BYU/Utah Games That Were Hard To Watch

Nov 20, 2018, 11:59 AM | Updated: 12:42 pm
Utah defensive back Casey Evans (31) celebrates against BYU on Nov. 22, 2003 at Rice-Eccles Stadium...
Utah defensive back Casey Evans (31) celebrates against BYU on Nov. 22, 2003 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Deseret News)
(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – When the Cougars and Utes meet in football in the Holy War, usually the games are competitive, fun and thrilling. As in every rivalry, there are some games that are just hard to watch.

KSL Sports profiles the worst games in rivalry history.

2003: Utah won 3-0

A snowy and chilly 19-degree November day at LaVell Edwards Stadium held this game to just a single field goal by Utah kicker Bryan Borreson in the second quarter. Utah quarterback Alex Smith threw for 113 yards and one interception. He rushed for another 55 yards. The Utes racked up just 223 yards of total offense. This was Urban Meyer’s first year as head coach of the Utes.

BYU attempted just 14 passes, completing 4 of them between Jackson Brown and Matt Berry, both threw an interception for just 41 combined passing yards. BYU turned the ball over three times. Running back Fui Vakapuna led the Cougars rushing attack with 56 yards as BYU had 115 rushing yards in the game.

Utah finished with a 10-2 record (6-1 MWC) and shutout Southern Miss in the Liberty Bowl 17-0.

BYU ended with a 4-8 record (3-4 MWC) and did not qualify for a bowl game in Gary Crowton’s third season as head coach of the Cougars.

1982: BYU won 17-12

Both teams exchanged touchdowns before the Cougars added 10 more points before Utah’s comeback attempt failed in the fourth quarter, scoring just six more points. The Utes fumbled the ball three times while throwing one interception. BYU’s rushing attack was limited to just 46 yards. Cougar’s quarterback Steve Young threw a 16-yard touchdown to Casey Tiumalu was the longest scoring play of the game.

Young threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns. The team rushed for just 46 yards on the ground.

Utah quarterback Kenny Vierra racked up 155 passing yards while two Utes rushed over 100 yards in Carl Monroe with 148 and Hilria Johnson with 145.

BYU finished the season with an 8-4 (7-1 WAC) record and lost to No. 17 Ohio State in the Holiday Bowl 47-17.

The loss to BYU gave the Utes their sixth loss and ended the year at 5-6 (2-4 WAC).

1989: BYU won 70-31

Utah couldn’t do anything defensively to stop Ty Detmer and the BYU offense. That was the only issue for the Utes but it was a bad performance on the defensive side of the football. BYU scored 28 points in first quarter, 21 in the second, 14 in the fourth quarter and Utah scored just 10 points in the first three quarters as the Cougars led 63-10 going into the final period.

Utah had three turnovers to BYU’s one miscue. Detmer threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns. Fred Whittingham had three rushing touchdowns on just 8 carries for 38 yards.

For Utah, Mike Richmond threw for 393 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with wide receiver Darrell Hicks 11 times for 126 yards and three scores.

BYU finished with a 10-3 record (7-1 WAC) and lost to No. 18 Penn State in the Holiday Bowl 50-39.

Utah had another disappointing season with a 4-8 record (2-6 WAC).

1997: Utah won 20-14

The Utes scored 10 points in the first and fourth quarters while holding BYU to just 14 points in the first half. Utah won the game despite turning the ball over four times. The defense held BYU to just 70 passing yards and 126 yards on the ground.

Utah quarterback Darnell Arceneaux scored the Utes two touchdowns on the ground and threw for 208 yards and two interceptions. He added 63 rushing yards with the two scores. Arceneaux connected with Kevin Dyson nine times for 143 receiving. Running backs Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala and Juan Johnson combined for 111 yards on the ground.

BYU quarterback Kevin Feterik completed 10-of-16 pass attempts for 70 yards. Running back Brian McKenzie scored BYU’s two touchdowns while rushing for 95 yards.

The Utes finished with a 6-5 record (5-3 WAC) but did not play in a bowl game.

BYU ended with a 6-5 record (4-4 WAC) and did not participate in a bowl game as well.

2011 Utah won 54-10

The first time that these two teams met in the first three weeks of the season as it was Utah’s first season in the Pac-12 Conference and BYU’s first year as an independent. It was one of the sloppiest games of the rivalry for BYU as they turned the ball over seven times, six fumbles and one interception. Utah scored two defensive touchdowns. The Cougars scored all ten points in the first half and it was all Utah in the second half as they scored 40 points.

Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn had 239 passing yards with two touchdowns. Running back John White had 183 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

BYU was held to just 11 rushing yards. Quarterback Jake Heaps threw for 305 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Cody Hoffman had 8 receptions for 138 yards.

Utah finished with an 8-5 record (4-5 Pac-12) and beat Georgia Tech in overtime 37-30 in the Sun Bowl.

BYU ended with a 9-3 record and beat Tulsa 24-21 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

2016 Utah won 20-19

It was one of the ugliest games for the Utes in rivalry history as they committed six turnovers, three fumbles and three interceptions. Kalani Sitake faced the Utes for the first time as the head coach of BYU. The Cougars couldn’t capitalize on the nine turnovers but had a chance late in the game as Taysom Hill ran in a seven yard touchdown to bring BYU within one point. Sitake elected to go for two and the win but failed the conversion.

Utah quarterback Troy Williams threw for 194 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Running back Troy McCormick had 62 rushing yards to lead the Utes.

Hill finished with 176 passing yards and 90 rushing yards. He scored two touchdowns on the ground.

The Utes ended the season with a 9-4 record (5-4 Pac-12) and beat Indiana 26-24 in the Foster Farms Bowl.

BYU finished with an 8-4 record and beat Wyoming 24-21 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings


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BYU/Utah Games That Were Hard To Watch