Utah kicker Bryan Borreson celebrates his field goal during the second quarter against Brigham Young. Utah won 3-0 to clinch the Mountain West Conference title.
Nov 22, 2003
By DOUG ALDEN
AP Sports Writer
PROVO, Utah (AP) - Bryan Borreson kicked a 41-yard field goal and Utah became the first team to shut out Brigham Young in 28 years with a 3-0 victory Saturday, clinching the Mountain West Conference title for the Utes.
The Cougars (4-8, 3-4), who finished with back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1970-71, had not been shut out since losing at Arizona State 20-0 on Sept. 27, 1975 - before any player on the BYU roster was born.
In cold, blustery conditions and periodic snow, the Cougars struggled to move the ball all afternoon and finished with just 156 yards of offense.
The Utes (9-2, 6-1) didn't fare a whole lot better, but 220 yards, Borreson's field goal in the second quarter and a 13 minute, 44 second advantage in time of possession were enough for Utah to win its first outright title since taking the Skyline Conference in 1957.
Utah had the ball at the BYU 10 in the closing seconds after a fumbled punt return, but just downed the ball. The Utes shook hands with the Cougars, then ran to the northwest corner of the end zone and joined the red-clad fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium for the Utah fight song that lasted several minutes.
The Cougars hadn't been shut out in Provo since losing to UTEP 17-0 in September 1970. The closest they came to scoring was Matt Payne's 51-yard field-goal attempt that went wide right late in the second quarter.
The weather was a factor as the state rivalry was decided for the seventh straight season by a touchdown or less. It was the lowest scoring game in the series since a 6-6 tie in 1941. Blowing snow cut visibility significantly in the first half, but even after the sun came out in the third quarter, the defenses still prevailed.
Brandon Warfield returned for Utah after missing two games with a knee
injury and ran for 50 yards on 18 carries.
Alex Smith was 11 of 19 for 113 yards with an interception and ran 23 times for 55 yards.
Tafui Vakapuna led BYU with 56 yards on seven carries. Matt Berry was 1-of-5 for 5 yards before leaving with an elbow injury and backup Jackson Brown was 3-of-9 for 36 yards and ran 10 times for 21 yards.