Utah-BYU: One of the Great Football Rivalries

Clair StewartContributor INovember 24, 2008

It's been a long weekend. Since the start of the season all eyes have been towards last Saturday's Utah-BYU game. 

It should have come down to two undefeated teams fighting for a BCS bowl and national recognition.  TCU disrupted BYU's season with a beating, but Utah came through the season unblemished. 

Even if the Utes had come in with a loss, this game is what all previous seasons come down to.  The Brigham Young Cougars versus the Utah Utes.  The Saints against the Sinners.  Private institution competing against a public university.  So many opposites in one single game. The two schools are only 50 miles apart, but to their followers it might as well be on opposites of the world. 

It's been this way for as long as I remember.  I grew up disliking the Utes from Salt Lake City because that was how I was raised. My alphabet block set was lacking the letter U.  My family went to the Y and that's what was expected of me.  I'm glad I didn't want to be a doctor and have to make a decision of what medical school to go to.  That would have been rough. 

It's not just me; sign into any Utah message board and the rants and ravings extend past football statistics and into personal beliefs, religion, and marriages.  No topic is left alone ,that's how bad the blood is on both sides.  

This year the Cougars were the underdog even though the past two seasons ended in BYU fourth-quarter victories.  Records don't really matter in this competition.  Last year both teams brought high octane offenses into Provo just to see BYU eek out a 17-10 win in the last minutes of the game. 

This year there would be no let downs by the home team.  Brian Johnson led his Utes completing pass after pass to a variety of receivers.  After his score, Max Hall took the stage and led the Cougars down the field to a score of their own. 

This was the game for most of the first half.  Utah would get a lead and BYU would come back.  Up and down until Max started throwing interceptions. 

Then there was no more up, just down. 

BYU's defense, which was thought to be the weak link in the university's armor, played a good game all day.  They made some stops and tackled Johnson on several third-and-short runs. 

Unfortunately, due to the turnovers, they were backed into a corner on several occasions and the red tide swept into the end zone.  The Utes came out with a 48-24 victory, their first over the Cougars since 2005.

Utah was the better team this season.  Hopefully, they will go on and represent the Mountain West Conference well in a BCS bowl game.  This Utah team follows the 2004 Utes, coached by Urban Meyer, who won the first BCS bowl game by an at large school.  Now the Utes are back and I wish them the best...

Just wait 'til next year.