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BYU sunday morning quarterback: Stars and stats from the Cougars' heartbreaking loss to the Utes

In a game in which neither team could get out of their own way, the Cougars fell to the rival Utah Utes 20-19 in Salt Lake City on Saturday night.

After putting together the best drive of the night to close within one in the final seconds, BYU failed on a two-point conversion that would have secured the victory.

Scoring recap

Utah got on the board on the first play from scrimmage when Sunia Tauteoli intercepted a Taysom Hill pass and returned it 41 yards for the 7-0 Utah lead.

BYU answered back as Francis Bernard forced a Raelon Singleton fumble on Utah's next play from scrimmage. The Cougars capitalized on the great defensive play with a 43-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3.

After the Cougars forced another fumble, BYU cut the margin to 7-6 on a 42-yard Oldroyd field goal.

Following a Kai Nacua interception that kept the Utes' offense off the scoreboard, The BYU offense finally found some traction, marching 80 yards in five plays for its first touchdown on the night. On a drive that saw the Cougar get three big plays, it was a 35-yard run from Hill that found the end zone.

The Utes responded in the closing seconds of the first half when Troy Williams connected with Tim Patrick for a 21-yard touchdown. Running back Troy McCormick made his presence felt on the drive with a pair of double-digit runs.

The Utes added to their lead when Andy Phillips drilled a 47-yard field goal. The score was set up by a 39-yard pass from Williams to Patrick.

Utah tacked on another field goal to take a 20-13 lead after marching 78 yards in 11:21. The Utes converted on four third downs on the drive to keep the chains moving, including one on a penalty, two on runs and the fourth on a 10-yard completion to Singleton.

BYU came right back with the touchdown drive of its own to cut the lead to one when Hill found a lane and raced to the end zone from 7 yards out. One of the big plays on the possession came when Hill found Jonah Trinnaman for an 18-yard reception.

Three stars

3. Mitchell Juergens

Juergens led the Cougars with eight catches for 52 yards and added a 9-yard completion to Corbin Kaufusi on a fake field goal to give BYU a first down.

2. Francis Bernard

Bernard's transition to the defense has been rather seemless as he came away with another big outing in the loss. He recorded eight tackles to go along with an interception and a forced fumble.

1. Kai Nacua

Nacua intercepted two Troy Williams passes, recovered a fumble and totaled two tackles before he was ejected because of a targeting penalty.

Analyzing the stats

It was the first time in nearly nine years that the Cougars have forced an opponent into six turnovers. The last time it happened came early in the 2008 season when the Wyoming Cowboys coughed it up six times. The Cougars won that game 44-0.

While the Cougars won the turnover battle, they didn't win much else. Utah won the time of possession (33:04 to 26:56), passing yards (194-185), rushing yards (169-143), total yards (363-328), and third-down conversion percentage (50-35.7).

The 2016 version of the rivalry was the seventh time the matchup was decided by a point. BYU is 0-7 in those games with the last time coming in 2010 when the Utes won 17-16.

The loss makes it six consecutive defeats at the hands of the Utes. That hadn't happened since between 1959 and 1964 when the teams were conference rivals in the Skyline and the WAC.

Up next

The Cougars finally make their first appearance in LaVell Edwards Stadium on the season as UCLA comes to town.

The Bruins are 1-1 on the year with an opening week loss to Texas A&M and a 42-21 win over UNLV.

The UCLA offense is led by sophomore signal caller Josh Rosen, who has already thrown for 610 yards in his two games. His favorite targets so far are Kenneth Walker III, who has seven receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown and Eldridge Massington, who has seven catches for 76 yards.

The rushing attack is paced by Soso Jamabo, who has 181 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries. He is also a solid threat as a receiver out of the backfield with six catches for 63 yards.

One player to watch on the defensive side of the ball is junior linebacker Kenny Young, who is tied for the team lead with 14 tackles while recording the team's only sack and forced fumble.

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.