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Anything can happen in the Utah-BYU rivalry

Published November 16, 2005 1:05 am

Advantages of playing at home haven't been an issue
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As the coach of the Utes, Ron McBride didn't set a goal of measuring his success by wins or losses or how many bowl games in which Utah played.

For his early years, there was just one benchmark he wanted - beat BYU, at BYU.

"It would really mean something," McBride said.

On Nov. 20, 1993, four years into his stint as the Utes' head coach, McBride got his win, 34-31. It was Utah's first victory in Provo since 1971, and it remains as one of McBride's greatest wins as the Utes' coach.

"That was the one that made it a rivalry again," said longtime Utah announcer Bill Marcroft. "He was there before, through the horrible times when BYU would run up the score to get national attention. To get that win and silence the crowd was great."

That win, unclaimed until the last minute when Utah's Chris Yergensen kicked a 55-yard field goal, marked several turning points in the Utah-BYU rivalry. It ended BYU's four-game winning streak against the Utes, proved the Utes could win in Provo, and, in a way, marked the end of much advantage for the home team.

After 22 years passed without a win in Provo, the Utes have since gone 5-1 on the Cougars' field, starting with the 1993 victory. The teams are 3-3 on Utah's field in the same time frame.

"Before, it was just a matter of us showing up and going home, that was all there was to it," McBride said. "To see their stadium go quiet, and to see all the Utah fans hanging on the goal posts, that was a sight to see."

The Utah-BYU rivalry, so different from many because of its religious ties, is the same as others when it comes to winning on your rival's field. There is nothing like saying, "We own you, and your field too."

Utes-Cougars History

PAST 15 MEETINGS

Nov. 17, 1990 BYU won, 45-22 (at Utah)

Nov. 23, 1991 BYU won, 48-17 (at BYU)

Nov. 21, 1992 BYU won, 31-22 (at Utah)

Nov. 20, 1993 Utah won, 34-31 (at BYU)

Nov. 19, 1994 Utah won, 34-31 (at Utah)

Nov. 18, 1995 Utah won, 34-17 (at BYU)

Nov. 23, 1996 BYU won, 37-17 (at Utah)

Nov. 22, 1997 Utah won, 20-14 (at BYU)

Nov. 21, 1998 BYU won, 26-24 (at Utah)

Nov. 20, 1999 Utah won, 20-17 (at BYU)

Nov. 24, 2000 BYU won, 34-27 (at Utah)

Nov. 17, 2001 BYU won, 24-21 (at BYU)

Nov. 23, 2002 Utah won, 13-6 (at Utah)

Nov. 22, 2003 Utah won, 3-0 (at BYU)

Nov. 20, 2004 Utah won, 52-21 (at Utah)