Video: Reviewing BYU and Boise State’s football history through popular movies

Taysom Hill runs against Boise State by .
BYU quarterback Taysom Hill runs for a touchdown against the Boise State defense during Thursday’s game at Bronco Stadium

BYU football enters Saturday’s home game with a 1–4 record all–time against Boise State. Examining each game in this series reveals a history of blowouts, one–point losses, offensive fireworks, crushing defenses and almost everything in between.

The following video review of this budding rivalry has been compiled for your entertainment purposes. And in honor of Boise State’s well–known affinity for gimmicks, why not make this entire article one big gimmick? I’ll attempt to relate each individual game to the top Box Office movie corresponding with that time.

Boise State 50 BYU 12 (Oct. 30, 2003)

Top Box OfficeScary Movie 3

There isn’t a whole lot to say here, other than Scary Movie” is a fitting title for how this game played out for the Cougars. Whether or not the game should be classified as “comedy” depends on your preferred shade of blue.

The only video evidence I could find that proves this game actually happened is a clip from this melodramatic John Beck career highlight video. In it, Beck scampers around a horde of linemen before he gets annihilated by a Bronco linebacker.

BYU 27 Boise State 28 (Sept. 24, 2004)


Top Box Office: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

I have no recollection of this movie, but I feel like it may have failed due in part to having been too much ahead of its time. In today’s world, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” sounds like the name of some obscure comic book series that Marvel could resurrect and turn into $170 million domestically. They were already half–way their by casting Gwyneth Paltrow.

BYU’s 2004 football team could also be described as a production that was still a few years away from achieving critical success. That roster featured future NFL players John Beck, Dan Coats, Austin Collie, John Denney, Aaron Francisco, Dennis Pitta, Brady Poppinga, and a whole plethora of other notable fan–favorites like Curtis Brown, Johnny Harline, Cameron Jensen, and Todd Watkins. Yet in spite of all their talent, the 2004 Cougars stumbled to a 5–6 record.

BYU 6 Boise State 7 (Sept. 20, 2012)


Top Box Office: Resident Evil: Retribution

I’ve never seen any of the Resident Evil movies, so I went to IMDB for a quick overview of Retribution. Thankfully, some guy named Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was able to fill me in on the details:

Alice awakes at home with her daughter Becky and her husband. But soon she realizes that she is actually in an Umbrella Corporation’s underground facility. Out of the blue, the computer security system shuts-down and Alice flees to the central control room of the facility. She meets Ada Wong, who works with Albert Wesker, and she learns that a five-man team has been sent by Wesker to rescue them. However, the Red Queen sends Jill Valentine and Rain to hunt them down.”—Claudio Carvalho

Now is it just me, or does that sound eerily similar to the plot summary of the BYU–Boise State game in 2012?

Riley Nelson awakes at the 38-yard line, driving the football with top receivers Cody Hoffman and J.D. Falslev. But soon he realizes that he is actually about to produce a touchdown for the opposing Boise State Broncos. On the blue turf, the Bronco’s defensive unit shuts down Nelson’s pass by intercepting it and Riley flees to try and tackle the defender at the goal line. He later meets Brandon Doman, who works with Bronco Mendenhall, and he learns that a one-man team of Taysom Hill has been sent by Mendenhall to rescue them. However, Boise State’s head coach sends defensive tackle Michael Atkinson and linebacker J.C. Percy to hunt them down on the deciding two-point conversion attempt. 

Oct. 25, 2013: Boise State 20 BYU 37


Top Box Office: Gravity 

Boise State had already reached unbelievable heights by having never lost to BYU prior to 2013. But what goes up must come down, right? Taysom Hill appeared to have no earthly limits in the Cougars 37–20 thrashing of the Broncos. Boise State’s four turnovers helped out the cause as well.

Oct. 24, 2014: BYU 30 Boise State 55


Top Box Office: Fury

The movie trailer for Fury starts with a dramatic Brad Pitt voiceover. “If you think it can’t get worse, it can. And it will,” Pitt says. That’s a pretty accurate statement for BYU football following Taysom Hill’s season–upending injury against Utah State in 2014. It’s almost as if Pitt’s “experienced commander of a war–depleted military unit” character could represent Bronco Mendenhall. Not that college football compares to World War II, but in that both Pitt and Mendenhall appeared to be in situations where they had to make due with limited resources.

I could imagine some sort of Stewart and Bronco conversation paralleling the dialogue beginning at the 0:30 mark of the Fury trailer.

(Stewart enters scene and approaches Mendenhall).

Stewart: “Coach Mendenhall! I’m you’re new starting quarterback.”

(Mendenhall stops and looks down at Stewart, shakes head).

Mendenhall: “Elite 11 Quarterback Camp?”

(Stewart shakes head no).

(Mendenhall grimaces while slowly running his hand back through his hair).

Mendenhall: “That’s home.”

(Mendenhall points to football stadium).

Stewart: “I’ve never even started in an FBS football game.”

(Mendenhall tosses Stewart a football).

Mendenhall: “You will.”

And you know what, Stewart performed admirably down the stretch for the Cougars. Against Boise State he threw for 259 yards and had two total touchdowns. The problem was BYU’s defense giving up 637 yards of total offense, leading to a 25–point blowout.

Boise State vs. BYU: Sept. 12, 2015

Like last year’s game, BYU will be forced to start their second–string quarterback, this time in freshman Tanner Mangum. Boise State played well defensively against Washington in their first game, but only managed 16 points in a narrow win. The Cougars’ win against Nebraska should give fans in Provo enough reason to turn out and make it an electric atmosphere at LaVell Edward’s Stadium.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what this week’s top grossing movie has been, it’s something called, “War Room.” You’re on your own on drawing game analogies there.



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