Editor's Note: This is part three in a three-part series on the in-state games this year.
Both the Aggies and the Cougars had something in common last year: they both had incredibly stout defenses that could stand toe to toe with some of college football’s best teams, even if it meant not necessarily winning. The Ags suffered a close defeat to Wisconsin 16-14, while the Cougars dropped a heartbreaker to Boise State 7-6. As such, there was plenty of hype leading up to last year’s contest in LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The result was not nearly as exciting as many had hoped.
Taysom Hill filled in admirably for an injured Riley Nelson. His pass to J.D. Falslev at the end of the first half resulted in the lone touchdown of the game, but BYU couldn’t convert the PAT.
Still, a marvelous defensive effort ensured that touchdown would ultimately be enough. The Aggies scored a field goal earlier and had another chance in the fourth quarter to tie the game with another field goal, but Josh Thompson’s kick sailed off to the side. Nobody would score again in this game, and the Cougars held on to win 6-3.
Both teams had a difficult time finding a good offensive rhythm, and, while both gained yards, both had trouble scoring. This was a true defensive slugfest reminiscent of the 2003 Utah-BYU rivalry game, where the Utes edged the Cougars 3-0.
Though the Cougars won, Hill sustained a season-ending leg injury on the final play of the game. Utah State never lost again and finished with the best season in school history while BYU faced some additional setbacks against Oregon State and Notre Dame, a result many considered a truly wasted opportunity.
Sam McConkie is a technical and professional writing graduate from Utah State University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org