(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SALT LAKE CITY -- In possibly one of the most exciting games in the storied rivalry history, the Blue/Red Bowl went down to the last play--a play that seemed to last an eternity--before John Beck found Jonny Harline all alone in the end zone as time expired, giving No. 21 BYU (10-2, 8-0 MWC) a 33-31 come-from-behind victory over Utah (7-5, 5-3).
The Cougars outscored the Utes 19-7 in the fourth quarter. BYU drove 75 yards in 10 plays in the last 1:19 to win the game, responding to a nine-play, 83-yard Utah drive.
Beck finished the regular season going 28-for-43 for 375 yards and four touchdowns in his final regular season game. Harline finished with seven catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns.
"I am thrilled our seniors, captains and for the leadership in this program," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I couldn't think of a more fitting way for this rivalry to play out. For the last two years, you've seen two teams fight their hearts out and have it come down to the last play. I think it is a tribute to both teams. It's a great thing for our state. I am very gratified to be undefeated in conference, and again, I am very proud of our seniors."
For the 11th consecutive game, BYU got on the board first. The Cougars marched 83 yards on 10 plays in their opening drive. Beck completed four of five passes for 83 yards on BYU's initial drive. Manase Tonga finished the Cougars' scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
After Utah's offense only managed one first down on its first drive before punting, BYU scored on its second drive. The Cougars marched 81 yards in four plays. BYU scored when Beck connected with Jonny Harline for a 36-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead.
The Cougars held a 14-0 lead through the first quarter, finishing the regular season with a 138-15 advantage in the first quarter.
Behind three trick plays, Utah scored a touchdown of its own in the second quarter. BYU initially held the Utes on their third drive. On fourth down from midfield Utah's punter, Louie Sakoda faked the punt and ran for a first down. Sakoda's 18-yard rush was Utah's longest from scrimmage. The Utes scored when defensive back Eric Weddle entered the game at quarterback. Weddle found Brent Casteel for an 18-yard touchdown.
Utah added a field goal as time expired in the first half to cut the Cougars' lead to 14-10 at the break.
In the third quarter the Utes took their first lead of the game when Brett Ratliff found Marquis Wilson on an out-and-up that went for a 57-yard touchdown pass play. The Utes' lead marked the first time BYU has trailed a game since the Boston College game, a span of 34 consecutive quarters without trailing.
Utah held BYU again and scored again as the third quarter wound down. Ratliff threw another touchdown to push the Utes lead to 24-14. Utah's 10-point lead was the largest by any team against BYU this season.
The Cougars fought back with a touchdown drive of its own. BYU drove 79 yards on nine plays and scored when Harline out-jumped Weddle in the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.
BYU held Utah on its next drive. On third-and-three from midfield, the Cougars' Bryan Kehl came up with a huge sack, forcing the Utes to punt and giving the ball back to BYU with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The Cougars put together a drive, marching 90 yards on 13 plays while eating 6:37 off the clock. BYU capped the drive when Beck found another tight end in Daniel Coats for a two-yard touchdown pass. Beck's senior leadership showed as he completed 6-for-7 passes on the Cougars scoring drive.
The BYU defense held Utah to a fourth down and two from the Utes' 25-yard line. Ratliff got six yards and a first down to extend Utah's drive. Ratliff then found Casteel on two big pass plays, the second a 19-yard screen play good for a Utah touchdown.
The senior leadership persevered through the last drive as the Beck-to-Harline tandem came up huge on several occasions, including the game winning touchdown. On fourth-and-four Beck found Harline to convert the first down. Five plays later, the two hooked up one last time to win the game.
BYU will take on a Pac-10 team in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21. Game time is 6 p.m. (PST) and will be televised on ESPN.
Box Score (Final)
#21 Brigham Young vs UTAH (Nov 25, 2006 at Salt Lake City, UTAH)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 14 0 0 19 - 33 Record: (10-2,8-0)
UTAH................ 0 10 14 7 - 31 Record: (7-5,5-3)
1st 10:38 BYU - TONGA 1 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN kick), 10-83 4:22
06:48 BYU - HARLINE 36 yd pass from BECK (MCLAUGHLIN kick), 4-81 1:54
2nd 09:18 UU - CASTEEL 18 yd pass from WEDDLE (SAKODA kick), 10-65 4:04
00:00 UU - SAKODA 24 yd field goal, 12-66 1:51
3rd 08:24 UU - WILSON 57 yd pass from RATLIFF (SAKODA kick), 1-57 0:17
01:41 UU - SAMPSON 4 yd pass from RATLIFF (SAKODA kick), 8-66 4:31
4th 13:15 BYU - HARLINE 4 yd pass from BECK (MCLAUGHLIN kick bl.), 9-79 3:26
03:23 BYU - COATS 2 yd pass from BECK (MCLAUGHLIN kick), 13-90 6:37
01:19 UU - CASTEEL 19 yd pass from RATLIFF (SAKODA kick), 9-83 2:04
00:00 BYU - HARLINE 11 yd pass from BECK (TEAM rush failed), 10-75 1:19
FIRST DOWNS................... 27 26
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 24-54 33-98
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 375 376
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 44-28-0 41-25-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 68-429 74-474
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1--2 2-6
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-63 5-86
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 5-40.0 3-50.3
Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 6-53 6-56
Possession Time............... 29:43 30:17
Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 11 6 of 14
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 1 2 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 4-4 4-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 3-23 1-11
RUSHING: Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 11-42; VAKAPUNA, Fui 5-6; BECK, Jason 1-3;
BECK, John 5-2; TONGA, Manase 2-1. UTAH-CASTEEL, Brent 4-34; WEDDLE, Eric 7-24;
SAKODA, Louie 1-18; POSTON, Darryl 6-15; MACK, Darrell 2-10; SMITH, Sean 1-4;
RATLIFF, Brett 12-minus 7.
PASSING: Brigham Young-BECK, John 28-43-0-375; TEAM 0-1-0-0. UTAH-RATLIFF, Brett
24-39-0-358; WEDDLE, Eric 1-1-0-18; TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-HARLINE, Jonny 7-118; COATS, Daniel 6-80; BROWN, Curtis
4-31; COLLIE, Zac 3-53; MAHUIKA, Bryce 3-32; JACOBSON, McKay 2-35; ALLEN, Matt
1-11; TONGA, Manase 1-8; VAKAPUNA, Fui 1-7. UTAH-RICHARDS, Derre 8-79; CASTEEL,
Brent 5-100; GODFREY, Bradon 3-39; BROWN, Freddie 3-24; HERNANDEZ, Br 2-52;
WILSON, Marquis 1-57; SMITH, Sean 1-12; POSTON, Darryl 1-9; SAMPSON, Colt 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-None. UTAH-None.
FUMBLES: Brigham Young-BECK, John 1-0. UTAH-RATLIFF, Brett 1-0.
Stadium: Rice-Eccles Attendance: 45330
Kickoff time: 1:38 End of Game: 4:56 Total elapsed time: 3:18
Officials: Referee: Rich KOLLEN; Umpire: Doug WILSON; Linesman: Tim SCHENVOGT;
Line judge: Randy CAMPBELL; Back judge: Greg WILSON; Field judge: Alan WOLF;
Side judge: Michael CUTTONE;
Temperature: 42 Wind: SW @ 4 Weather: Mostly Sunny
#21 Brigham Young vs UTAH (Nov 25, 2006 at Salt Lake City, UTAH)
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-JORGENSEN, Jan 0-1; POPPINGA, Kelly 0-1; KEHL, Bryan
1-0; JENSEN, Cameron 1-0. UTAH-JIANONNI, Joe 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 4-6; KEHL, Bryan 3-7; ROBINSON,
Justi 9-0; GOOCH, Quinn 4-4; JORGENSEN, Jan 2-4; WAGNER, Aaron 2-3; POPPINGA,
Kelly 1-4; TIALAVEA, Russe 2-2; BUCHANAN, Kayle 2-1; HOOKS, Terrance 2-1; NIXON,
David 0-3; HODGKISS, Corby 1-1; FUGA, Romney 1-0; PAONGO, Hala 1-0; COLLIE, Zac
1-0; JACOBSON, McKay 1-0; VAN SWEDEN, Dan 1-0; CRIDDLE, Ben 0-1; STAFFIERI, Mark
0-1; GABRIEL, Dustin 0-1; ANDERTON, Judd 0-1; HUTCHINSON, Nat 0-1; GORDON, Aaron
0-1. UTAH-WILLIAMS, JJ 7-6; EVANS, Casey 5-6; WEDDLE, Eric 5-4; TATE, Steve 4-4;
JIANONNI, Joe 4-3; BRADY, Kyle 2-1; LEFITI, Soli 0-3; SOLIAI, Paul 0-2; LONG,
Gabe 0-2; MOKOFISI, Malak 0-2; BURNETT, Martai 1-0; STANFORD, R.J. 1-0; MCCAIN,
Brice 0-1; WRIGHT, MIke 0-1; PUCCINELLI, Ale 0-1; SMITH, Sean 0-1; TALAVOU,
Kelly 0-1; DALE, Joe 0-1; TAGOVAILOA, Fan 0-1.