The 2011 home schedule for the BYU football team got off to a rough start on Saturday, as the Cougars fell to rival Utah, 54-10. While there were a few scattered bright spots, it was a forgettable night for the BYU squad.
The 44-point loss was the most lopsided in the Bronco Mendenhall era by almost two touchdowns. The last time Losthe Cougars fell by that large of a margin was in 2002 at Air Force (52-9), and it was the largest margin of victory for Utah over BYU since 1922, when the Utes won 49-0.
Case of the dropsies
Of BYU’s six fumbles, all six were recovered by the Utes. The fumbles included three from quarterbacks (from Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson), two from running backs and one on special teams. Two quarterback fumbles were returned for touchdowns.
One bright spot for the offense was wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who had been held in check for most of the first two games. Hoffman had five catches for 98 yards in an active first quarter and ended the game with eight catches for 138 yards. In all, Cougar wide receivers combined to get 20 catches for 244 and a touchdown. Wide receiver Ross Apo remains responsible for all of BYU’s offensive touchdowns this season after Saturday’s touchdown grab.
Tight end futility
Since Andrew George caught the game-winning touchdown pass over Utah in 2009, BYU tight ends have not scored in 16 straight regular season games.
After sitting out against Texas, linebacker Brandon Ogeltree returned to the lineup and recorder seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
Home streaks snapped
Prior to Utah’s victory Saturday, the home team had won the last four games in the rivalry. The last time a road team won in the “Holy War” was in 2006, when tight end Jonny Harline famously caught a last-second touchdown pass from quarterback John Beck. BYU’s four-game home win streak dating back to last October against San Diego State was also snapped.
Red on blue
The Utes were allowed to wear their red uniforms usually reserved for home teams. This created an unusual scenario in which both teams wore their colors instead of the traditional white road jerseys.
Guests of honor
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency and Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorom of the Twelve attended Saturday night’s game. In October 2010, President Uchtdorf included a call to sportsmanship in his Priesthood Session General Conference talk.