After a competitive first half, ‘Holy War’ becomes big blowout

PROVO -The Utah Utes made the 40 mile trip south to play their arch rivals, the BYU Cougars.

A quick glance at the first few lines on the statistics sheet would give you a general idea of how competitive the game was in the first half, but to get an understanding of the entire game and how it could have gotten so lopsided you’d have to look down to the critical stat of the game. BYU committed seven turnovers, six fumbles and one interception. The first and last touchdowns of the game were scored by Utah’s defense, which scored touchdowns off the first and last fumble of the game. In spite of all the turnovers, BYU was able to keep it close early, but before the end of the first half Utah took over in a big way to win the game 54-10.

On the third play of the game, the snap was high and to the side, Jake Heaps missed it, ran back and picked it up and in the process of cocking it back for the throw, under pressure from Utah’s defense, he dropped the ball. The ball went into the end zone and Utah’s Derrick Shelby dove on it for a touchdown.

On their next possession, BYU picked up 35 yards before Joshua Quezada fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Utah. Utah went 43 yards down the field over a span of eight plays to set up a 29-yard field goal, but they missed it badly.

BYU answered by driving 77 yards to the Utah 6-yard line where they fumbled the ball again.

On their next possession, a couple of long passes from Heaps to Cody Hoffman got them in range for the 46-yard field goal that put BYU on the board.

With over six minutes left in the second quarter, BYU completed a 66-yard drive with a graceful 32-yard touchdown pass from Heaps to Ross Apo to give BYU a 7-10 lead.

Up to this point Utah’s offense looked slow and clunky, but with 2:43 left in the half, Utah changed the dynamic of the game. Quarterback Jordan Wynn worked the field gaining 63 yards through the air by completing five out of his six passes including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jake Murphy to take the lead 14-10. From that point on, they played with high energy and intensity on both sides of the ball through the end of the game.

On the first drive of the third quarter, Utah showed they were ready to get the job done as they engineered a 75-yard drive that was capped off with a 59-yard pass from Wynn to Dres Anderson for a touchdown.

Utah never looked back. In the second half they held BYU scoreless, got an interception, forced three fumbles, scored five touchdowns and kicked in two field goals on their way to a convincing victory that should give them plenty of confidence and momentum moving forward.

Utah played very well on both sides of the ball in the second half and will need to keep that momentum going as they will be playing the Washington Huskies in two weeks.

BYU only has a short week to try and turn things around. They host UCF on Friday.

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Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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