Nov. 28, 2009
PROVO, Utah (AP) - Max Hall threw a 25-yard touchdown pass in overtime to Andrew George to give No. 18 BYU a 26-23 win over 22nd-ranked Utah for the Cougars' third victory in four years in the in-state rivalry.
Hall found George open for a quick dump-off over the middle and George had nobody between him and the goal line, hugging the ball with both hands as he went for the winning score for the Cougars (10-2, 7-1 Mountain West).
George was mobbed first by his teammates, then by fans who ran down from the stands. A few minutes later the field was covered with blue-clad fans, who were still celebrating a win in another thriller against the Utes (9-3, 6-2).
The game was decided by a touchdown or less for the 11th time in 13 meetings. The victorious Cougars finished with just 265 yards of offense.
Joe Phillips kicked five field goals for Utah, including a 40-yarder with 29 seconds left that forced the overtime. The Utes had the first possession of overtime and had to settle for another kick by Phillips.
Utah's 23-20 lead was short-lived, though. After an illegal procedure penalty forced the Cougars back to the 25 with second-and-10, Hall found George for the easiest touchdown of the game.
The Utes may have been looking for Dennis Pitta, who caught two passes to break Austin Collie's school record of 215 career receptions, because they certainly were not focused on George.
Hall finished 12 of 32 for 134 yards and Harvey Unga ran for 116 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars, who finished in second place in the Mountain West Conference.
Eddie Wide topped 1,000 yards rushing for the season with 114 yards and a score for the Utes, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to tie it.
Jordan Wynn, making his first start in the rivalry, was 21 for 41 for 198 yards with one interception.
The Utes were going nowhere in the second half until Shaky Smithson sprung a 40-yard punt return to the BYU 37. The Utes survived a close call during the drive when Aiona Key fumbled after making a catch, but the play was whistled dead because Key's helmet was knocked off before he lost the ball.
That kept the drive alive at fourth-and-4, and Wynn went right back to Key, who held on to the ball and his helmet this time for a first down. Wide broke loose up the middle to the 3-yard line then scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:16 left. Wynn completed a pass to David Reed for the 2-point conversation to get Utah within 20-17.