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BYU, Utah football: Battles within the battle

Today: Backs and 'backers

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  • KWhitt to Tennessee
    Nov. 20, 2008 5:42 p.m.

    Reliable sources have Kyle "volunteering" to reunite with Urban in the SEC. Ludwig is promoted to head coach on the hill and the Utes see season-ticket sales nosedive. Gary Anderson becomes head man at the TUN (USU)and starts a dynasty. Stranger things have happened.

  • Lookout Yewties
    Nov. 20, 2008 5:29 p.m.

    The Mighty Cougars are coming.
    What's that smell?

  • davidutefan
    Nov. 20, 2008 3:03 p.m.

    re:Signs of the times. Eventhough we cheer for different teams, I enjoyed your comments. Utah 37 TDS 17

  • Signs of the times...
    Nov. 20, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    Though I bleed blue, I have a bad feeling about this one. Allow me to paint the picture:

    -Economy in the toilet
    -Financial markets in the toilet
    -US voters and Al Qaeda rock the vote for the same presidential candidate
    -California wildfires
    -Somalian pirates rule the seas
    -Madonna getting a divorce
    -Bo Diddley dies (yep, the guy from the Bo Jackson commercials)
    -Mother's Cookies goes bankrupt after 92 years (yes, you can no longer buy those frosted circus animal cookies)
    -Someone changes their name to "Ocho Cinco"
    -Ocho Cinco violates team rules, is deactivated for tonight's game and is on my Fantasy Football team.

    I could go on, but I think you get the picture. And what, might you ask, would be the next logical piece of terrible news? You guessed it: Utes victory. Simply icing on the cake...

  • Goram the Old
    Nov. 20, 2008 10:09 a.m.

    Great match up.

    BYU's Unstopable (usually)offence VS. Utah's Unmovable (usually) defence. BYU's Offence is very good and they are going to move the ball. The question is if this ball movement will end in a touchdown, a field goal, or a turn over.

    Since Hall does not throw very many pics, so I don't think that there will be more than 1 turnover. It will come down to whether or not Utah will force BYU to settle for field goals or allow touchdowns.

    Utah's good but inconsistant offence VS BYU's good but inconsistant defence. Utah's O has been great at times and anemic at others. At times BYU's D has completely shut down opposing offences, while at others opposing offences hardly even noticed that they were there.

    The analysis of this match up is almost the same as BYU's O vs Utah's D. Due to inconsistancies shown by both squads, nothing is certain, but I think Utah will be able to move the ball but the game hinges on the outcomes of these Ute drives. Touchdown, field goal, of TO? I don't think BYU will get more than 1 TO, so FG or TD.

    Close Game. BYU 31 Utah 30

  • Living in Alabama
    Nov. 20, 2008 9:46 a.m.

    The "Y" vs the "Utes" I'm not sure if the score will even make our local papers. Alabama vs Auburn, AKA The "Iron Bowl" is this week. "ROLL TIDE" Warning, if the Utes win the coach will leave to be in the SEC next year. Utah by 2 over BY Who?

  • DT
    Nov. 20, 2008 8:04 a.m.

    If BYU or Utah would like to earn respect among the pollsters then they need to join a BCS conference I.E. Big XII. I am sure that they would swap Iowa State and Baylor for the best two teams in the MWC.

    Go Cougars!!!

  • DT in Missouri
    Nov. 20, 2008 7:57 a.m.

    BYU will dominate this contest and the Utes dream season will end with a thud.

  • RE: BYU 2:02 pm
    Nov. 20, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    Thank for the stats. Well researched except for the Northern Iowa jab...They are ranked ahead of Weber State in Div 1 FCS. And by the way will be back in Utah Saturday to take on SUU.

  • Cougar fan
    Nov. 19, 2008 11:08 p.m.

    Utah is a "better" team this year, rankings and such. but you can never predict rivalry games, especially this year when we are so evenly matched. and yes BYU lost to TCU. the way Ute fans talk about it its like they beat us when they beat TCU. let it go. let your play on saturday prove it. i hope the Cougs can pull it off :)

    GO BYU!

  • RE;This is YOUR bowl game
    Nov. 19, 2008 10:59 p.m.

    Yup! It really does sting being in the same shoes the Newties have worn all these years... and by the way, they smell as bad as Al Bundy's!

  • This is YOUR bowl game!
    Nov. 19, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    This is YOUR bowl game cougs. It's not that big a deal for us, just another game. But for you, this year, this is the biggest game you're going to have. Doesn't that sting? Oh, well, enjoy watching your Big Bros show you how the beat down is done.

    W,W,W,W,W,W,W,W,W,W,W

  • KazakhCoug
    Nov. 19, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    Utah, in all honesty, picked up a very lucky win against TCU. Utah fans would be crazy not to admit that (which is why they don't). Utah's defense was terrible during that game and allowed 400 yards of offense. If it weren't for fluke field goal misses and catch out of bounds (also a weird fluke), Utah would have lost that game handily. They put up about the same amount of yards as BYU against TCU and looked shell shocked until the final drive, just like BYU. So, I think we can all throw out the TCU game as a comparison.

    I think that the two teams are fairly evenly matched. Utah's offense is better than BYU's defense and vice-versa, so I expect a high scoring game. If the O-line and Fui can pick up Kruger and co on the blitz, BYU's offense will roll. But so will Utah's if BJ is on. I expect a high scoring game, but I think BYU has too many weapons to lose. But I'm also extremely biased. What good fan isn't?

    BYU 38
    Utah 28

    Go Cougars!

  • Ewets Bowl Game
    Nov. 19, 2008 7:14 p.m.

    From 1972-1992 Utah only won 2 times! Thus BYU was dubbed "Utah's Bowl Game".

    Utah's not given up that mentality for better or for worse.

    I just wish that BYU would treat it at least a like a prep Bowl game instead of an annoying fly to be swatted at. They're always looking bored as if they are bothered that they have to pretend to enjoy their role in "Utah's bowl game". It usually takes them 3 1/2 qtrs to look as if they are interested.

    BYU better get on the ball and act like they care or else they're in for a "TCU" beating.

    BYU - 27
    Ewets - A "sheepish" 17

  • Re: Blue Man Groupie
    Nov. 19, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    Your comment: "If Utah had played TCU @ their house, they would have lost. So don't expect the Cougars to look like they did against TCU." Huh?!

    1) A more rational argument would look like this: A) BYU stinks on the road.
    B) The Cougars were on the road at TCU and got worked.
    C) They're on the road against Utah.
    D) Utah has the #2 defense in the conference after TCU.
    Conclusion: BYU is in trouble!

    2) "If..." arguments, while frequently used by Coug fans to try and justify their existence, are useless. The Utah-TCU game was in SLC and we won. Close game, but we still won. The BYU-TCU game was in Fort Worth, and you lost. BADLY! End of story.

    GO UTES!!

  • CJ
    Nov. 19, 2008 5:42 p.m.

    It will be a good game, but Utahs cinderella season will all end on saturday. Utah will not be able to stop Max Hall and the high powered offense. Besides, Brad Johnson who?

  • Defense?
    Nov. 19, 2008 5:35 p.m.

    I love all of the talk about the Utes defense. Can anyone tell me a good passing offense that they have played this year?

    Oregon St. QB Lyle Moevao has 2 300 yard passing games this year and guess what 1 of them was vs. Utah at RES. In their 2 big wins OSU and TCU Utah has been outgained and surrendered over 400 yards both times.

    Max Hall is in the top 10 in all passing statistics. Collie is the number one receiver in the country and Pitta is the number one receiving tight end in the country. BYU will move the ball on Utah just like TCU and OSU did. The difference will be that BYU will convert their drives into points.

  • BYU is Butter
    Nov. 19, 2008 4:16 p.m.

    Yes that is right BUTTER. You can cut them up with a dull knife.

  • lol
    Nov. 19, 2008 4:02 p.m.

    trust a Ute to start a quest after the regular season is over.

    What will it be?

    To win a second straight Poinsettia Bowl?

  • re: clueless at 3:14
    Nov. 19, 2008 3:57 p.m.

    And Air Force wasn't a quality opponent?

    Or New Mexico?

    Then, how do you explain why Utah had to hang on by the skin of their teeth to win those games?

    Utah could very easily have lost 5 games this season, and every one of those teams has a worse record than BYU.

    BYU also had some tight games.

    To say that either team has been dominant for more than a handful of games this season is pure homerism.

    The game will be close and could go either way.

  • The Quest
    Nov. 19, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....thank you Bronco for making this your team's focal point to begin the year, I'd love to hear what he told his family members to do with those Quest t-shirts they all had in their Christmas stockings. The Quest will be brought up in every conversation I have with cougar fans forever and ever.....how embarrasing it must be to own those shirts now....do you all still wear them? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Quest T-shirts will be available in RED soon!

  • Re: Coug Fan
    Nov. 19, 2008 3:14 p.m.

    What do you mean:"I'm personally waiting for our O-line to finally get back to where we were in the beginning of the season."

    To do that you'd have to play Huskies, Bruins, Cowboys, and Aggies. My, what an auspicious group that is...........not! They have a combined winning percentage of 10 and 42 (.238).

    Your offense line was so good because your competition was so horrible. 2, possibly 3 (Wyo)
    of those teams coaches have gotten the bump as a result.

    The Cuber defensive will give Utah all they need to win.

    GO UTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The only quality opponent you've played all year is TCU. And, we know the result of that.



  • Anonymous
    Nov. 19, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    Love seeing peoples predictions.. some have logic while others display their true homer side. I love Rivalry week!

  • BYU's D
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    BJ and friends will put 30 or more on BYU's D.

    Not sure which offense will show up for BYU. We saw what happened last time the cougars faced a foe with defensive speed.

    My pick:

    Utah-38
    BYU-28

    Utah leads by three going into the fourth quarter 31-28. A TD with around five minutes to go puts the game out of reach. Max Hall throws an interception on the ensuing possession and the game is over.

  • SCUte
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:41 p.m.

    Vegas Ute, excellent analysis.
    No way that BYU's offense gets 56% more yards and 9 more 1st downs than the Utes allow. The only concern is if BYU is within 7 at the end. They do have a knack for pulling off the game winning drive, but then again, so does the U.
    Utah 37
    BYU 31

  • Bearly out of high school Idaho
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    I predict the the Hoooooutes will lose the BYU football game like they lost to a lowely division II basketball team from where? Idaho Hum?????
    Sorry Hooooooutes, BYU will kick butt on this one too!

  • Advanced Math
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    You forgot to factor in turnovers.

    BYU +2 = a swing of at least 14 points
    (-7 Utah, +7 BYU)

    Revised Score

    BYU 35 (5 TDs)
    Utah 26 (2 TDs, 4 FGs)

  • Re: TCU
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:24 p.m.

    Nice try BYU fan.

  • Vegas Ute
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    The Math:

    Scoring (Utes slightly Higher) Equal @ 36 ppg.

    Offensive output required to produce points (stats):

    Utah must produce 17% more offensive yds. than BYU's defense has allowed.

    BYU must produce 56% more offense yds. than Utah's defense has allowed.

    BYU must produce 9 more 1st Downs than Utah allow.

    Utah must produce 1 more 1st Down than BYU allows.

    The differential of Red Zone O/D is 2 to 1 in favor of Utah. They score more when in the red zone compared to their opponents ability to retaliate (score). Thats been big so far.

    At a certain point in each game, Utah's D has figured out the offensive tendancies of their oppornent, and has capitalized on that understanding.

    This is true in the case of both of their major wins,i.e. OSU, TCU.

    BYU will give Utah everything they need to be successful. The BYU offense will have to play lights out ball to beat the Utah defense. They will have some success, but not enough. Statistically, it dosen't work out.

    Human Factor: Utah will be playing downhill. They've been "Punked" twice, and they should be ready.

    Unfinished business............... Utah by 5
    Utes 33
    Cubers 28


  • Bundy
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    BYU's defensive goal against airforce was to hold them to 24 points or less. I wonder what it will be for Utah. I imagine they will score at least that many. Both teams have shown the ability to make last minute drives. Whoever has the ball last will probably win.

    My dream: Max Hall engineers a heart breaking final drive. BYU 31 (4 touchdowns, 1 field goals) Utah 30 (3 TDs, and 3 field goals).

  • TCU
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:10 p.m.

    We played both teams and although we were lucky to beat BYU, and lost to the Utes, BYU is a better team and will win this barn burner.
    BYU 34
    Utah 31

  • coug fan
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:06 p.m.

    Harvey's shoulder and neck may be a little sore, but hes legs are 100%. He's smart enough when to take and give a hit, so he'll be fine. Vakapuna is a stud anyway so i'm not worried. our backers do need some speed though, and they've gotta play more disciplined than they have been. I'm personally waiting for our O-line to finally get back to where we were in the beginning of the season. Utah's pass defense is able to be exploited if we give max his 4 seconds. cougs win 24-21

  • Re: BYU
    Nov. 19, 2008 2:02 p.m.

    What?!? No wonder BYU fans get a bad rep.

    Utah has the #2 defense in the conference, TCU has the #1. TCU #1 in the nation, Utah #7.

    Scoring Defense:
    TCU 11.0
    Utah 16.6
    BYU 18.7 (aka not #2)

    Rushing Defense Nationally:
    #1 TCU 39.5
    #7 Utah 94.9
    BYU not in the top 50 list.

    Yards per game:
    #1 TCU 220.0
    #11 Utah 284.7
    # Not on the list BYU.

    Passing Efficiency Defense: (not yds/game includes yards, td's allowed, ints etc)
    #3 TCU 98.3
    #36 Utah 113.5
    # Not on the list.. you guessed it.

    Most Penalized teams per game:
    #1 TCU 9.5 penalties 82.5 yds per game.
    #12 BYU 7.5 penalties 68.5 yds/game.
    #28 Utah 6.8 penalties 61.4 yds/game
    (Congrats on beating us in something)

    Yes we played Weber St..who is in the D I-AA NC playoffs. We also played #17 TCU and #22 Oregon St and won.

    Who did BYU play? #119 Washington? check! 3-8 UCLA? Check! Northern Iowa? Check!

  • Hooooooutes
    Nov. 19, 2008 1:48 p.m.

    3rd year repeat with King Louie missing a last second field goal.
    BYU 27
    Hooooooutes 24
    GO COUGS!!!

  • Mike B.
    Nov. 19, 2008 1:05 p.m.

    Reality check I think that the Utes Have the edge at home, but the turnover battle as always will be the difference in this game. Whoever wins that wins the game. Utah as I have said in my opinion has more speed and a better defense. Other than that its a rivalry game and a crap shoot. Flip a coin.

  • BYU
    Nov. 19, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    Has the number 2 defense in conference, there also really good in scoring defense, and it's true you Ute fans live in a fantasy world, 12 of the last 15 games decided by a touchdown or less, so nothing is a given, and who decided the Utes are so great this year, who did you play? Weber!!!

  • Sakoda
    Nov. 19, 2008 12:52 p.m.

    If I remember, didn't Sakoda miss a field goal in last years game?

  • 10-year Anniversary
    Nov. 19, 2008 12:51 p.m.

    Just like the inaugural season of the newly renovated Rice-Eccles stadium (the doink heard round the world), this close game goes to the Cougars. Utes have been fortunate to pull off wins that their opponents should have sealed (OSU simply kick 2 extra points rather than go for 2-point conversions; TCU blows 2 easy field goals). Utes would be unwise to wait for BYU to fold like that in the waning minutes.

  • Jolly Utah Gang Man
    Nov. 19, 2008 12:41 p.m.

    Louie will do his best, but it won't be enough.

    Utah 19
    BYU 38

  • Cougs by 4
    Nov. 19, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    First team to 30 points wins.

  • Utah Mann
    Nov. 19, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    Hey cougies, just relax, the UTES will win on Saturday. The UTES will go to ANOTHER big time bowl game (BCS) and win, again. Max hall will have two interception and will be sacked three times by Paul Krueger alone. Can't wait til Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO UTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RE: Classless Cougar
    Nov. 19, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    HOW do you call yourself a BYU fan? What do you mean BYU wouldn't win in a shootout? Hall could outgun Johnson easily. The difference might be the defenses. Utah has shown that they can stop the run, but even as "horrible" as our run game is, Harvey still had 50 yards rushing against the number 1 run defense in TCU. Utah's is what, 7th? I'm not saying he'll put up last years numbers, but I would expect him to be able to have a typical day that he has had all season, likely a 75-100 yard day. I think at least he cracks the 1,000 yard mark in this game. It will be hard fought for sure. I can't predict a score for sure but I would give Utah the edge in this game. I think that with the help of Sorensen's kicking game we will get good enough field position to give Utah longer fields than last year, and give us a chance to win.

  • Blue Man Group
    Nov. 19, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    Ute fans live in a strange fantasy world. These games are always close. Utah has a solid D, but their Offense isn't that good. Their scoring numbers are high due to defense and special teams. BYU's D is pretty bad, but we'll show up on Offense.....I have no doubt.

    Banged up or not, the Cougars will come with all they have. If Utah had played TCU @ their house, they would have lost. So don't expect the Cougars to look like they did against TCU. Close game.....BYU WINS!!!!!!!!!!

  • I was there
    Nov. 19, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    Was the T shirt Ute fans were wearing after a 57 28 win in 1988. I hope the Utes can repeat 20 years later.

    GO UTES!

  • RED Man
    Nov. 19, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    No worries for this game. It will be a big Red blowout Ute win. COUNT ON IT!!!

  • RedFromBirth
    Nov. 19, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    I have to be honest. BYU scares me. Nobody wins last minute games better than the Cougars. I've been a Ute fan too long to think that you can beat BYU with less than a lead of a couple of scores in the fourth. Classless Cougar's analysis is right on. It could go either way. The Utes have been inconsistent offensively and the bend-but-don't-break defense has been great but you're always one missed tackle from a big play. Unga won't be a problem but Hall has the ability to beat us. The Utes are VERY vulnerable long so we HAVE to get to Hall with the front four consistently. If Hall spends most the day on his butt the Utes will run away with it.
    Last thought. Great teams find a way to win games. If it comes down to desire and confidence, the Utes will win...kind of a switch from the norm, Hallelujah!
    GO UTES!!

  • UteFire
    Nov. 19, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    Great athletes on both sides of the ball. Historic game at the RES. AND I GET TO WATCH IT ON TV. I would like to watch it in the stadium but live in Colorado. Sounds like BYU has some injuries and Utah is a little deeper on both sides. Hope it is a classic game.

    If both play their very best then the win is Utah's.

    GO UTES!!!!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 19, 2008 9:59 a.m.

    10 points for byU? C'mon. That's ridiculous. How do you expect anyone to take you serious. And to the coug fan that thinks the Utes have been inconsistent in big games? Not true...they've been the same in big games...mediocre, then great when needed.

  • Kicking Game
    Nov. 19, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    It's not automatically Utah's game if it comes down to kicking. BYU's kicker (Payne) is almost just as accurate. They usually just get it in the end zone as opposed to kicking. Just recently he pounded in a 46 yarder. BYU has a kicking game.

    All of this said, Sakoda is amazing, and he is better than Payne. But don't count Payne out because he can compete easily with Louie.




  • UteBuster
    Nov. 19, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    The Ute's can relax, Harvey Unga is not healthy, but coach M. continues playing him, big mistake.

  • San Diego Ute Fan
    Nov. 19, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    Dear Classless:

    Nice to hear the voice of reason from any Cougar fan, classless or not.

    You hit it right on the head. But not all Ute fans are drunken.

    See you at the game, and may the best team (Utes) win. Utah 24, BYU 10.

  • UteGary
    Nov. 19, 2008 8:13 a.m.

    What about the kickers? If it comes down to the kicking game, the Utes win it with King Louie.

  • Classless Cougar
    Nov. 19, 2008 6:51 a.m.

    Unga has a propensity for making big plays based on his one 15+ yard run all year? Brilliant! Unga certainly had a propensity for big plays last year, but this little gem of analysis is laughable.

    My Analysis:

    I don't think there's any question whose defense is better. BYU's only real strengths on D are Nixon, Jorgensen and their propensity for forcing fumbles. BYU's D will play not to lose and Utah's D will play to win (unless it comes down to a two minute drill for BYU and then Utah's prevent D hands BYU another last minute victory). If BYU leads the turnover margin by one or two and if Max Hall can get into rythm (which will be difficult against a very good Utah defense) then BYU wins.

    If BJ is on then he can be unstoppable and I don't see BYU winning a shootout. However, Utah's offense has been inconsistent in big games. Also Utah had to rely on defense to put away UNM.

    On the balance I probably give my Cougars a 40% chance of victory, but I'll be in the stands taking the abuse from the drunken Utes to cheer them on.

    GO BYU