Curtis Brown ran for 153 yards against the Utes, including a 64-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COUGAR TOWN -- BYU's Curtis Brown racked up 237 yards of total offense and two touchdowns as the Cougars (6-5, 5-3) fell to Utah (6-5, 4-4) by a score of 41-34 in an overtime thriller in front of 64,312 fans Saturday.
"Give credit to Utah, they played solid," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "This was a hard-fought game that came down to one play."
In overtime, Utah scored on their second play with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Brett Ratliff to Travis LaTendresse giving them a 41-34 lead.
On the Cougars' overtime possession they were unable to find the end zone and the Utes held on to pick up the victory.
After being held to only three points in the first half, the Cougars made a solid comeback, outscoring the Utes 31-10 in the second half and forcing the game into overtime.
"We did not execute with precision or composure in the first half," Mendenhall said. "The second half was a different rhythm and it showed."
Brown led BYU in rushing with 20 caries for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He also led all Cougar receivers with 84 yards on seven receptions.
John Beck finished the day with 309 yards passing with 27 completions on 47 attempts and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 10 yards and caught one of his own passes, which was deflected by an official, for three yards.
After last week's injury to Utah quarterback Brian Johnson, Ratliff started the game for the Utes and completed 17-of-32 passing attempts for 240 yards and four touchdowns. He also carried the ball 19 times for 112 yards and a touchdown.
The Utes took an early first-quarter lead, scoring on their first two drives. The first score came on a three-yard touchdown pass from Ratliff to Brian Hernandez ending a five-play 60-yard drive with 11:51 remaining in the first quarter. The second came when Ratliff hooked up with Chad Jacobsen for a 15-yard touchdown pass to cap a nine-play, 76-yard drive to give the Utes a 14-0 lead with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
BYU got on the scoreboard with 19 seconds remaining in the first quarter with a 31-yard field goal by Jared McLaughlin topping an 11-play 66-yard drive.
Utah added a field goal in the second quarter with 8:05 remaining with Dan Beardall kicking it in from 35 yards out ending a seven-play 48-yard drive and giving the Utes a 17-3 lead.
On BYU's next possession, running back Fahu Tahi had the ball stripped by Utah's Casey Evens and returned 30 yards to the BYU seven yard line setting up a seven yard touchdown run by Ratliff with 4:37 remaining in the second quarter giving Utah a 24-3 halftime lead.
The Cougars struck first in the third quarter with a five-yard touchdown run by Brown capping an eight-play 72-yard drive with 11:37 left in the third quarter. Brown accounted for 54 of the team's 72 total yards on the drive.
Brown's five yard touchdown run gave him 58 yards rushing in the game and 1,000 yards on the season, becoming the first 1,000 yard rusher for the Cougars since the 2001 season when Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley rushed for 1,582 yards.
Just 1:33 later, and after BYU force the Utes to punt on their next possession, the Cougars found the end zone again with a 64-run by Brown. The run ended a two-play 64-yard drive and cut the Utah lead to 24-17. The run was also a career long for Brown.
Despite being penalized five times for forty total yards on their next possession, Utah answered back with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Ratliff to Hernandez, their second hook up of the game. The score ended an eight-play 65-yard drive with 5:47 remaining in the third quarter and gave Utah a 31-17 lead.
On their next possession, BYU went 40 yards in three plays, and Todd Watkins got into the action when Beck found him in the end zone on a 13-yard pass, cutting into the Utah lead 31-24 with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
After a Utah field goal by Beardall, extending the Utah's lead to 34-24, BYU's Beck hooked up with Matt Allen on a 28-yard pass touchdown pass. The pass ended a five-play 71-yard drive and cut the Utes' lead to three (34-31).
With 4:50 remaining in the game, BYU's McLaughlin tied the game (34-34) on a 37-yard field goal, capping a seven-play 18-yard drive.
Utah threatened late in regulation but had their field goal blocked as time expired.
With six wins, BYU finished the season with a winning record for the first time since 2001 when the Cougars went 12-2. Mendenhall said his first season was a humbling experience and he owes a lot to his players.
"There are 29 seniors on the team that broke three years of losing," he said. "You can't put value on that. Their leadership allowed this to happen and I am indebted to those who helped redefine our direction."
The Cougars now await an invite to a bowl game. The Las Vegas Bowl seems to be a likely possibility. The Las Vegas Bowl will be on Dec. 22. The opponent will be selected from the PAC 10.
Box Score (Final)
Utah vs Brigham Young (Nov 19, 2005 at Cougar Town, UT)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 OT Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -- -----
Utah................ 14 10 7 3 7 - 41 Record: (6-5,4-4)
Brigham Young....... 3 0 21 10 0 - 34 Record: (6-5,5-3)
1st 11:51 UU - HERNANDEZ, Bria 3 yd pass from RATLIFF, Brett (BEARDALL,
Dan kick), 5-60 1:41, UU 7 - BYU 0
05:25 UU - JACOBSEN, Chad 15 yd pass from RATLIFF, Brett (BEARDALL,
Dan kick), 9-76 3:03, UU 14 - BYU 0
00:19 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, J 31 yd field goal, 11-66 5:06, UU 14 - BYU 3
2nd 08:05 UU - BEARDALL, Dan 35 yd field goal, 7-48 2:49, UU 17 - BYU 3
04:37 UU - RATLIFF, Brett 4 yd run (BEARDALL, Dan kick), 2-7 0:43, UU
24 - BYU 3
3rd 11:37 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 5 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 8-72 1:54,
UU 24 - BYU 10
10:04 BYU - BROWN, Curtis 64 yd run (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar kick), 2-64 0:
17, UU 24 - BYU 17
05:47 UU - HERNANDEZ, Bria 48 yd pass from RATLIFF, Brett (BEARDALL,
Dan kick), 8-65 4:17, UU 31 - BYU 17
01:32 BYU - WATKINS, Todd 13 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar
kick), 3-40 0:29, UU 31 - BYU 24
4th 10:35 UU - BEARDALL, Dan 44 yd field goal, 10-49 5:50, UU 34 - BYU 24
08:31 BYU - ALLEN, Matt 28 yd pass from BECK, John (MCLAUGHLIN, Jar
kick), 5-71 1:57, UU 34 - BYU 31
04:50 BYU - MCLAUGHLIN, Jar 37 yd field goal, 7-18 1:58, UU 34 - BYU
OT 00:00 UU - LATENDRESSE, Tr 25 yd pass from RATLIFF, Brett (BEARDALL,
Dan kick), 6-0 0:00, UU 41 - BYU 34
FIRST DOWNS................... 24 20
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 44-251 31-176
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 240 309
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 35-17-0 48-27-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 79-491 79-485
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 1-30 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 3-14 3-21
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 5-105 6-117
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-31.7 5-39.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards............... 12-86 9-74
Possession Time............... 31:55 28:05
Third-Down Conversions........ 7 of 16 7 of 17
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 0 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 4-4 4-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-9 2-17
RUSHING: Utah-GANTHER, Quinto 21-131; RATLIFF, Brett 19-112; WEDDLE, Eric
3-10; TEAM 1-minus 2. Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 20-153; TAHI, Naufahu
5-15; BECK, John 5-10; MEIKLE, Nathan 1-minus 2.
PASSING: Utah-RATLIFF, Brett 17-32-0-240; TEAM 0-2-0-0; WEDDLE, Eric 0-1
-0-0. Brigham Young-BECK, John 27-47-0-309; TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Utah-LATENDRESSE, Tr 6-88; HERNANDEZ, Bria 4-81; GANTHER,
Quinto 3-16; RICHARDS, Derre 2-37; JACOBSEN, Chad 1-15; TAGOVAILOA, Fan
1-3. Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 7-84; HARLINE, Jonny 4-46; TAHI, Naufahu
4-29; REED, Michael 3-42; ALLEN, Matt 3-39; MEIKLE, Nathan 2-25; WATKINS,
Todd 2-22; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-19; BECK, John 1-3.
INTERCEPTIONS: Utah-None. Brigham Young-None.
FUMBLES: Utah-None. Brigham Young-TAHI, Naufahu 1-1.
Stadium: Edwards Stadium Attendance: 64312
Kickoff time: 1:07 pm End of Game: 5:22 pm Total elapsed time: 4:15
Officials: Referee: Terry Leyden; Umpire: Gary Crumb; Linesman: Robert
Bahne; Line judge: Gary McNanna; Back judge: Craig Battaglia; Field
judge: Judson Howard; Side judge: Ken Lucido;
Temperature: 47 F Wind: W 6mph Weather: Clear but hazy
SACKS (UA-A): Utah-TALAVOU, Kelly 1-0. Brigham Young-FEULA, Vince 1-0;
JENSEN, Cameron 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Utah-EVANS, Casey 8-5; TOONE, Spencer 5-3; JIANNONI, Joe
3-5; TATE, Steve 6-1; BURNETT, Martai 3-3; WEDDLE, Eric 4-1; HARPER,
Shaun 2-2; OATES, Eugene 3-0; TALAVOU, Kelly 1-2; BRADY, Kyle 1-2;
AFEAKI, Kite 2-0; MCCAIN, Brice 2-0; CONDIE, Brock 2-0; LEFITI, Soli 2-0;
SHYNE, Eric 1-0; MARSHALL, Grady 1-0; RICHARDS, Derre 1-0; CASCO, Kawika
1-0; LITI, Mike 0-1; TURNER, Reggie 0-1; HACKETT, Drew 0-1; BEARDALL,
Derek 0-1. Brigham Young-JENSEN, Cameron 6-6; KEHL, Bryan 5-4; MADDUX,
Justin 1-6; HODGKISS, Corby 5-0; LUETTGERODT, Ju 4-1; FEULA, Vince 2-3;
BROWN, Manaia 1-4; BUCHANAN, Kayle 4-0; MIYAHIRA, Cole 3-1; WALKENHORST,
Pa 2-2; GABRIEL, Dustin 1-3; PAONGO, Hala 0-3; WHITE, Spencer 2-0;
ROBINSON, Justi 2-0; TAFUNA, David 1-1; WATKINS, Todd 1-0; ASHWORTH, Luke
1-0; COOPER, Brett 1-0; HOWELL, O'Neil 1-0; ALLEN, Matt 0-1; TONGA,
Manase 0-1; HARLINE, Jonny 0-1; LOVELY, Gary 0-1.