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Six Memorable Utah Fourth Quarter Comebacks Against BYU

Jordan Agasiva #79 of the Utah Utes, along with others on the bench celebrate a fourth down stop in the second half of a game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Since 1980, the University of Utah football team has had six memorable fourth quarter comebacks against their in-state rival BYU.

The most recent was last year when the Utes scored 28 unanswered points at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Two of those comebacks were in Provo.

Here are some memorable comebacks in the fourth quarter for the Utes against BYU:

Game-Winning FG In 1993

The game was tied at 17 heading into the fourth quarter in Provo when the Utes took the lead on an 84-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike McCoy to Curtis Marsh, but they missed the extra point. Kalin Hall ran in a touchdown from four yards out to give the Cougars a one-point lead.

Utah answered with a touchdown run by running back Jamal Anderson with McCoy and “The Dirty Bird” connecting on the two point conversion to lead by seven. BYU quarterback John Walsh tied the game with a one-yard score. But, Utah kicker Chris Yergensen gave the Utes the win with a 55-yard field goal.

The Utes had a 7-6 record at the end of the season with a loss to USC in the Freedom Bowl.

McCoy, Brown Lead Utes To Win In 1994

The Utes trailed the Cougars 24-20 heading into the fourth quarter and the back-and-forth scoring began with McCoy connecting with Deron Claiborne to temporarily take the lead. Walsh would find Mike Johnston for a 27-yard touchdown as BYU took the lead back. But, McCoy found Charlie Brown for a 20-yard touchdown to give the Utes the lead and the win.

McCoy threw for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win, while Brown rushed for 107 yards. The Utes finished the season with a 10-2 record and beat Arizona in the Freedom Bowl.

Arcenaux Completes Comeback In 1997

Utes quarterback Darnell Arceneaux scored a seven-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter after Utah didn’t score in the second or third quarter. BYU had a 14-10 lead going into the final period before Arceneaux scored. The Utes made a 32-yard field goal to give themselves a six point lead and the win.

Despite throwing two interceptions, Arceneaux had 208 yards through the air and 63 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Kevin Dyson had nine catches for 143 yards. The Utes didn’t play in a bowl game after finishing the season with a 6-5 record.

Ratliff Tops Cougars In 2005 OT Classic

Utah had a great start to the rivalry game in Provo with a 24-3 lead in the first half. BYU answered with 21 points and held Utah to one touchdown in the third quarter to trim the Utes lead to 31-24 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Utes started the final period with a field goal to stretch their lead to 10 when the Cougars made a comeback. Quarterback John Beck hit Matt Allen for a 28-yard touchdown and Jared McLaughlin made a field goal to tie the game and the rivalry went to overtime.

Utah quarterback Brett Ratliff found wide receiver Travis LaTendresse for a 25-yard touchdown. The Cougars couldn’t get in the end zone on the next possession and Utah picked up the win.

Ratliff finished with 240 yards passing and four touchdowns, while rushing for 112 yards and another touchdown. Running back Quinton Ganther racked up 131 rushing yards. After winning the Fiesta Bowl under Urban Meyer in 2004 with an undefeated season, Utah had a 7-5 record under Kyle Whittingham’s first season at the helm. The Utes beat Georgia Tech in the Emerald Bowl.

Utes Rattle Off 17 Points In Fourth Quarter In 2010

BYU had a 13-0 lead entering the fourth quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah finally scored on a Joe Phillips field goal to trim the lead to 10. Then quarterback Jordan Wynn connected with DeVonte Christopher for a 37-yard score to put the Utes within three points.

After a field goal by Mitch Payne gave BYU a 16-10 advantage before Utes running back Matt Asiata gave Utah their first lead of the game late. BYU trucked down the field and was in range to attempt the game-winning field goal.

Payne’s attempt was blocked by defensive back Brandon Burton.

Wynn recorded 199 yards and 1 touchdown through the air, while Eddie Wide rushed for 73 yards in the win.

Utah finished with a 10-3 record, but lost to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Utes Overcome 20-Point Deficit In 2018

With the Pac-12 South Division title in the bag in the regular season finale but BYU had a fantastic start to the rivalry game at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Cougars scored 20 unanswered to begin the game. Utah trailed 20-0 at halftime.

Julian Blackmon scored the Utes first touchdown with a 27-yard interception returned for a score. But, BYU running back Matt Hadley temporarily stopped the momentum with a 1-yard touchdown. Utah quarterback Jason Shelley threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Samson Nacua to put the Utes within 13 entering the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, running back Armand Shyne scored back-to-back touchdowns to give Utah a 28-27 lead. Shelley put the game away with a 33-yard touchdown run.

Shelley threw for 141 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 61 yards and another touchdown. Shyne racked up 47 yards and two touchdowns. The Utes finished the season with a 9-5 record with a loss to Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game and to Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl.