The Holy War

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The Holy War

Mason Thomas, Sports Editor

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One of the biggest rivalries in College Football is between University of Utah and Brigham Young University, or rather, as the fans know it, the “Holy War”. Although these teams have been playing since 1896, at first it wasn’t considered a big rivalry because Utah always shut out the Cougars by multiple points for the first 40 years. Finally BYU got their first victory over the Utes in 1942 but they didn’t play for 3 years because of WWII. They then proceeded to beat Utah for nearly 6 years when it started going back forth. To this day Utah holds a winning streak of 8 years.


These games are known to always come down to the wire. For the past 10 years, the games have been decided by less than a touchdown. For example, last year when the BYU cougars came to Salt Lake, Utah had a touchdown lead coming into the 4th quarter. With 2 minutes left BYU scored, threatening the Utes’ winning streak against them. Instead of going for the extra point and tying the game they went for the two point conversion and sadly was short of the goal line. Utah ended up winning the game 20-19.   


Not only do these two teams hate each other, but the fans as well. There have been multiple times where these fans have gotten in a fight because of their hatred they have for the other team. From the night before Kickoff when Utah fans painted the famous statue of a Cougar red with some Utah symbols on it, to 1999 when these two teams met at BYU and, during the end of the game, a fan jumped out of the crowd and tackled one of the cheerleaders.

Utah came into this game after defeating North Dakota 37-16 and becoming 1-0, although BYU came into this game having a bad loss to LSU 27-0 making them 1-1.


The first half was dominated by the Utes as the BYU fans then began to go silent and think that the cougars couldn’t overcome the 9-0 deficit. 1 minute into the 3rd, Utah raised the score by getting another touchdown, making it 16-0.  


The hopes for BYU raised when their running back, Ula Tolutau, ran in the endzone to put their first 6 points on the board but, they went for the two point conversion and they did not end up getting it. The Utes proceeded to kick a field goal  and make it 19-6. With three minutes to go BYU scored again and this time they went for the extra point, which made it 19-13.


They then stopped Utah on their drive and forced them to punt the ball with 1 minute remaining.


Sadly, Utah stopped them in their own territory and created a turnover which ended the game with the final score being 19-13.


Every year this matchup is the highlight for most BYU and Utah fans and people are already counting down the days till they play again.

Holy war

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