First things first: for the second year in a row, Matt Gibb of LaPaube has won the BYU-Utah prediction contest. He guessed a score of BYU 27, Utah 24, only two total points off the final score of 26-23, BYU. Amy of Amy's Thoughts on Life was close with a guess of 24-21, but her prediction was four total points off the correct answer. Better luck next year, Amy!
Mr. Gibb appears to have the benefit of dark powers in making sporting predictions. I hope he is using them for good and not for evil.
In other news, BYU won on Saturday. I was at the game, and I can only say that it reminds me of the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl against UCLA. Yeah, the Ugly Choke Job Salvaged by Miracle game. Max Hall was flat bad for much of the night, though at least he threw passes away instead of forcing them into coverage. I mean, I guess that's a positive. I'd have preferred he complete more than a third of his passes, but Hall is what he is. A good quarterback with an average skill set, and a quarterback who was clearly owned by Utah, two victories against them notwithstanding.
Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn will be a good one, and for a while, it looked like he'd be unstoppable, completing eight straight passes to start the game. Then he got rocked by BYU linebacker Jordan Pendleton and he was never the same. If he completes just one of those long passes to Ute receivers wide open down the sideline, it's a completely different game. Thank goodness he went 0-fer on those.
The BYU defense played as well as could be expected, however. Very few missed tackles, good coverage on screen passes and throws into the flat. I don't blame them for the Utah drive that gave them a field goal to tie it up at the end of regulation; the offense was completely unable to get a first down for their last several drives, and eventually, something had to give.
And in overtime, they held Utah to a field goal. Again, as much as I expected from them. In the end, Hall found Andrew George over the middle, two Utah defenders bounced off each other (see above) and the rest is history.
I'll take it. Especially against Utah.
I am glad George got his moment in the spotlight. I am convinced that at most other schools, he'd be the featured tight end and get a lot of recognition for his good hands and good size. But at BYU, he had to play under Dennis Pitta's shadow the vast majority of the time, and he never complained about it. I hope he gets drafted this summer and has a chance to prove himself in the NFL. Just a great guy and I'm glad he's a Cougar.
Now on to a fifth-straight Vegas Bowl trip against a middling PAC-10 opponent that the Y will struggle against. Woohoo!