PROVO — BYU sophomore receiver Austin Collie, a key player in BYU's 17-10 win over Utah on Saturday, appeared angry and surprised that his comments after the game caused a furor over the weekend.
Collie, who was on an LDS mission in Argentina at this time last year, was asked in a one-on-one interview after Saturday's game by KFAN radio reporter Pat Kinahan if his stunning catch of a 49-yard pass from quarterback Max Hall was a matter of breaks evening out luck in a game. Earlier, Collie's 67-yard TD catch was taken away by a penalty.
Collie told Kinahan: "I wouldn't say it was lucky. We executed the play well. We should have had another one (TD). Obviously, if you do what's right on and off the field, I think the Lord steps in and plays a part in it. Magic happens."
Within an hour, Collie's comments were a hot topic on the airwaves, became the opening and closing lines of KUTV's evening sports broadcast, and drew commentary from radio hosts and listeners on several sports talk shows and the Internet on Monday.
After Monday's practice, Collie said he took exception to people who read more into his comments.
Deseret Morning News columnist Mike Sorensen, quoting the Collie comment on Monday, postulated, "That implies a higher power favors one team over another and that his team is favored for being more righteous."
Collie said such implications are off base.
"I just think it's absolutely ridiculous that people take something like that and blow it up. I really think it's because I'm a Mormon white kid from Brigham Young University. Anybody else says that from any other team and it's just 'how spiritual that guy is.'"
Collie reaffirmed his believe and faith, God blesses his children who try their best — regardless of where they are from. After the Tulsa game, Collie spent a month rehabbing a severely sprained ankle and missed several games.
"It's true. You can see that around the world, God cares about his children and that he's going to bless them whether it's on the football field or any other areas of their lives. I think if you're doing the things you should do on and off the field, things are going to come together for you."
"To tell you I got here on my own and that the Lord hasn't had a hand in my success and our team's success and every other athlete's success in this world is just B.S., because he's had a hand in every person's life."
When asked how he felt about the commotion his quote has caused, Collie, a freshman All-American before leaving for his mission three years ago, replied, "People need to get a life. It's just ridiculous. People have to get a life, that's all."