3:00 PM ET, November 22, 2003
LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
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 second quarter.
"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 happen."
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 prevailed.
"Players win championships, not coaches," Utah defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham said. "These players won themselves a championship."
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.