PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Is this this year BYU finally ends the losing streak to Utah?
It has been twelve years and nine games since the Cougars last beat the Utes. Many people think last year’s 11-1 BYU team could have ended the streak, but the rivalry game was canceled because of COVID-19.
The Cougars will get another shot the second week of the 2021 season September 11th at LaVell Edwards Stadium, a game that is already on the Cougars minds.
“Yeah, it for sure is,” said BYU wide receiver Neil Pau’u. “To be the class or the team that ended the streak, it definitely plays a part.”
“It’s on everybody’s mind for sure,” said wide receiver Gunner Romney. “I didn’t grow up in the rivalry, but when I got up here, every Utah fan that I see, they remind me of it. It just eats away at me.”
“It’s one of the biggest rivalries in the whole country,” said linebacker Max Tooley. “It’s always one that we have on our schedule that we’ve got circled. Everyone is looking forward to it. Every single guy on the team.”
The rivalry is being put on hold for two years after this year’s game as Utah plays a home-and-home series with Florida. So the Cougars see extra urgency to end the streak Week 2 in Provo.
“That would be bragging rights for life for us if we broke the streak of nine games,” said safety Chaz Ah You. “I know all of our alumni are rooting for it too, so it would be a win for a lot more than just the people on the field. Zach Wilson even said it in one of his NFL interviews that he almost wanted to stay just to play them.”
A win by the Utes would be the school’s 10th straight in the series, which would be Utah’s longest win streak in the storied rivalry, which dates back to 1922.
This will be an interesting game for former Utes receiver Samson Nacua, who transferred to BYU this off-season. He’s just thankful the game is not at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“Yeah, true,” Nacua said with a laugh. “Going into their stadium, I’d be getting booed all over probably. But it’s going to be intense for sure just because we know each others tendencies. They probably have something hid up their sleeves. I’ve got something hid up my sleeve for sure. It’s going to be a crazy game. I’m excited.”