clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

BYU-Utah all-rivalry team: Offensive edition

The rivalry between BYU and Utah is known for a lot of things. There have been great coaching matchups, close games and even plenty of trash talk. But none of it would make a difference if players didn't step up on the field and make the games into the classics that many of them have turned out to be. And believe me, there is no shortage of players who have come up big when needed the most.

Here is a look at the best-of-the-best of those players on the offense — the guys who stepped up in the biggest spots and had the best performances in one of the most heated and entertaining rivalries in college football.

Note: These teams are based solely on what the players did in the rivalry games that they played in. No other parts of their careers were taken into account.

Quarterback


Jim McMahon

Starter

Jim McMahon, BYU (1977-81)

McMahon had huge games against the Utes as a junior and a senior as the Cougars came away with a pair of big victories. His best showing came in 1981 when he threw for 565 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-point win.

Backups

Marc Wilson, BYU (1975-79)

Wilson was at the top of his game when he played the Utes. His best performance came in 1977 when he completed 26 of 41 passes for an NCAA single-game record 571 yards and five touchdowns.

Ty Detmer, BYU (1988-91)

The 1990 Heisman Trophy winner won three of his four games with the Utes while throwing for 1,425 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also did some damage with his legs as he collected a pair of rushing scores.

Best Utah option

Mike McCoy (1992-94)

McCoy had great success against the Cougars as he helped the Utes beat BYU in back-to-back years. His biggest statistical day came in the 34-31 win over the Cougars in 1993 when he completed 29 of 47 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns.

Running back


Starters

Lakei Heimuli, BYU, (1983-86)

Heimuli ran all over the Utes to help the Cougars win all four games while he was on the field. He rushed for more than 100 yards in his last three appearances in the rivalry game, including the 1985 outing where he totaled 164 yards and three touchdowns.

Del Rodgers

Del Rodgers, Utah (1978-81)

Rodgers had a ridiculous performance against the Cougars in 1981 even though BYU came out on top. He carried the ball 14 times for 173 yards while scoring all three of Utah's touchdowns. He also registered two catches for 13 yards and a two-point conversion on a pass from Tyce Ferguson.

Backups

Eddie Johnson, Utah (1984-88)

After three forgettable performances in three Utah losses, Johnson came out and had one of the best games of his career to help the Utes to a 57-28 win in 1988. In the 29-point victory, he carried the ball 26 times for 112 yards and four touchdowns. He was also a major threat in the passing game with two catches for 91 yards.

Allen Jacobs, Utah (1963-64)

Jacobs put his stamp on the rivalry in 1964 when he rushed for 115 yards and four touchdowns as the Utes ran past the Cougars 47-13.

Ronney Jenkins, BYU (1996, 1998)

Jenkins put up big numbers in both his games against the Utes as BYU came away with two wins. His best showing came in a 37-17 victory in 1996 when he totaled 156 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Curtis Brown, BYU (2002, 2004-06)

Brown had a performance to remember in the 2005 overtime loss in Provo as he accounted for 153 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to go along with seven receptions for 84 yards.

Brandon Warfield, Utah, (2002-03)

Warfield had a monumental performance against the Cougars in 2002 as he carried the ball 40 times for 194 yards and a third-quarter touchdown to give the Utes their first lead of the game in a 13-6 win.

Harvey Unga, BYU (2007-09)

Unga was nearly impossible to stop during his three matchups with Utah. He rushed for more than 100 yards in each game while finding paydirt four times.

John White IV, Utah, (2011-12)

White had one crack at the Cougars, and he made the best of it as he totaled 174 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 22 carries as the Utes hammered BYU in Provo 54-10.

Luke Staley, BYU, (1999-2001)

Staley had one big game against the Utes, but it was a memorable one. In the 24-21 come-from-behind victory in 2001, he carried the ball 17 times for 169 yards while catching three passes for another 28 yards. More important than the yards were the two fourth-quarter touchdowns and the two-point conversion he scored to keep the Cougars perfect on the season.

Wide receiver


Starters

Cody Hoffman, BYU (2010-13)

Hoffman didn't win a game against the Utes in four tries, but it didn't stop him from putting up huge numbers. He had more than 100 yards receiving in the last three games, including a junior-year outing that saw him catch eight passes for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Bryan Rowley

Bryan Rowley, Utah (1989-93)

Rowley came to play in all four rivalry games he played in. He totaled more than 50 yards receiving in all four games and had at least one touchdown in each of the last three contests. His best game came in 1991 when he had five catches for 121 yards and a pair of scores.

Eric Drage, BYU (1990-92)

Drage lived in the end zone for the Cougars in three wins over the Utes. He scored on five of his nine catches, including a touchdown in each game. His best showing came in 1991 when he caught six passes for 188 yards and three scores.

Austin Collie, BYU (2004, 2007-08)

Collie averaged better than 100 yards per game against the Utes, including a sophomore-year performance where he totaled five receptions for 126 yards and made "magic happen" as the Cougars came from behind to win 17-10.

Backups

Kevin Dyson, Utah (1994-97)

Dyson came up with some big plays in three of his four matchups against the Cougars. His best performance came as a senior in 1997 when he caught nine passes for 143 yards in a 20-14 Utah win.

Glen Kozlowski, BYU (1981, 1983-85)

Kozlowski had a monster game for the Cougars in 1984 as they escaped the Utes to stay undefeated. In the 10-point win, he caught eight passes for 162 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass from Robbie Bosco.

Dres Anderson, Utah (2011-14)

Anderson played some of his best games against the Cougars. He scored a 59-yard touchdown as a freshman and a 39-yard touchdown as a sophomore. In his last shot against the Cougars in 2013, he totaled eight catches for 141 yards.

Brent Casteel, Utah (2005-08)

Casteel had big games against the Cougars in 2006 and '08 as he combined to make 11 catches for 160 yards and four touchdowns.

Mike Chronister, BYU (1976-78)

Chronister had one of the most impressive performances by a Cougar receiver against Utah in 1977 when he caught four passes for 176 yards, including a 72-yard first-quarter touchdown.

Tight end


Starters

Gordon Hudson, BYU (1981-83)

Hudson had a memorable performance against the Utes as a sophomore as he set the NCAA record for receiving yards by a tight end in a single game. In the 28-point win in 1981, he caught 13 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.

Jonny Harline

Jonny Harline, BYU (2005-06)

Harline will always be remembered as one of the biggest players in rivalry history for the game-winning catch from John Beck to give the Cougars a come-from-behind win with no time remaining in 2006. That wasn't the only big play he made that day, however, as he totaled seven receptions for 118 yards and three touchdowns.

Backups

Clay Brown, BYU (1977-80)

Brown had a stellar game against the Utes as a senior in 1980 when he caught five passes for 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Chris Smith, BYU (1987-90)

Smith had two huge games against the Utes, including a junior-year outing where he caught six passes for 194 yards and a touchdown as the Cougars dismantled the Utes 70-31.

Best Utah option

Dennis Smith, Utah (1986-89)

Smith had two big performances in three games against the Cougars. He had back-to-back 100-yard outings including 1988 when he caught five passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns as the Utes snapped a long losing streak with the 29-point win.

Offensive line


Brad Oates

Brad Oates, BYU (1973-75)

Oates was a key member of the offensive line for a BYU team, and the Utes had no answer. The All-WAC performer and All-American led an offense that averaged 48.3 points per game in three lopsided victories.

Anthony Brown, Utah (1993-94)

Brown did an excellent job protecting Mike McCoy as the Utes won back-to-back games over the Cougars for the first time in 23 years.

Bart Oates, BYU (1977, 1980-82)

The All-WAC and All-American center helped the BYU offense put up 56 points in back-to-back games and never lost to the Utes in four tries.

Mohammed Elewonibi, BYU (1988-89)

Elewonibi was the best player on an offensive line that allowed the Cougars to put up 750 yards of total offense in a 70-31 win over the Utes in 1989. It was the same year that he was a consensus All-American and the Outland Trophy winner given to the nation's best interior lineman.

Jordan Gross

Jordan Gross, Utah (1999-2002)

The consensus All-American was the anchor of the 2002 Utah offensive line that helped snap a two-game losing streak to the Cougars and sprung Brandon Warfield for 194 rushing yards.

Backups

Dave Costa, Utah (1961-62); Gordon Gravelle, BYU (1967-71); Edward Pine, Utah (1959-61); Nick Eyre, BYU (1976-80); John Tait, BYU (1993, 1996-98); Zane Beadles, Utah (2006-09).