BYU tight end Andrew George (88) is taken down by Utah defensive backs Steve Tate (28) and Robert Johnson (17) during the first quarter. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Nov. 24, 2007
PROVO, Utah (AP) -Harvey Unga ran 11 yards for a touchdown with 38 seconds left as No. 23 BYU rallied to beat Utah 17-10 Saturday, winning the state rivalry for the second straight year and clinching a second consecutive outright conference title.
The Cougars (9-2, 7-0 Mountain West) converted on fourth-and-18 with 1:05 remaining to keep the final drive going, then got 30 yards on a personal foul and a pass interference calls against Utah.
Unga, who ran for 141 yards, scored on a run up the middle and Max Hall threw to Austin Collie for the 2-point conversion, which put BYU up by a touchdown 56 seconds after Darrell Mack had given Utah its first lead with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Utes (8-4, 5-3) had the Cougars down to one final play from the BYU 12, but Hall avoided getting sacked and found Collie all alone for a 49-yard pass that saved BYU.
Utah had a final chance to tie it, but the Cougars knocked down Brian Johnson's pass in the end zone and the BYU fans rushed the field to celebrate the Cougars' first back-to-back wins over Utah since 2000-2001.
BYU won its 15th straight Mountain West game and can clinch a second straight unbeaten season in the league next week at San Diego State. The Cougars also won for the 12th straight time at home, where they haven't lost since the Utah game two years ago.
Mitch Payne kicked three field goals for BYU, which shut down Utah's offense until Johnson led a 69-yard drive that put the Utes ahead on Mack's run with 1:34 left to play. Utah converted four times on third down during the drive, after going 1-for-10 in the first three quarters.
But the Cougars, who won last year's game on John Beck's 11-yard pass to Jonny Harline as time expired, rallied again.
After Hall's pass to Collie set up BYU at the Utah 39, Robert Johnson was called for a personal foul for hitting Dennis Pitta on an incompletion at the sideline. The Cougars got another 15 yards when R.J. Stanford was called for pass interference on Michael Reed with 49 seconds left to play.
Johnson finished 17-for-29 for 129 yards and two interceptions for the Utes, who had only 50 yards of offense at halftime and 125 at the end of the third period.