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BYU squeaks past Utah

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BYU 33, Utah 31

SALT LAKE CITY — John Beck scrambled away from trouble and threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jonny Harline with no time remaining to rally No. 21 Brigham Young to a 33-31 win over Utah, ending the Utes' four-year run in the state rivalry.

With 3.2 seconds left, Beck rolled to his left and was still scrambling to find an open receiver well after time expired. Beck reversed to his right, then threw a pass across his body to Harline, who tucked the ball into his chest while on his knees.

The Cougars (10-2, 8-0) erupted in celebration, but needed to take a knee on the point-after attempt to officially end the game.

Utah (7-5, 5-3) had just taken a 31-27 lead on Brett Ratliff's 19-yard pass to Brent Casteel with 1:19 left, but Beck led BYU on a 75-yard drive to win it.

Beck threw an incompletion on the final play of Utah's overtime win last year in Provo, but this time he saved the game and completed BYU's Mountain West championship with an unbeaten league record.

Beck was 28-for-43 for 375 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Harline.

Ratliff was 24-for-39 for 358 yards and three touchdowns and neither quarterback threw an interception as the rivalry heated up in the second half with five penalties, including four personal fouls and two crucial pass interference calls.

After BYU took a 14-0 lead in a dominant first quarter, the Utes held the Cougars to minus-12 yards in the second and scored the next 24 points. The Cougars rallied from a 24-14 deficit and took advantage of two pass interference calls to retake the lake.

One of the penalties gave BYU a first down after a third-and-24 and the Cougars scored on a 5-yard pass to Harline with 13:15 left in the game. The Utes blocked the extra point and led 24-20.

Another interference call on third-and-goal from the 10 led to Beck's 2-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Coats, putting BYU up 27-24 with 3:23 left.

Utah still had plenty of time and Ratliff led the Utes 83 yards for what looked like it would be the winning touchdown. Ratliff ran for six yards on fourth-and-2 from the Utah 25 with 2:20 left, then on first down found Casteel over the middle for a 37-yard gain.

From the BYU 19, Casteel caught a slant pass over the middle and had blockers lined up all the way to the end zone.

But the Cougars still had time and Beck went 6-for-9 on the final drive, not counting one play when he spiked the ball to stop the clock.

Utah outgained BYU 474 yards to 429 despite gaining just 30 yards in the opening quarter.

Louie Sakoda had a 24-yard field goal and ran a fake punt 18 yards to set up Utah's first touchdown, an 18-yard pass from defensive back Eric Weddle to Casteel that cut the lead to 14-7 in the second quarter. Ratliff added a 57-yard touchdown pass to Marquis Wilson and a 4-yard scoring pass to Colt Sampson in the third, giving Utah the 24-14 lead.