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Utah Utes football report card: Utes fail rivalry test in loss to BYU

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BYU players celebrate and Utah players look for the exit as the crowd rushes the field

BYU players celebrate and Utah players look for the exit as they fall to the Cougars in an NCAA football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. BYU won 26-17, ending a nine-game losing streak to the Utes.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Utah’s nine-game win streak against BYU is over.

The Utes were outplayed by the Cougars on both sides of the ball and never led as BYU claimed its first win in the rivalry game since 2009.

Here are the grades from Utah’s 26-17 loss to BYU.

Offense

Utah turned the ball over twice on its first two offensive possessions.

Things didn’t get much better from there.

Utah’s offense was simply not good enough, especially in the first half.

First possession: Interception thrown by Charlie Brewer, facing pressure from a BYU blitz. That ball should have just been thrown away. But instead, he made an ill-advised throw off of his back foot for an interception.

Second possession: Fumble by Tavion Thomas, his second of the year after turning the ball over against Weber State. Thomas, who came into the game as Utah’s No. 1 running back, saw just four more touches after the mistake.

Utah’s offense was lucky those two turnovers only resulted in three total points from BYU, but it was a sign that the offense just didn’t have enough to win the game on Saturday night in Provo.