BYU, Utes football: Utah defeats BYU again, enters 2-year break on 4-game winning streak
Andrew J. Allred, Deseret News
For the Cougars, it’s at least three more years of rivalry misery, as the two teams won’t meet again until 2016.
Quarterback Travis Wilson completed 24 of 34 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and the U. defense held BYU to just one TD as Utah defeated BYU, 20-13, in front of a sellout crowd of 63,470 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
"The win is huge," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. "Our senior class now has never lost to these guys. Four straight years we've won, which means our junior class and sophomore class will never lose to them either because of the two-year break."
"It feels amazing," Wilson said. "I don't think I've eve had a win like this. It truly feels amazing."
BYU quarterback Taysom Hill completed 18 of 48 passes for 260 yards and rushed for 99 yards.
In recent games against Utah, turnovers had doomed BYU. This time, the Cougars had just one turnover, and that came on an interception by Hill on a fourth-and-13 play in Utah territory with 1:37 remaining in the game.
Before that, though, untimely penalties — including a holding call that nullified a kickoff return for a touchdown — haunted BYU all night.
Utah made fewer mistakes (zero turnovers), and made more plays, and left Provo with its ninth win over BYU in the last 12 meetings.
"I am very proud of our football team and coaches," said Whittingham. "Just a great job by our defensive staff to slow down their offense. Offensively, just another good football game and taking care of the football."
"BYU is definitely the toughest defense we played so far," Wilson said. "It was really important we had a good day. I didn't have any turnovers and we made some really good plays. I just wanted to make sure to handle the ball well and make smart decisions."
The Utes improved to 3-1 on the season while the Cougars fell to 1-2.
"I'm looking forward to working with my team again on Monday," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Certainly we're disappointed. I'm anxious to see the resiliency and the resolve to get back to work."
Wide receiver Dres Anderson caught eight passes for 141 yards and running back James Poole rushed for 96 yards on 18 carries. Anderson had a 74-yard reception, and Poole recorded a 65-yard run that led to Utah scores.
Yet the Cougars outgained the Utes in total yardage, 443-402.
In the first quarter, BYU and Utah traded punts three times as the defenses controlled the game.
Late in the period, running back James Poole erupted for a 65-yard run to give the Utes their first scoring threat. Utah capitalized, scoring on a 36-yard field goal by Andy Phillips.
On the ensuing kickoff, BYU’s Adam Hine electrified the crowd with a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but a holding call negated the score.
The Cougars took over at their own 15-yard line and were forced to punt again.
A couple of series later, Utah’s Geoffrey Norwood stepped up to field a Scott Arellano punt. Norwood attempted to catch it before pulling his hands away at the last moment. The ball bounced into the hands of BYU’s Michael Alisa. The officials, however, ruled that Norwood did not touch the ball and the Utes retained possession.
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