Comments about ‘BYU football's worst upset — 1985 loss to UTEP’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 11 2010 11:00 p.m. MST

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SJ Bobkins
Gilbert, AZ

I was living in Tucson in 1985, along with 15 friends and fellow BYU fanatics we drove the 300-400 miles into El Paso to see the game. BYU was rated #7 after putting a big whipping 38-3 on the Washington team that felt "cheated" to have not finished the 1984 year as #1 in the land. After that game it was only the national media that tried to downplay BYU's nat'l championship. The Huskies seemed fine with it. Norm Chow has horrible games when it seems he didn't care about football anymore, this was one. He would call for a pass when #21 Kelly Smith entered the game, UTEP dropped 8 or 9 men in coverage. When #44 came in Peter Tuipoloto (sp?) BYU would call a running play, and UTEP would line up in a goal line defense. Against those outmanned runnings or receivers BYU had little offense, lost dropping to #17. I have wondered all these years WHY, BYU was so predictable and why they didn't take advantage of the coverages.

Texas Ute Fan
Austin, Texas

Go Miners!

Federal Way, WA

Never doubt BYU's ability to play down to another teams level.

MUSSing with U
Baltimore, MD


Yours is just another example of the whining that pervades the folks on the hill who "live across the green" with jealousy.

The BCS was created for one reason, and one reason only, to keep all of the money in the good ol' boys club.

Howard S.
Taylorsville, UT

Orem Parent | 4:53 p.m. Dec. 12, 2010
Orem, UT

"The only ones STILL disputing the 84 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP are ute fans because they'll NEVER have one."

Orem Parent should google "disputed national championships" and he/she will discover that a broad variety of college football fans, observers, and commentators still dispute the 84 championship awarded to BYU.

Howard S.
Taylorsville, UT

MUSSing with U | 9:14 p.m. Dec. 12, 2010
Baltimore, MD

Mr. MUSSing says: "The BCS was created for one reason, and one reason only, to keep all of the money in the good ol' boys club."

And trust me Mr. Mussing, it feels great to be in the club.

Not that BYU will ever know the feeling.

Fresno, CA

Talk about reaching waaay back. I was in Jr. High when this happened. Why are so many Ute fans acting like it has any bearing on today or on them? Weird.


Interesting article. I particularly like the reference to BYU suggesting that UTEP must have tapped their phone lines. Surely no one can beat the Cougars without cheating!

Fast forward to the year 2010. Now we hear the complaint that "the MWC wants to stick it to BYU for leaving the conference" every time a bad call goes against the Cougars.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Riverton, UT

I think BYU's worst loss was when we lost to Utah in 1993. Other than the previous year, the Utes hadn't been to a bowl game in 28 years (what would have been a perfect BCS bowl record during that time period) and that loss started a modern day rivalry. Up to that point, for three decades, you never saw Red in Utah or Salt Lake county.

Salt Lake City, UT

You think it was bad for you all...we lived in El Paso that year! My family never heard the end of it.

The prevailing rumor I remember was that the BYU team had gone to Juarez the night before the game, and that half the team was sick with Montezuma's revenge...but I'm thinking the nine man zone is the real reason BYU lost.

Salt Lake City, UT

Howard S.

Utah fans are simply jealous that the Utes have never even come close to sniffing a national championship in football.

BYU was THE most deserving team to be selected national champions in 1984, as evidenced by the fact that EVERY major college football poll of the day voted BYU #1 -- the very definition of a CONCENSUS NATIONAL CHAMPION!

The fact that a few haters and "traditionalists" dispute it, is meaningless.

Try to make a case for any other team winning the championship in 1984, and I'll be happy to shoot holes in your argument.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

The UTEP coach was trying to save his job. Former UTEP players have said that the phones from the press box to the sidelines had been tapped so that UTEP knew everything that was being said and knew each play before it was run. The Cougars should have won anyway, but they were over confident.

Provo, UT

I do vividly remember the super prevent defense employed by UTEP as they put nine back to defend the pass and rushed two the whole night. BYU could have chose to run the ball all night at the undersized UTEP defenders but chose to keep on passing against this defense without two of its top starting receivers. It was frustrating. And indeed three interceptions in each loss were key in the outcome of those games lost by BYU. Two of them (one against UTEP and the other against Ohio State) came inside the 10 yard-line as BYU was heading in for a score.

BYU still finished inside the Top 20 that year and even after the UTEP loss, so I think the loss(es) and their impact on things was greatly exaggerated. BYU when it beat Miami that year got to as high as #4 in the polls and finished very high in Sarkisian's senior year. The fact that BYU could lose to very lowly UTEP and only drop 10 spots showed just how much BYU and Lavell were respected at that time. Utah lost to Notre Dame and dropped 10 spots.

Fruit Heights, UT

Gotta be right up there with Utah beating Bama in the Sugar Bowl.

Anything can happen anytime.

It's why ya just gotta love college sports.

More reason for a playoff.

Salt Lake City, UT

It's interesting to see the chest beating of Utah trolls who probably weren't even born when BYU lost to UTEP in 1985.

Hit the wayback machine!

From 1972 to 1987, BYU was 15-1 versus Utah. The only Utah win during that time period was a 22-23 upset in 1978. BYU paid Utah back for that little indisgression the following year, 27-0, and then took it a step further in 1980, laying down the largest beatdown in the history of the rivaly, 56-6.

A week after losing to UTEP, BYU beat Wyoming 59-0, and followed that up with a 44-0 pasting of Utah State.

Interestingly, the exact same scores of the games that followed the famous Jake Locker unsportsmanlike debacle in 2008.

A month after the UTEP game, undefeated and #4 ranked Air Force came to Provo and lost to BYU 28-21; AFA finished 12-1, #8/#5 in 1985, probably the greatest team in Air Force Academy history.

Kearns, UT

All you Ute Fans, not to worry. You will be playing in the Las Vegas Bowl for the forseeable future, if you succeed in the Pac10 that is. Isn't that where the Pac10 sends the, like, 4th place team?

Rock Of The Marne
Phoenix, AZ

TrollPolice , Wrong O oh delusional BYU fan. While many thought BYU shouldn't have been NC given the beat a 6-5 team in a third rate bowl (AKA Holiday Bowl) and had beaten no teams in the final AP top 25, many people in the national media fans alike thought Utah should have been NC as they were the only undefeated team in 2008 and had beaten 4 team in the final top 25 (2 in the top ten) and won a big time bowl (AKA Sugar Bowl) convincingly over a SEC team that had been #1 most of the season. Any football fan outside of Happy Valley Utah would say Utah 08 did far more to deserve a NC than very lucky 84 BYU. Sometimes though it is better to be lucky than really good and 1984 proves that.

Orem, UT

Pebble of the Marne

Sorry, but you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

The majority of National Media (that is the AP Poll voters, that's who they are in case you didn't understand that) voted BYU #1 in 1984.

In 2004, the AP voted Utah #4


In 2008, the AP voted Utah #2

Despite what a few outliers might have thought, the majority of national media felt that BYU deserved the National Championship in 1984, but didn't feel that Utah deserved National Championship in either 2004 or 2008.

Your personal opinion, or the personal opinions of a few critics and haters, is meaningless.

NCAA Official Website
NCAA History
Football Bowl Subdivision
Bowl Championship Series
Year School Selecting organization
2003 Louisiana State BCS
2004 Southern California BCS
2008 Florida BCS

Consensus National Champions
Year School Selecting organization
1983 Miami (Fla.) AP, FWAA, NFF, USA/CNN, UPI
1984 Brigham Young AP, FWAA, NFF, USA/CNN, UPI
1985 Oklahoma AP, FWAA, NFF, USA/CNN, UPI
2003 Southern California AP, FWAA

If Utah had actually deserved to win the championship in 2004 or 2008, they would have won it; at least in the AP poll.


So we are to believe that UTEP won because:

-They tapped BYU's phone lines from the booth to the coaches on the sideline.

-The Cougars were playing with Montezuma's revenge from their trip South of the Border the night before the game.

Certainly it must be something other than stubbornly insisting on throwing rather than rushing the ball against a team that was dropping NINE into coverage!

I have great respect for LaVell Edwards, but if that truly is how the Miners were playing defense that day, BYU deserved to lose.

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