Not even the biggest Ute honks would think of this win, mainly because before this game 9 of the last 10, with the exception of the 2004 52-21 Ute win, have been decided by seven of less points.
Utah looked impressive off the start and did exactly what I thought they would which was to throw quick passes and slants since the BYU secondary plays well off the line of scrimmage. The Utes looked to run away with this game early up 17-3 in the second quarter. BYU showing what their offense could do came back to score 14 straight points to tie the game.
BYU did have some help on the Utes to even get to 17-10, prior to that score BYU was just around field goal range and the Utes sacked Max Hall that would have made BYU punt. On that play Utah defensive end Paul Kruger was called offsides so that gave BYU another chance which they took advantage of and scored a touchdown.
At 17-17 with a few minutes left in the quarter the Utes scored ten straight points with a Louie Sakoda field goal, and then on BYU's next possession with under two minutes left Max Hall threw for one of his five picks which allowed Utah to score another touchdown.
The third quarter was stall with BYU scoring the only touchdown, so going into the fourth quarter it was 27-24 in favor of Utah. That is when BYU fell apart when Max Hall had three interceptions in the quarter, for the game Max Hall accounted for all six turnovers with a fumble and five picks. BYU had trouble all day in the passing game, the Utes had the six take aways, six passes batted down, and a few hurries and sacks. Wide receiver Austin Collie did become the all time leading receiver for BYU and had his 10th straight 100 yard game.
Brian Johnson stole the show to let everyone know that he plays big in big games. Johnson was very efficient with 30 of 36 passing for 303 yards, four touchdowns, zero picks, and picked up 28 rushing yards.
Brent Casteel who has been somewhat quiet this year finally had a really big game with two touchdowns, 60 yards receiving, nine rushing, and had some solid returns.
This time around there is zero blame for offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig who called a great game, by utilizing the no huddle offense that Utah uses so effectively.
The win finally gets some critics off of Utah coach Kyle Whittingham who had to live up to Urban Meyer who took two years to get his 2004 team to a BCS bowl win, but know Whittingham is heading to a major bowl, and all the questions will be coming his way if he is leaving Utah or not. My early feeling is no since he has lived his whole life playing and coaching in the state of Utah, but who knows BCS teams can throw multiple millions to coaches. More of that will come later, oh one side note after the game BYU wide receiver Austin Collie was asked if he was going to go to the NFL, and at first said definetly and then quickly followed with "Well, right now that's not something I'm concerned with."
The win puts the Utes in most likely the Fiesta or Sugar bowl, neither bowl should be too concerned with the Utes traveling, because back in 2004 55,000 people were at the Fiesta Bowl which is ten thousand more then what the home of the Utes can hold.
Utah post game sound:
Brian Johnson, Paul Kruger & Robert Johnson
BYU post game sound
Another big game today was the 100th game in the Border War, and what a game it wasy. Colorado State was trying to do everything they could to not win the their sixth game of the year and a chance to go to a bowl game.
Wyoming ran the ball all over the Rams with 209 yards with the bulk going to Wynel Seldon who had 107 yards, and then Devin Moore acquired 78 on the ground. Chris Stutzriem might actually be the quarterback of the future for Wyoming, kick me next year when Dax Crum and Karsteen Sweed get some playing time, because Stutrziem had zero turnovers and 201 yards.
The turnovers again were the achilles heal for Wyoming with three fumbles lost, but that did equal the number of takeaways. The turning point in the game was when it appeared Wyoming made a pick in the fourth quarter with Wyoming still leading 20-17, but the Wyoming player was ruled out of bounds. On the very next play Billy Farris threw a 31 yard touchdown that went to a stretched out Dion Morton for his third score of the day.
Morton had 6 catches for 160 yards and those three touchdowns, and to go along with running back Gatrell Johnson III 135 yards and his score with under three minutes left to put the game away.
Wyoming played a solid game but the fourth quarter did them in by scoring no points, and that late non-interception that turned into a Ram score did them in. This win gave the Rams 6 wins and most likely a trip to the New Mexico Bowl because Utah is going to the BCS and UNLV lost and finished 5-7.
TCU really wanted revenge after last years over time loss to the Falcons. Air Force's primary running offense fell into the strength of TCU's defense and with Air Force unable to pass this game was doomed from the start. Air Force did gain 150 yards, but 57 of those game on their only touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Air Force played a clean game with no turnovers and only two penalties, their problem was moving the ball and facing third and longs. The Falcon passing game was inept totaling eleven yards.
The win forced a tie with BYU and TCU for second in the Mountain West, and from indication of the game with BYU and Utah the Vegas Bowl with the first pick looks to take BYU and that would put TCU in either the Poinsettia Bowl or the Armed Forces Bowl. Look for the Armed Forces Bowl to take TCU since they want a full crowd and that game is in Fort Worth.
TCU on offense this game was amazing with Andy Dalton throwing for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Then the running game had no studs but they totaled 183 yards on the ground in this win.
Go ahead and mark it down, UNLV lost its 19th straight road conference game, and in this one allowed 21 fourth quarter points. Backup quarterback Mike Clausen had a decent game with 321 yards and two touchdowns, but the two picks especially the one in the fourth quarter that was returned 82 yards for a score did them in.
Also, UNLV only had 33 rushing yards and Frank Summers had two carries for only six yards, and in a spread option the running game is very important for success.
Freshman quarterback Ryan Lindley broke his own freshman record for completions by going 35 for 50 on the game, and had 387 yards and two scores.
This loss put UNLV outside of bowl contention and finishing with a 5-7 record, but there is a bright spot because the 5 wins is three more then last year and doubles the previous two years where UNLV won two games in 2006 and 2007.
SDSU is thankful the season is over they had so many injuries, but do have a spot light in Ryan Lindley who played well at quarterback and is only a freshman.