Two of Utah’s victories over BYU on this century despatched the Utes into primary bowl video video games. Nothing the Utes did Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium technically moved them any nearer to the Rose Bowl, nonetheless their stirring comeback can have its private distinction inside the rivalry’s lore.
No. 18 Utah rallied from 20 components behind inside the third quarter of a 35-27 victory, scoring touchdowns on four straight drives. Armand Shyne’s 5-yard touchdown run and Matt Gay’s additional stage despatched the Utes ahead 28-27 with Three:02 remaining, then Utah’s John Penisini and Cody Barton stuffed a fourth-and-1 run on BYU’s subsequent possession.
Shelley delivered a 33-yard TD run on the very subsequent play, leaving the Cougars with one remaining chance, trailing 35-27 with 1:43 remaining. BYU moved from its 25 to midfield, the place Ute defenders Chase Hansen and Javelin Guidry stopped Cougar tight end Matt Bushman a yard in want of the first-down marker with 21 seconds to play.
So a recreation that many observers had labeled meaningless, as a result of what’s ahead for Utah, became one of many essential unforgettable conferences inside the rivalry’s historic previous.
Kyle Whittingham, on a rivalry game 'for the books,' as he framed it. pic.twitter.com/s7fLFTl2vS
— Kurt Kragthorpe (@tribkurt) November 25, 2018
The Utes (9-Three) claimed an eighth straight victory inside the sequence and maintained their momentum going into Friday’s Pac-12 championship recreation vs. Washington with a Rose Bowl berth at stake in Santa Clara, Calif. That’s a quick turnaround, following an emotional victory, nonetheless that’s larger than the Utes having to regroup after what regarded like a stunning defeat inside the making.
In the end, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham often known as it “one different rivalry recreation for the books,” together with, “What would you depend on fully completely different from this recreation?”
That’s an attention-grabbing question, mixing on this decade’s historic previous of shut contests inside the rivalry, even amid Utah’s eight-game reign. The Utes have been heavy favorites to win as soon as extra, however as well as they’d the psychological issue of understanding they may play for the Pac-12 title six days later.
“Maybe we’ve been a bit lax,” said Ute cornerback Julian Blackmon, who produced his workforce’s first components with an interception return inside the third quarter.