BYU vs. Utah: Utes Pull off Upset in Bizarre Finish

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 15: Quarterback Riley Nelson #13 of the BYU Cougars is tackled after a small gain by Tyron Morris-Edwards #27 of the University of Utah Utes as LT Filiaga #42 gives chase during the first half of a college football game September 15, 2012 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

The Utah Utes trumped the BYU Cougars, 24-21, in what could be the most bizarre finish we see all season long.

The Cougars attempted what looked like one final play with eight seconds remaining on the clock. The clock appeared to run out, but an official review put one second back on the clock. BYU kicker Justin Sorensen had his potential game-tying field goal blocked, but the game still wasn't quite over.

Utah fans stormed the field as soon as the ball was knocked down, but the ball was live. This created further confusion, before the officials finally awarded the Cougars with a re-kick due to a 15-yard crowd interference penalty.

The most bizarre eight seconds of football you will ever see finished with Riley Stephenson clanking the field goal off the upright, losing the Cougars the game.

Now, let's talk about the actual game.

Jon Hays led the Utah attack from behind center. The signal-caller went 18-of-27 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't turn the ball over, steering the offensive ship with a steady hand.

Luckily, Hays rose to the occasion because the Utes' ground game did not. A collection of ball-carriers collaborated for a measly 35-carry, 49-yard effort.

Despite their one-dimensional attack, they were still able to score 17 points in the third quarter.

The offense can't get all the credit, though. One of those third-quarter scores came via a Mo Lee fumble recovery. He scooped the ball up at the BYU 47-yard line and took it for six points the other way. Of all the scores, that was the straw that broke the Cougars' back.

Nelson finished the game 17-of-35 passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw one interception, but his low completion percentage was the main issue. He missed key passes and killed a few key drives because of it.

The Cougars' ground game gave Nelson a lot more help than Hays received from his stable of backs. Michael Alisa led the way with 56 yards on a unit that finished with 98 rushing yards overall.

This game could have gone either way, but Utah had a few more critical plays under their belts. By the time BYU recovered from their poor third quarter, Utah was on too big of a roll.

If you managed to catch this game's waning moments, you won't forget it.

For BYU, it's back to the drawing board with Boise State looming on Thursday. Utah will try to continue their success against Arizona State in Week 4.