Sat. Dec 14, 2013, BYU men’s basketball (8-3) will look to make it eight straight wins against the University of Utah (8-1) at the Huntsman Center in this year’s Deseret Duel.
The Cougars have beat the Utes 11 out of the last 12 meetings. However, this year the Utes are considered a much better team and the Cougars will need to stay focused to make it eight straight wins.
The rivalry is only getting better and better as each year passes.
“Every game is a memorable game,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “The difference in the last couple of years is, you’re only going to get them one time. They’re only going to get us one time. These games stand alone. The Utah game stands alone. Everyone will ask, ‘What happened in 2014? What happened in 2010?’ That’s the feel now, that you’ve got one shot, and you’ve got to play your best.”
The Cougar players understand the expectations involved with the game.
“The win means a lot to us.They have a good team and we expect to have a good game,” BYU guard Matt Carlino said.
The cougars feel even in hostile territory it will be a great game.
“We are expecting them (Utah fans) to hate us, but we are not going to worry about that,” Sophomore guard Kyle Collinsworth said.
“It’s more fun when they are yelling at you and don’t like you” Carlino said.
BYU will look to keep the momentum from their win against Prairie View A&M going into the game Saturday night. The Utes like to play fast paced and if BYU is looking for the win they will need to force Utah into their pace.
“We love teams who want to run with us,” Junior guard Tyler Haws said. “We’re going to have to put 40 minutes together and play the right way to beat them.”
BYU is excepting a hard fought game just like last year and knows in order to beat the Utes it will need to put forth their best effort.
“Sometimes coaches and players feel that you’ve gotta put a perfect game together,” Rose said. “I just feel that our effort has to be perfect.”
With perfect effort BYU will look to beat Utah eight straight games for the first time in the series since 1912.