Holy War Up in the Air

Matt Anderson, Staff Writer

The Holy War for college football has been known as one of the country’s greatest in-state battles. However, since both teams have gone their separate ways, the rivalry will take a two year break after Utah slipped past BYU 20-13 on September 21. Most Bing­ham students are not hap­py with this rivalry being put on hold.

Ryan Horton, a sopho­more and an avid Utah fan, reacted by saying, “I think people will be disappoint­ed, because it’s the game people look forward to ev­ery year.”

The game is up in the air because BYU and Utah went separate ways in 2011. Utah joined the Pac- 12 conference and BYU went independent, having no conference affiliation. This makes scheduling difficult as Utah can only play three non-conference games a year.

Austin Halls, a junior, gave his reaction from the BYU side. “I think it sucks. It is a great part of Utah history.”

The teams have played ev­ery year since 1922 except for 1943-1945—when BYU didn’t have a team due to WWII. The 2014 season will be the first year the teams haven’t played in over 60 years.

Junior George Durrant, whose father played bas­ketball at BYU, said that if both teams wanted to go their separate ways, so be it.

Utes fan and junior Chaz Huntsman said that it’s sad Utah and BYU won’t be playing in 2014 and 2015.

The all-time series record is Utah leading 57-34-4. The Utes dominated the game up until the 70s, when LaVell Edwards took over the Cougars’ program in 1972. The Cougars, with the likes of Jim McMahon and Steve Young, went 19-2 against the Utes from 1972-1992, including a nine game win streak from ’79 to ’87. The 80s’ domi­nance has been somewhat answered by the Utes, who have been 14-7 against the Cougars since 1993 under Ron McBride, Urban Meyer, and Kyle Whittingham.

Here’s a look at memora­ble games over the years:

2001: BYU 24-21


Utah led by 11 points with under four minutes when BYU scored and con­verted two points to trail by three. BYU got the ball back and scored with an option pitch to Luke Sta­ley from Brandon Doman, which put them ahead by three. BYU then picked off a pass from Utah to seal the victory.

2004: Utah 52-21

(Salt Lake City)

This game marked a per­fect 12-0 season and the first non-BCS conference team to earn a BCS bowl game spot. Utah came in highly favored as a top-ten team, but the game was tied 14-14 in the sec­ond quarter. Alex Smith and Utah overwhelmed the Cougars, and ran away with it in the second half.

2006: BYU 33-31

(Salt Lake City)

The game dubbed “The Answered Prayer” was arguably one of the best finishes in the history of the rivalry. Down by four with the ball on the 12 yard line, BYU had one final play to win. After scram­bling around the field for 13 seconds, Beck found his tight-end Jonny Harline on his knees (hence the nick­name) to give the victory to the Cougars.

2008: Utah 48-24

(Salt Lake City)

Both teams were ranked high (BYU # 14 and Utah #7) in the annual show­down. Utah led 27-24 go­ing into the fourth quarter, and scored 21 unanswered points to run away with it. BYU quarterback Max Hall committed six crucial turn­overs to help lift Utah to another undefeated sea­son and an eventual BCS bowl victory over Alabama.

2009: BYU 26-23


The Cougars lead 20-6 in the fourth quarter until Utah came storming back, forcing overtime. Max Hall redeemed himself after 2008’s blunder by squeez­ing a pass between two Utah defenders, hitting tight-end Andrew George for a 25-yard touchdown and the overtime victory. After the game, Hall said, “I don’t like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate every­thing about them.”

2010: Utah 17-16

(Salt Lake City)

With four seconds left, BYU kicker Mitch Payne lined up for a 39 yard field goal that would give the Cougars the win. It was blocked by Utah cornerback Brandon Burton who raced into the play to save the game for Utah. This game included one of the most contro­versial calls made by a ref­eree. With Utah

down 10- 16 with under six minutes left, quarterback Jordan Wynn threw an intercep­tion to Brandon Bradley, who then fumbled the ball. Videos showed that Brad­ley’s knee was likely down, but the call was not over­turned, and Utah scored the game-winner a few plays later.

2012: Utah 24-21

(Salt Lake City)

Ask any BYU or Utah fan, this was the wildest finish the rivalry has ever seen. BYU had one final play that fell incomplete from quarterback Riley Nelson, but after further review, the replay showed there was one second left on the clock. This gave BYU a last gasp 51-yard field goal try. The field goal was blocked, but the Utah student sec­tion prematurely rushed the field, allowing BYU a second chance from a 15 yard penalty. The 36-yard attempt by Riley Stephen­son doinked off the post, finally sealing the victory for Utah.