PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Utah's celebration after beating rival
Brigham Young lasted a little longer than usual.
After becoming the first team to shut out the Cougars in 28
years and clinching Utah's first outright conference title since
1957, the Utes mingled with red-clad fans in the northwest corner
of LaVell Edward Stadium and savored the 3-0 victory.
The Cougars (4-8, 3-4), who finished with back-to-back losing
seasons for the first time since 1970-71, had not been shut out
since losing at Arizona State 20-0 on Sept. 27, 1975 -- an
NCAA-record span of 361 games.
"To do it against BYU is just great. Gosh, I just can't say
enough," said Utah strong safety Dave Revill, who had one of two
interceptions for the Utes (9-2, 6-1). "We put it up on the board
as a goal and we did it."
In cold, blustery conditions and periodic snow, the Cougars
struggled to move the ball all afternoon and finished with just 156
yards of offense.
The Utes didn't fare a whole lot better, but 220 yards, Bryan
Borreson's field goal in the second quarter and a 13:44 advantage
in time of possession were enough for Utah to win its first
outright title since taking the Skyline Conference in 1957.
And to do it by ending the Cougars shutout streak just made it
better for the Utes.
"The streak is a tough one to lose because that's been a
wonderful thing at BYU," Cougars coach Gary Crowton said.
The Cougars hadn't been shut out in Provo since losing to UTEP
17-0 in September 1970. The closest they came to scoring was Matt
Payne's 51-yard field-goal attempt that went wide right late in the
"It's real frustrating," BYU linebacker Mike Tanner said. "I
don't know if I've ever been a part of a team or game when I've
seen a score (end) 3-0. I envisioned a 7-3 victory. It didn't
With the win, the Utes clinched a berth in the Liberty Bowl as
the MWC champion.
"Last spring, I couldn't believe it if you said that,"
first-year coach Urban Meyer said of winning the conference title.
"But after knowing these guys, absolutely. This has to go down as
one of the great moments I've ever had."
Utah had the ball at the BYU 10 in the closing seconds after a
fumbled punt return, but just downed the ball before celebrating
their first outright conference title in 46 years.
"It isn't going to be that long before we do it again. This
place deserves that," Meyer said.
The weather was a factor as the state rivalry was decided for
the seventh straight season by a touchdown or less. It was the
lowest scoring game in the series since a 6-6 tie in 1941. Blowing
snow cut visibility significantly in the first half, but even after
the sun came out in the third quarter, the defenses still
"Players win championships, not coaches," Utah defensive
coordinator Kyle Whittingham said. "These players won themselves a
Brandon Warfield returned for Utah after missing two games with
a knee injury and ran for 50 yards on 18 carries.
Alex Smith was 11 of 19 for 113 yards with an interception and
ran 23 times for 55 yards.
Tafui Vakapuna led BYU with 56 yards on seven carries. Matt
Berry was 1-of-5 for 5 yards before leaving with an elbow injury
and backup Jackson Brown was 3-of-9 for 36 yards and ran 10 times
for 21 yards.