3:00 PM ET, November 23, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah running back Brandon Warfield may have been exhausted, but his coach really needed him.
"I'm tired, Coach,'' he told Utah coach Ron McBride on the sideline in the fourth quarter.
"It's no time to be tired. You've got to finish this game for me,'' McBride said.
Warfield finished the game, and finished big with 194 yards -- the most ever for a Utah rusher against BYU. And he scored the game's only touchdown as the Utes defeated the Cougars 13-6, ensuring BYU's first losing season in 29 years.
Warfield carried the ball 40 times, the second-most in Utah history, in an effort to save his coach's job.
"We were playing for coach. We finished the game strong and we finished the season strong,'' Warfield said as the Utes won their third straight game.
McBride, in his 13th season, has coached Utah to six bowl games since 1992 but came under fire when Utah -- the preseason Mountain West Conference favorites -- were mired in a six-game midseason losing streak.
"This is the only place I want to coach. If they get rid of me now, this was a great way to go out,'' he said.
Utah (5-6, 3-4 Mountain West) controlled the ball throughout the game, but a missed field goal with 2:09 left gave the Cougars (5-7, 2-5) a final chance.
Quarterback Bret Engemann, the former starter who was forced back into action after Matt Berry and Lance Pendleton were injured, moved the Cougars into Utah territory before Josh Savage sacked Engemann on fourth down to seal the victory.
"Every year is different. We just didn't make the plays we made last year,'' BYU coach Gary Crowton said.
BYU hasn't had a losing season since 1973, when it went 5-6 in coach LaVell Edwards' second season.
Warfield's 194 yards rushing were the most ever by a player in the series. BYU finished with minus-2 yards on the ground.
"I told them we needed to take the game over physically,'' McBride said, recounting his halftime speech when Utah trailed 6-0. "Then we started dominating the line of scrimmage in the second half.''
Utah stopped two BYU drives in the fourth quarter with turnovers. Brooks Bahr recovered a missed handoff from Berry, who was hurt in the scramble for the loose ball, at the Utah 10.
On the Cougars' next drive, Sheldon Deckart intercepted backup Pendleton, leading to Bryan Borreson's 22-yard field goal and a 13-6 advantage with 7:09 left.
"We never let up on defense today. We stayed in their faces the whole game,'' Deckart said.
BYU got two field goals by Matt Payne but lost a fumble at the Utah goal line with 1:22 left before halftime.
With the victory, Utah won the Beehive Boot, which is awarded to the Utah team with the best record in in-state games.
It was the 79th meeting between the rivals since 1922. Utah leads the series 46-28-4, though BYU had won three straight in Salt Lake City.
"I don't have words to describe how I am feeling right now. We gave Coach Mac extra effort and we controlled the game,'' Utah safety Antwoine Sanders said.
McBride, who is 6-7 against BYU, has helped make the rivalry competitive again after the Cougars had won 10 of 11 against Utah.
Utah fans stormed the field, tore down the goal posts, and carried McBride around the field, chanting, "Keep Coach Mac!''
"It's been tough throughout the season, but this is awesome. It doesn't get better than this right here,'' McBride said.
"We got a lot of support from my ex-players. My players, now and then, are my family,'' he said. "They shouldn't break this family up.''