"Senior Moment?"

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My dear friend Marc Lyons started the BYU-Utah game as a senior QB in 1969, and the Cougars lost, 16-6. Since that game, only one senior BYU QB has lost the Utah game in his last go-round against the rivals: Kevin Feterik in 1999 (L, 20-17).

Among the most recent senior QBs to win their final Utah game:

John Beck, 2006 (33-31)

Brandon Doman, 2001 (24-21)

Steve Sarkisian, 1996 (37-17)

Ty Detmer, 1991 (48-17)


Under Bronco Mendenhall, BYU is 2-2 against the Utes, with both teams splitting on their home fields. BYU has won twice despite a significant disparity in turnover margin. BYU is minus-seven in the margin in the last four meetings, with nine giveaways to only two takeaways.

Last year's six turnover effort skews the stats, but one cannot argue the fact that Utah has played the BYU game very cleanly under Kyle Whittingham. The Utes have played turnover-free in three of Whittingham's four games against BYU, with the 2007 contest accounting for Utah's only two turnovers in that time (BYU also had two TOs in the 2007 "4th and 18" game).


The margin of victory in 10 of the last 12 BYU-Utah games has been seven points or fewer. The only two exceptions were 2004 (Utah won 52-21) and 2008 (Utah won 47-24), both wins sending the Utes to BCS bowl games.

The combined margin of BYU's last five wins over Utah is 21 points. To find the Cougars' last "big" win over Utah, you have to go back to 1996, when BYU prevailed 37-17 in Salt Lake City.


By the way, with his MWC Player of the Week honor this week, Max Hall joined BYU's John Beck atop the list for most Offensive MWC POW citations, with 10 for his career.

Louie Sakoda of Utah has the record for most overall and Special Teams POW honors, with 12. UNLV's Beau Bell and TCU's Jerry Hughes top the defensive tally with four career Defensive POW nods.


Two notable statistical matchups on Saturday: BYU leads the country in 3rd down conversion percentage at 58.%; Utah is 8th nationally in 3rd down defense at 30.7%.

BYU is 2nd nationally in pass efficiency with a rating of 167.7; Utah is 10th nationally in pass efficiency defense, allowing a rating of 100.8.


Of BYU's 80 third down conversions this season, 52 have come on passing plays. Of the 52 pass conversions, 21 have gone to tight ends Dennis Pitta (12) and Andrew George (9). Five WRs account for 16 pass conversions, while five backs account for the other 15.

Of the 28 rushing conversions, Harvey Unga has accounted for 10, Max Hall for seven, Riley Nelson for four, Manasa Tonga and J.J. DiLuigi for two apiece, Bryan Kariya for two, and Anthony Heimuli for one.


Of BYU's 20 graduating seniors, only one played four straight years without a transfer, redshirt season or mission: LB Shawn Doman.


Bronco Mednenhall is now 16-2 in November: both losses to Utah (2005 and 2008).


If BYU beats Utah, the Cougars will have recorded their 15th 10-plus win season. Utah is playing for its fifth such season.


If BYU wins 10 games this season, it will be one of only four teams nationally to have won ten or more in each of the last four seasons; the others are Texas, Ohio State and Boise State (USC can also win ten games this season by winning out).


This season's final "Bronco Mendenhall Show" is live at Ken Garff Honda on University Parkway in Orem, starting at 7:00 pm.

You can pose questions to the coach by e-mail (cougarradio@ksl.com) or via text message (57500).

Iceberg Drive-Inn will be there of course with free burgers and drinks until they're gone.


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