Utah Football 2024

Classic matchups and wild bowls between college football’s new conference rivals
espn.com article

…50 best games college football has seen between teams that will be new (and in some cases, old) conference mates in 2024.

31. No. 10 Utah Utes 13, No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs 10 (2008)

The Mountain West was basically a power conference in the late 2000s, and this game between top-15 teams had major BCS bowl implications. Both teams boasted brilliant defenses, and even with Andy Dalton (TCU) and Brian Johnson (Utah) at QB, the teams combined for only 23 points. TCU scored the first 10, but after kicking two field goals, Utah scored the last seven on a 9-yard pass from Johnson to Freddie Brown with 47 seconds left. Robert Johnson picked Dalton off at the Utah 15 with four seconds left, and Utah ended up in the Sugar Bowl.

13. Utah Utes 41, BYU Cougars 34 (2005)

12. No. 21 BYU 33, Utah 31 (2006)

The Holy War rivalry doesn’t really have ebbs and flows – only long waves. From 1896-1971, Utah went 41-8-4 against BYU, basically clinching a forever lead in the series. But from 1972-92, LaVell Edwards’ BYU turned the tables and won 19 of 21. More recently, Utah has won nine of 10 since 2010.

The only time this series was really up for grabs on a year-to-year basis was from 1993-2009, but damn near every game in that span was a classic, from back-to-back 34-31 wins for Utah in 1993-94 to back-to-back comebacks for BYU in 2000-01.

The peak probably came in the perfect back-and-forth of 2005-06. In Provo in 2005, Utah bolted to a 24-3 halftime lead, but two Curtis Brown touchdown runs and two John Beck touchdown passes brought BYU back. The Cougars tied the game with 4:50 left in regulation, but on the second play of overtime, Utah’s Travis LaTendresse torched double coverage and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass. BYU went four-and-out, and the road team won. Just as it would the next year.

BYU got off to an infinitely better start in 2006, but a 14-0 first-quarter lead turned into a 24-14 fourth quarter deficit before Beck got rolling again. His third touchdown pass of the game made it 27-24 Cougars with 3:23 left before Utah responded with a two-minute touchdown drive of its own. It was 31-27, but there was just enough time for one more plot twist. On the final snap of the game, Beck drifted left waiting for someone to get open, then had to scramble back to his right under pressure. After a full 10 seconds with the ball, Beck threw back across his body to a wide open Jonny Harline in the left corner of the end zone. Ballgame.

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Too soon!


That 2008 TCU game is one of the best Utah wins of all time, especially pre-Pac-12. I’m surprised it’s not higher on the list.

The 2010 smackdown was notable too, for all the wrong reasons for Utah.

I would vote for 1994 being the best Utah - Zoo game. Those teams were both very good, and the game meant something. It was nice that they didn’t put up too much of a fight in 2004 or 2008.


Ranking all 134 FBS QB situations into tiers ahead of the 2024 season

TIER 2: It’s Tier 1 with an asterisk

• Utah’s Cam Rising, Sam Huard

It’s pretty easy to quantify just how much Rising means to Utah statistically. Over the past three years with Rising at QB, the Utes averaged 6.6 yards per play, 7.6 yards per dropback, posted an 83.9 raw QBR and scored 39.1 points per game in his starts. With anyone else at QB, 5.3 yards per play, 5.7 yards per dropback, a 51.3 QBR and they averaged 24.2 points per game. How many other QBs in the country are worth 15 points per game to their teams?

ESPN+ article (archive.today snapshot)


Some pretty impressive company.



We’d be closer to Boise’s number, if we were in the MWC.

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Lol! :joy:


And considering Utah only played five games in 2020 and had not-so-great seasons in 2000, 2002, 2012, and 2013, 200 wins and 18th on this list is great.


I dont think we would nearly the brand name even if we dominated the MWC. Contending for and winning the PAC tittle got my bandwagon Clemson fans to finally shut up.


That is certain. Is brand name what we seek as a fan base? Not my goal, but I respect everyone’s desire.

I enjoy the esoterica.

In the same way Whitt is a “build the brand” guy, so am I.

Never in my wildest dreams of the 70s and 80s would have I imagined we would get the damn BYU monkey off our backs, and regularly be on national TV against some “name” schools.

When you beat some of those schools, your own name gets a bit more prominent.

Like the old Jim Croce song, “I got a name”.

Just keep building.