I was watching highlights tonight and it was just so difficult to pick. Cam Rising’s two point conversion against SC at home last year is high on the list. I think another would be Stevenson Sylvester’s first sack in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. Beating BYU 3-0 in 2003 is up there. Beating BYU in 2004 is also up there. I was lucky enough to go to the Sugar Bowl and that entire experience was just magical. I’ll also throw some love out to Brandon Burton’s blocked FG against BYU in 2010. So many great memories. What do ya’ll think?
“This press box is shaking right now”. That TCU game in 08 is still the loudest I’ve ever heard RES before or since.
Last year’s win against USC was the last game I got to attend with my mom. She already had her Stage 4 cancer diagnosis at that point (and passed just a couple weeks later) but we had so much fun that night. I almost talked her into rushing the field after the game. In retrospect, I wish I would have pushed a little harder…would have been epic.
That is so special. Thanks for sharing. I was at that TCU game and it’s an all time favorite. We couldn’t get anything going until that last drive. Thank god for Ross Evans for missing those field goals.
I’m going to go back a few years.
I don’t remember the year, but Utah was trailing UA 27-0 heading into the 4th quarter. Former Skyline High Eagle, Steve Marshall, the starting safety, was forced due to injury to replace the injured QB and led the Utes to a 28-27 victory.
After losing 9 consecutive games to BYU, the Utes, pummeled BYU at RES in 1988.
Freedom Bowl. Utes trailing Arizona and Cal Beck returns a kickoff to about the 10 yard line. TD pass from Mike McCoy to Kevin Dyson in the waning moments of the game result in a Utah victory.
Watching Pulsipher’s 53 yard FG at LES for Mac’s first win against BYU.
So many fun memories. My wife and I have season tickets with the same 4 friends since we moved back from San Diego in 1986. We have watched a lot of bad Utah teams over the years and, more recently, some very good teams.
For me it was watching the Sugar bowl game after a year of just learning about the team. We made hot dogs and settled in. It was amazing watching the crowd and the Utes were well represented. I distincly remember the hook and ladder play and we were just jumping up and down. “Did you see that!!” What a great game. What a great team.
I had forgotten about the “timeout” called during the play which allowed the clock to be reset to 13 seconds instead of the 8 that was actually left in the game. They also added 1 second after Southern Cal’s play after the “timeout”. But we overcame.
I like this question. I’ll break it down to four eras of Utah football in my lifetime: the '80s (when Utah sucked, but there were still some good moments here and there), McBride, Urban and Whit pre-PAC-12, and PAC-12. I’ll pick something a little obvious and something outside the box for each.
Utah 57 BYU 28, 1988. Growing up as a Utah fan in the '80s was rough. Save a few decent seasons, Utah wasn’t good; sometimes they were awful ('86, '87, '89 especially). To coincide with Utah’s poor play, rival BYU was dominating the rivalry and the conference. But after nine consecutive losses to the Zoobs, Utah rose up on a crisp late-November day and pummeled BYU. Utah forced eight turnovers and had a fabulous day from Scott Mitchell and Eddie Johnson. For those of us who suffered through a decade of losses and heckling from BYU fans, the win was magical. My dad shot off bottle rockets after the winning, ticking off the BYU-fan neighbors.
Utah 31 Wisconsin 28, 1987
Wisconsin was pretty bad pre-Barry Alvarez. Still, a middling WAC team winning on the road on a last-second field goal in Big 10 country was pretty cool. I was playing in a soccer game at the time. My dad was the coach, but he was listening to the end of the game on the radio WHILE HE WAS COACHING. He gave me an excited thumbs-up when Scott Leiber’s field goal went through the uprights.
Utah 34 BYU 31, 1993
The win in '88 was amazing, but BYU blew Utah out the next three years and won a fourth in a row in 1992 by nine points (though it was 31-0 in the fourth quarter before Utah scored 22 in a row). This win changed the rivalry forever. Chris Yergensen’s 55-yard field goal was one of the most significant plays in Ute history in the 20th century. Crazily, Yergensen had missed two short field goals and an extra point earlier in the game.
Utah 22 Air Force 21, 1995
Down 21-7 with a minute to go. You’ve done nothing all day with the ball. Game’s over. Not quite. Utah scored a late TD, coverted the onside kick, and scored on a long pass on the next play to make it 21-20. This was pre-overtime, so McBride could have gone for the tie. Instead, Utah went for two and got it to go up 22-21. Utah actually scored another TD on an INT return on the final play, but it was called back for holding during the runback.
Utah 31 Alabama 17, 2009 Sugar Bowl. This has to be the greatest win in Ute history, right? Capped a perfect 13-0 season and played a huge factor in Utah eventually getting a P5 invite. It had been a historic season, but I wasn’t sure Utah would be able to pull this one out. Say what you want about how much Alabama wanted to be there, what guys they were missing, etc., Utah was ready. The first quarter was the most prepared I have ever seen Utah for a game.
Utah 68 Iowa St. 27, 2010. The Utes and Cyclones will soon be conference mates. The previous meeting was an offensive and special teams explosion for Utah. The Utes had big play after big play, including a 100-yard kickoff return from Reggie Dunn, a long punt return by Shaky Smithson (that almost scored), and TD passes to and from Smithson.
Utah 47 USC 24, 2022. The regular-season meeting may have been more thrilling, but capturing the conference title again and denying USC a playoff spot was so satisfying. Remember, this one looked ugly early. USC was up 17-3 midway through the second quarter and had the ball around the Utah 35.
Utah 49 Cal 26, 2012. In an otherwise not-so-great season, Utah dominating a decent Cal team. Reggie Dunn had two 100-yard kickoff returns for TDs.
Mine was 2008 Oregon State. That game was extra special to me because our whole family was there to revel in it. I was a senior in high school. OSU had just beat #1 USC the week prior. Brian Johnson’s masterpiece drive for the touchdown and then two point conversion. The defense gets a huge stop. Johnson goes back to work again. Johnson gets us into range for a deep field goal.
There were a group of obnoxious Beaver fans behind us all night that were constantly yelling, “chomp, chomp, chomp.” After that second-to-last play. They start yelling, “Right there! That will do it.” My uncle turns around to them and says, “Haven’t you ever heard of Louie Sakoda?” They said, “Louie who?” At that very moment, like out of a Hollywood movie, the whole crowd begins chanting, “Louie! Louie!” Sakoda runs out on the field, kicks the kick, the Utes win the game and the rest is history. My uncle turned back around to the stunned OSU fans, and says "That’s Louie Sakoda!**
Bonus. Joe Beninati with the play by play. Bullseye!!