E-mail: [email protected] Over the past 84 years, there have been thousands of plays in the Utah-BYU football series, and the great ones number in the hundreds. While we couldn’t include all of them, here are 10 of the most memorable plays in the storied rivalry, starting with last year’s game. THE PASS (2005) Utah had blown a 21-point halftime lead and the Cougars appeared to have the edge heading into overtime of last year’s classic. The Utes lost the coin flip and had to go first in OT from the 25-yard line. They decided to go for it all on the first play and Brett Ratliff found a wide-open Travis LaTendresse over the middle and the senior receiver slid into the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winner. THE RUN (2001)For most of the game, Utah’s defense had bottled up the high-scoring and unbeaten Cougar squad. The Utes held a 21-10 into the middle of the fourth quarter and were looking for their fifth straight win in Provo. Then Brandon Doman and Luke Staley woke up. Doman hit Staley with a 7-yard pass to cut the lead to 21-17 with 3:22 left. When Utah couldn’t make a first down, the Cougars got the ball back and with 1:16 left, Staley took a pitch from Doman and raced 30 yards down the sideline for the game-winner. THE MIRACLE (2000) For all intents and purposes, it looked like LaVell Edwards’ final game at BYU was going to be a downer. His Cougars had blown a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter for the day-after Thanksgiving contest and all the momentum was on Utah’s side. The Cougars were facing a 4th-and-13 from their own 17-yard line. Just one more stop and the Utes would be celebrating an unlikely 27-26 victory. However, then came the play that started the miracle finish. Brandon Doman circled back in the pocket and flung a long pass to midfield where Jonathan Pittman hauled it in for a 39-yard gain. From there, the Cougars went down the field in three plays to give Edwards a satisfying 34-27 going-away present. THE HIT AND THE DOINK (1998) Ute fans will never forget Kautai Olevao’s head-on hit that flattened Ronnie Jenkins early in the game. However, BYU fans will never forget the more significant play at the end when Ryan Kaneshiro’s 32-yard field goal attempt doinked off the right upright, preserving a 27-26 BYU victory. THE RETURN (1994) After losing their two previous games following eight straight wins, the Utes appeared headed to another defeat when BYU quarterback John Walsh put his team up 31-27 with 2:15 left with his fourth touchdown pass of the day. However, Utah’s Cal Beck took the ensuing kickoff at the 1 and after running into a teammate at the 25, broke to the outside and ran down the sideline in front of the Cougar bench. Just past midfield he lost his balance and staggered, before being run out of bounds at the 32 for a 67-yard return. Three plays later, Mike McCoy hit Charlie Brown for the touchdown that made it 34-31 for the second straight year. THE KICK (1993) Chris Yergensen’s unlikely 55-yard field goal may have been the turning point in the longtime rivalry. Before this game, the Cougars had won 19 of 21 of the previous Ute-Cougar games. Not only had Yergensen already missed field goals from 35 and 37 yards, he had also missed a PAT, banging it off the upright earlier in the quarter. So there was no reason to think Yergensen had any chance of making a 55-yarder with the score tied 31-31. But the ball curved left and cleared the bar by a good 10 feet. People forget that Yergensen’s kick came with 25 seconds left, meaning if he missed, BYU would have taken over at its 37-yard line with enough time to get in position for its own game-winning field goal. THE BOMB (1991) Less than five minutes into the game, BYU found itself in a big hole. After a fumbled kickoff and an interception, the Cougs were down 10-0 just like that. A sack left the Cougars on their own 3-yard line and it looked like a long day might be in store. But standing in his end zone, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer found Eric Drage on the right sideline and Drage outran the Ute secondary for a 97-yard touchdown. The longest play from scrimmage in the long rivalry catapulted the Cougars to what turned out to be an easy 48-17 victory. THE PICKOFF (1988) The Cougars were big favorites against a Ute defense that ranked 96th in the nation. But while quarterback Scott Mitchell and running back Eddie Johnson had field days against BYU, it was Sam Tausinga’s second-quarter interception that propelled the Utes to their shocking 57-28 victory. The 270-pound defensive lineman pressured Sean Covey and picked off his wounded duck, lumbering 17 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0 and essentially burying the Cougars. THE COMEBACK (1978) Utah hadn’t beaten BYU in seven years and wasn’t expected to win this one, especially after the Utes fell behind 16-0 at halftime. But they clawed back in the second half and on 4th-and-15 from the 19, Randy Gomez hit Frank Henry with less than three minutes left to give the Utes a 23-22 victory over the Jim McMahon-led Cougars. THE MISS (1953) The Cougars had won only one of the previous 28 meetings between the two rivals and were five-touchdown underdogs in the nationally televised game on Thanksgiving Day. The 2-6-1 Cougars hung with the Utes all day and after Phil Oyler caught a 32-yard pass with less than two minutes left, the Cougars had a chance for a tie and a moral victory of sorts. Alas, on the PAT try, the ball dribbled out from the center and BYU never got a potential tying kick off.