While this was an entertaining game, because of how close it was the Utes did not play a complete game (again!), but managed to pull out the win. Oregon State fresh off of their victory of then number one USC, and came into Rice-Eccles and for the most part backed up that performance.
The main story about this game on the Beaver side is the three failed conversions. Oregon State was chasing points after they missed an extra point after Ute quarterback Brian Johnson threw a pick six. The next two touchdowns Oregon State went for two, the first made the score 20-15 in favor of Utah late in the first half so Oregon State went for two to make it a three point game but missed. Then the Beavers scored again to go up by one and then missed the two again. Memo to Riley "TAKE THE POINTS" the outcome could have been different, because Oregon State would have been up by 10 with just under 2 minutes left in the game.
In the first half it looked as if Utah was going to run away with this game as they were up 20-9 in the first half until Oregon State beat the Utah secondary over the top for a touchdown, and then on the Utes first possession in the second half Utah's quarterback had a pop warner type fumble in the game that lead to another Oregon State score. That fumble was terrible Brian Johnson was tackled and as he was falling to his back it looked as if Johnson tossed the ball over his head.
The entire third quarter Utah did not score in the third quarter and then to make matters worse Utah gained only 20 yards, had that fumble, and two punts. The Utah defense is what kept them in this game, because they forced two missed field goals, had multiple passes defended, and sacks.
Jacquizz Rodgers from Oregon State was the player the Utes were foccusing on because of what he did last week against USC. Rodgers did have 177 total yards and a score he only had two big time plays, so the Utes were able to somewhat limit Rodgers. When the game counted the Utes were able to stop Rodgers and the rest of the Oregon State team from getting a crucial first down as the game was nearing an end, but instead had to punt which eventually gave the Utes the ball to victory
The Ute offense settled for field goals again, yes Louis Sakoda is an amazing field goal kicker the Utes need to get into the endzone more. This game the Utes had a kick off return that put the ball inside the Beavers 20 and the Utes settled for a field goal.
That last drive of the game is what Utah needs to try to emulate for other parts of the game. That last drive Utah moved the ball at will partly because of Utah executing but also that Oregon State was allowing Utah to make passes in the middle of the field, but Brian Johnson ran the 2 minute offense to perfection for the score. Oregon State should have been applying pressure and not trying to play prevent to avoid a touchdown, then I am sure Beaver fans are complaining about the pass interference flag on the two point conversion which gave the Utes a second chance to tie.
Then Oregon State was unable to put together a drive long enough to run the clock out to force overtime, so the Utes got the ball back and kicker Louis Sakoda won the game with a 37 yard field goal as time expired.
The Utes did not play well overall, which says a few things about this team because Utah did not play well but was able to overcome their deficiencies and won, but on the other side if Utah played TCU or BYU they may not have won this game.
BYU was looking to something historic, by shutting out its third straight opponent. The game started off as thought with quarterback Max Hall leading BYU to 24 to zero first quarter lead and then after a scoreless second quareter BYU scored 10 more to get up to a 34 to zero lead.
BYU's was good but not as dominate as they were in the past three games, this game Max Hall had two touchdowns and passed for 303 yards in this game. The downside to Hall was that he had two picks on the year which doubled his total on the year. Austin Collie had a huge game with 132 yards receiving and caught the two scores and half of those yards came on one catch.
The Cougar defense which has had some criticism this year finally showed some weaknesses this weak. Before we dig into that they did play well overall by forcing three turnovers against Utah State and one that featured a 38 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Do not ge me wrong BYU's defense only allowed 14 points in this game, and has performed far better then any 'expert' thought up to this point into the season. Concerns that I did see on the Cougar defense was in the fourth quarter where BYU gave up 14 points, and at times BYU did start to rotate some more backups into the game but it was not a full fledged unit change change from starters to back ups.
On the last drive which was quite interesting for Utah State showed how BYU could be beat. The BYU defensive starters were in the game and Utah State ran wide reciever bubble screens and quick throws that allowed Utah State players to make plays in space which is what they did. Utah State players were able to gain yards after the catch and made BYU defenders miss.
The Aggies were quite successful with those quick passes at the end of the game, so if BYU opponents take note of those type of plays the Cougar defense could be in trouble by more talented teams.
Another reason why Utah State was able to hang around in this game was that BYU had its worst game of the year penalty wise, by accumulating 123 yards in penalties which stalled Cougar drives and prolonged Aggie drives.
This win was closer then expected, but the Cougars most likely will not drop in the rankings when the polls come out on Sunday.