This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that knows me but because of the painful nature of the end of the rivalry it has taken me a few days to revisit Saturday night.
BYU lost to the University of Utah for the fourth straight year 20-13 in a game that was very winnable but always seemed just out of reach.
The scoreboard made it look like the game was dominated by defense but that doesn’t tell the whole story. BYU was able to amass 443 yards and find the red zone five times but only managed one touchdown. It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if that’s all you can do inside the 20.
On Saturday night the Cougar defense didn’t play their best game either. BYU didn’t have enough of an answer for Travis Wilson, Bubba Poole or Dres Anderson. A 74 yard catch and run by Anderson led to the first of the Utes two touchdowns. Poole did most of his damage on one play as well. He had a 65 yard carry midway through the first quarter that led to a field goal. Wilson looked comfortable in the pocket most of the time and was able to produce 273 yards through the air but couldn’t do anything on the ground.
Taysom Hill on the other hand, was very solid with his legs rushing for 99 yards. He struggled throwing the ball however only completing 18 of 48 passes. His favorite target on the night was Cody Hoffman. He caught 8 passes for 108 yards. The BYU ground game though solid, was affected greatly by the loss of Jamaal Williams part way through the game. On a short 4th down run, Williams took a hit to the back of the head and hit the ground very awkwardly.
Williams stayed on the ground for a long time before being taking off on a cart. He suffered a stinger and a shoulder injury which kept him in the hospital overnight. After Williams Left the game, the Cougar ground attack couldn’t find its footing and it cost them on a couple of drives.
In the end BYU just didn’t have enough to beat the Utes and it showed. I fully expect the Cougars to bounce back on Friday night and play much better against Middle Tennessee.