give us a lot of confidence going into the bye week. We're just looking forward to getting better and getting ready for Washington."
That, however, can wait.
The Ute took time to celebrate as they walked off the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
"We all came to play and it was a great feeling," said defensive end Joe Kruger. "We lost (to USC) and we got down last week. We came back and battled back and we killed these guys."
The Utes scored 47 unanswered points after trailing 10-7 late in the second quarter.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham implored his team to just keep working hard.
"Keep doing what you're coached to do, don't press and don't get complacent," was his message.
It got through, loud and clear.
"Our defense was crazy tonight. Every person on the field played like a champ," Kruger said. "I'm proud of everybody on this team, especially our offense. Our offense came to play and we did what we needed to do."
Running back John White IV rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Jordan Wynn threw for 239 yards and two scores.
Utah's ground game really put the issue to rest in the second half.
"When you're up on a team that's how you really go for the kill," Wynn said. "You run the ball on them and John White did a good job of really putting our foot down."
It was the seven takeways, however, that produced the most praise.
"That's how many times they turned it over?" Wynn said. "That's like a video game."
As he jogged off the field, Wynn added that it was an amazing game.
"It feels so good right now," he said. "You couldn't ask for a better score than that."30 comments on this story
The outcome was especially pleasing for Shelby. The senior put Utah on the board the plays into the game when he recovered a Jake Heaps fumble in the end zone. It was his first touchdown since junior varsity ball in high school.
It was the victory, however, that meant the most. Shelby ran to midfield with a huge "U" flag when time expired.
Although he expressed some regret at doing so, noting he was caught up in the moment after his first game at BYU, Shelby entered the locker rook smiling.
"It definitely feels good to beat an opponent like that," he said. "But beating our rivals in the Rivalry Game . . . it made it just that much sweeter."