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Thoughts on wild BYU win, Ute attendance and Emery tweet

BYU fans cheer as BYU and Tennessee prepare to play a game in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. BYU won 29-26 in double overtime.
BYU fans cheer as BYU and Tennessee prepare to play a game in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. BYU won 29-26 in double overtime.
Scott G Winterton

SALT LAKE CITY — Catching up on a wild weekend of sports ...

  • “How about BYU’s crazy win over Tennessee Saturday night as the Cougars never led until overtime and capped an unexpected victory when Ty’Son Williams bulled his way into the end zone at the end of double overtime? How the Vols ever allowed a 64-yard pass with a half-minute left is hard to figure. But for Cougars fans, Zach Wilson’s pass to Micah Simon will join the legendary desperation passes of the past, including the fourth-and-18 pass from Max Hall to Austin Collie against Utah in 2009 that went for 49 yards, Brandon Doman’s 34-yard pass to Jonathan Pittman on fourth-and-12 against Utah in 2000, and of course, Jim McMahon’s Hail Mary to Clay Brown in the 1980 Holiday Bowl.
  • Perhaps the craziest game of the weekend came in Seattle, one that hardly anyone saw because it didn’t end until 1 in the morning, Pacific time. That was the contest between Washington and Cal that was delayed for nearly three hours just after it started because of lightning, Then by the time it resumed around 10:30 p.m., the majority of the fans had gone home, leaving Washington with little home-crowd advantage. The Bears, who had knocked off the Huskies a year earlier by a 12-10 count, stayed close all game and won with a last-second field goal 20-19 to hand the Pac-12 another key loss for a ranked team.
  • That makes three ranked Pac-12 teams that have already lost this year with Washington joining Oregon, which lost to Auburn last week and Stanford, which lost to USC this past weekend. That hurts the league’s chances for a possible national playoff berth, but the good news is, five Pac-12 teams are still ranked in the top 25 with Utah at No. 11, Oregon No. 15, Washington State No. 20, Washington No. 23 and USC No. 24.
  • Another crazy ending happened late Saturday night in Fresno, California, where Minnesota took a 38-35 double-overtime victory. In this case, Fresno quarterback Jorge Reyna looked to have a wide-open receiver in the end zone for the win, only to have Gopher defensive back Austin Winfield come flying over at the last second to pick off the pass and end the game.
  • Utah fans hoping for a national playoff berth, should be happy for any BYU victories this fall because it will make their win last month look even better and they need all the help they can get with Northern Illinois and Idaho State as their other non-league opponents. However, they’ll be torn the next two weeks when the Cougars take on Pac-12 opponents, USC and Washington, because the Utes are also helped by Pac-12 non-league victories.
  • I guess all that counts is the money from ticket sales, but it would be nice to know how many fans are actually in attendance at games these days. Rice-Eccles Stadium was obviously not filled for Saturday’s early-starting game against Northern Illinois — even coach Kyle Whittingham commented about it afterward — yet the University announced a crowd of 45,919, marking the 58th consecutive sellout over the past decade. It’s not like the U. is the only place that does this. Most college and pro teams count paid attendance, so if a bunch of fans don’t show up for whatever reason, they still count as fannies in the seats.
  • Any BYU fans who watched the first 25 minutes of the USC-Stanford game Saturday night must have felt encouraged about the Cougars’ chances this weekend when the Trojans come to Provo. At that point, the Trojans were trailing 20-10 and looking like they were heading for a home loss to the 23rd-ranked Cardinal. The final 35 minutes were a totally different story, however, as the Trojans outscored Stanford 35-0 behind freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis, who finished with 28-of-33 passing for 377 yards in his starting debut.
  • Saturday, Utah State took a scintillating 62-7 victory over Stony Brook. Considering that the average score of the last five meetings between Utah and Idaho State is 54-9, I’m betting the loaded Utah team will have a similar score against Bengals this week. Too bad the Utes and Aggies, who have a bye this week, couldn’t have figured out a way to play each other, something they haven’t done since 2015 after 112 previous meetings.
  • Over the weekend, Nick Emery sent out a late-night tweet, blasting the new basketball coaching staff at BYU for being “super sketchy and dishonest” before deleting the post a few hours later after he thought better of it. It’s not enough that Emery was the main reason BYU had to forfeit 47 victories, but now he’s trying to prevent future victories by trying to dissuade a recruit?