By KEITH JENSEN
BYU accepted the Deseret First Duel trophy for the third time in four years on Tuesday in the annual competition against rival University of Utah.
In 2007, BYU, the University of Utah and Deseret First Credit Union partnered to create the Deseret First Duel, which has created a scoring system between the two schools with the purpose of enhancing their rivalry.
The annual competition allocates points according to wins within the rivalry in 12 respective sports ranging from football to tennis. The school that wins has its name permanently engraved on large granite monuments located at both universities.
The Cougars rallied late in the year to beat Utah by a score of 35 to 23. Not surprisingly, the Cougars racked up the majority of its points during basketball season, with 20 of its 35 points coming from men’s and women’s basketball wins over Utah.
BYU was a missed field goal away from beating Utah in football, which is worth 10 points in the Deseret First Duel scoring system.
BYU and Utah will continue the Deseret First Duel rivalry competition next year, but not as conference opponents. The Cougars announced their decision to become independent of conference affiliation in football and will join the West Coast Conference in most other sports, while the Utes will begin competition in the Pac-12 Conference this year.
BYU leaves the Mountain West Conference, which was formed in 1999, with 140 conference titles, almost as many as all conference opponents’ titles combined.