Utah’s Travis Wilson completed eight passes for 141 yards to Dres Anderson. This quarterback/receiver duo clicked and managed to help Utah score against a very stingy BYU defense. 20 points wouldn’t have been enough however, it the Utah defense hadn’t held the BYU offense to 13 points.
BYU’s Taysom Hill led offense failed to convert touchdowns from near the ten yard line three times, setting for two field goals and one turnover on downs. The story was Utah’s defense. The Utes stopped BYU’s run immediately. They forced a first half shutout.
Utah struggled to score themselves, setting for two fields goals that should have been touchdowns as well. However, they continued to get big plays and scored two touchdowns.
BYU seemed incapable of completing 3rd downs. Perhaps that was because 3rd and short was elusive. They usually found themselves in 3rd and long, making poor choices on 3rd down. Even in four down territory, they seemed to make poor choices every play. Credit Utah’s first down defense.
Utah made a lot of short passes and took the easy yards BYU gave them. BYU also had the opportunity to take short passes but Taysom continued to toss less accurate mid-range and long-range balls when the sure yards were there. It is tough to know if this is the fault of the young quarterback or a failure by the offensive coordinator to call plays for short and quick passes.
Both teams had a few mistakes. Both had dropped balls. Both picked up penalties. BYU took advantage of a drive saving penalty to score a touchdown and pull to within one touchdown.
As good as Utah’s defense was, BYU’s defense was better, allowing only 7 points in the second half and forcing multiple three and outs in the fourth quarter.
Another note is that once again Utah’s stats are slightly less than their instate rivals, yet they still won. A few weeks ago, Utah beat a Utah State team that had slightly better stats. BYU had 41 more total yards. They had six 3rd down conversions to Utah’s one. BYU outrushed Utah by 62 yards. BYU had 95 plays to Utah’s 68. But Utah had slightly more yards per pass and about a dozen more passing yards. They also had 7 more of the one stat that mattered, the score.
This intense rivalry was fun to watch for the entire ESPN2 nation. It is one of the great tragedies of the recent realignments that these two teams won’t play for a few years.
Everyone keep the injured BYU running back Williams in your prayers.
Football matters in Utah.