BYU football: Bronco, Holmoe put BYU-Utah series in Utah's court

Published: Wednesday, June 27 2012 11:47 a.m. MDT

BYU players celebrate after a game.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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PROVO — If the Utah-BYU rivalry dies, or is even curtailed, don't blame the Cougars.

As the saying goes, they're all in.

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall and athletics director Tom Holmoe reiterated former statements on the rivalry, Wednesday at Cougar Media Day, saying the ball is in the Utes' court.

"I can say, from where we are, we'd like to play them every year," Mendenhall said. "I think that the game itself has such a fantastic tradition — a number (of) past games have gone down to the very last play. It's an intriguing matchup, one of the best rivalries in world, in any sport, and to think it might go away doesn't make a lot of sense to me."

Added Holmoe: "First off, I love the rivalry. As you mentioned, there's nothing like it as a player ... but I think we'll keep playing that game. Utah has made some overtures that there may be reasons why they want to drop it. If they do, that's their choosing, but we do not want to drop it."

On the other hand, avenues could be opening with the Utah State-BYU rivalry, which has taken on new vigor recently.

Asked about the possibility of playing the USU-BYU game on the last week of the season, Mendenhall said, "I like the idea. I have a lot of respect for coach Andersen. I like (the) way his team plays. They're tough, physical, and I also like Gary as a person. I think he has a lot of class and is doing a fantastic job. So I think the idea has lot of value ... and there's no reason rivalry should go away."

email: rock@desnews.com

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