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Final: BYU ends losing streak to Utah with 26-17 victory

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) slides down after a run as BYU and Utah play.
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) slides down after a run as BYU and Utah play an NCAA football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Deseret News is providing live coverage from tonight’s game between BYU and Utah. Follow along for updates throughout the night.

Final

BYU 26, Utah 17

Three years after watching a big lead go away in the fourth quarter, this time BYU held on against Utah.

The Cougars beat the Utes 26-17 on Saturday night at Lavell Edwards Stadium, snapping Utah’s win streak in the series at nine games that dated back to 2009.

After Utah cut BYU’s lead from 23-7 to 23-17 minutes into the fourth quarter, the Cougars used a time-consuming drive to add a critical 21-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal with 3:17 to play to make it a nine-point game.

Utah drove to midfield on the ensuing drive but Charlie Brewer threw incomplete on fourth down to give the ball back to the Cougars, and from there BYU ran the clock out.

The Utes made it a single-score game with a Jadon Redding field goal and a 22-yard Micah Bernard touchdown to make it interesting down the stretch.

Behind quarterback Jaren Hall, though, the Cougars prevailed. Hall completed 18 of 30 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 92 yards. BYU was 11 of 19 on third downs, including an 18-yard Hall run on the decisive field goal drive.

End of 3rd quarter

BYU 23, Utah 7

Jaren Hall is showing why Cougar fans should be excited for the future, and for the present.

After a mostly quiet third quarter, the BYU quarterback led a 10-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard pass from Hall to Gunner Romney to give the Cougars a 23-7 lead with 38 seconds to play in the third.

Hall converted a third-and-8 in Utah territory, then ran for 23 yards two plays later to set up the touchdown pass. On the night, Hall has completed 16 of 27 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a team-high 64 yards.

The Utes missed a field goal earlier in the quarter that would have cut the BYU lead to a single possession.

Halftime

BYU 16, Utah 7

The Cougars have a two-score lead on the Utes, thanks to a last-minute touchdown drive to end the half. BYU drove 93 yards on 11 plays before scoring on a Samson Nacua 2-yard touchdown catch with four seconds until halftime to give the Cougars a nine-point lead.

Nacua, the former Ute who scored in the rivalry while at Utah, was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty after the play, which cost BYU as it missed a point-after attempt pushed back 15 yards by the penalty.

Earlier in the quarter, BYU scored on a 4-yard touchdown catch by Neil Pau’u, and the Utes responded with a 20-yard Brant Kuithe touchdown reception.

BYU’s second TD drive was set up by a defensive stand, where Utah was stopped on a fourth-and-2 inside the Cougars 10.

End of 1st quarter

BYU 3, Utah 0

The Cougars forced the Utes into two turnovers in the opening quarter, though that’s led to only one score — a 37-yard field goal from Jake Oldroyd.

Both defenses had the upper hand in the first quarter, as neither team’s offense could get much going. BYU has 60 total yards, while Utah has 48.

BYU’s Chaz Ah You intercepted Utah’s Charlie Brewer on the Utes’ first possession, and then BYU’s Lorenzo Fauatea recovered a fumble on Utah’s next possession.

Pregame prep

Here are a few stories to get you ready for the game:

From the BYU perspective

From the Utah perspective