Utah wins exciting ‘Rivalry’ game with BYU

Posted at 9:16 AM, Sep 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-11 16:26:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - It was another exciting BYU-Utah rivalry football game, with nine turnovers, and big plays that made the difference right to the end.

It was the first regular season between the longtime rivals in two seasons.

The first play from scrimmage was a big one.  BYU quarterback, Taysom Hill's, pass went through the hands of his receiver, and Utah linebacker, Sunia Tauteoli, picked it off and returned it 41 yards for the touchdown, giving the Utes a seven to nothing lead.  BYU freshman kicker, Jake Oldroyd added a pair of field goals.

It was a raucous crowd at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

One of the many turnovers happened with the Utes in the Red Zone, and threatening to score.  Utah quarterback, Troy Williams, side-stepped a couple of Cougar defenders, but his pass was picked off in the end zone by BYU safety, Kai Nacua, his second interception of the game.

After the BYU defensive stand, Hill kept the ball, took it around the end, stayed in bounds and ran for 39 yards for the score, putting BYU up 13 to seven.

Utah answered back just before halftime.  Troy Williams threw a 21 yard touchdown pass to receiver Tim Patrick.  The Utes went into the half with a 14 to 13 lead.

In the fourth quarter, BYU was down seven after a pair of field goals by Utah kicker, Andy Phelps.  Taysom Hill dropped back to pass, saw a wide open lane to the end zone, and ran it seven yards for the touchdown.  That cut the Utah lead to one with under a minute left in the game.

BYU decided to go for a 2-point attempt to win the game, but the Utah defense stopped Hill short of a score, giving Utah the 20 to 19 win, their sixth straight over the Cougars.

"Give them credit, they played hard," said Utah coach, Kyle Whittingham.  "Kilani had them ready, they're going to win a bunch of games there with him at the helm.  I would've done the exact same thing if I was in his shoes, at the end there, the 2-point conversion, first year coach, and a chance to win the game right there on the spot, I think he made exactly the right call."

"Yeah I'd do it again," said BYU coach, Kilani Sitake.  "I told the guys, I told them if we score a touchdown  we're going for two, so let's just stay on the field, so if you noticed when they scored the touchdown, nobody ran off to the side, and so we planned on scoring a touchdown, and we did, and we planned on going for two and Utah made a play and we didn't,  but I loved the ball being in Taysom's hands, and he had a couple of options, and it just ended up the way it did, but I just think Utah made a great play."