BYU Sports

Emily Andersen and Marietta Lehmitz

Brigham Young University sports have been popping up in the news more and more lately, from the changes in their football staff to the changes in their rivalry games.

The University of Utah and Brigham Young University were in the same conference since 1922, but this ended back in 2011 when Utah joined the Pac-12 and BYU went independent. This has made it difficult for them to continue their rivalry football games, often referred to as “The Holy War,” and they haven’t had a football game since 2013.

The two year hiatus in 2014-2015 was ended when the two teams were matched up in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl. The game was in Las Vegas at the Sam Boyd Stadium on December 19, 2015. This Holy War brought thousands of fans dressed in red and blue. Utah scored 35 points in the first quarter, while BYU struggled to score. BYU finally managed to get a touchdown in the second quarter and the third. By the fourth quarter, Utah and BYU battled it out, but BYU scored two more touchdowns. The last play wasn’t enough for BYU to win, and Utah walked away with another victory over BYU of 28-35.

Bronco Mendenhall, BYU’s former head football coach, will be leaving BYU to go coach at the University of Virginia. Mendenhall kept a number of people from the BYU staff with him to his next job. Throughout his eleven years of coaching at BYU he won 99 games, and he had been hoping to make this last game with Utah his 100th. The new head coach, Kalani Sitake, previously coached for Oregon State University. Sitake’s coaching experience made him a perfect candidate for BYU’s new head football coach.

With the end of the break in the rivalry on the football field, a new break is just beginning on the basketball court. At the last rivalry game on December 2nd, 2015, there was an incident between two of the players that ended with a punch from the BYU player. Utah has said that incidents like this are becoming too common, and they have withdrawn from the scheduled game in the 2016 year because, as Coach Krystkowiak said, “The level of emotions has escalated to the point where there is the potential for serious injury.” He believes that taking a break will be good for the players from both sides and will help to cool down the rivalry a little bit.