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Utah vs BYU Game Day Primer

SALT LAKE CITY — The stage is set for the game a lot of folks in both fan bases have been waiting for: The Holy War. The Utes and Cougars go head-to-head in Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday night for the 99th meeting between the two schools.  




17th ranked Utah leads the all-time series between the two schools 60-34-4 including 39-17-3 in Salt Lake City. Kyle Whittingham is 9-3 against BYU and Kelani Sitake is 0-2 facing the Utes. Utah has come out on top in each of the last seven meetings. The last Cougar win came in November of 2009, when Blockbuster’s total year-end revenue was over $4 billion. 


BYU(6-5) became bowl eligible with a 45-10 win over New Mexico State last week. The Cougars are 6-5 coming into the Holy War, with wins over Arizona, Wisconsin, Mcneese St., Hawaii, UMass and NMSU. 

BYU Offensive Rankings 

Rushing Offense: 155.1ypg, 85th NCAA

Passing Offense: 199.2ypg, 96th NCAA 

Total Offense: 354.3ypg, 107th NCAA 

Scoring Offense: 25.3ppg, 94th NCAA

BYU Defensive Rankings

Rushing Defense: 127.1ypg, 25th NCAA

Passing Defense: 200.5ypg, 34th NCAA 

Total Defense: 327.6ypg, 23rd NCAA 

Scoring Defense: 20,5ppg, 23rd NCAA 


Utah(8-3, 6-3 Pac12) wrapped up the Pac-12 South championship last week with a 30-7 win over Colorado. The sixth win in the last seven games clinched a spot in Friday’s conference title game in Santa Clara, CA. Utah has wins over Weber St., NIU, Stanford, Arizona, USC, UCLA, Oregon and Colorado.

UTES Offensive Rankings 

Rushing Offense: 201.7ypg, 38th NCAA

Passing Offense: 221.9ypg, 76th NCAA

Total Offense: 423.6ypg, 51st NCAA

Scoring Offense: 30.5ppg, 59th NCAA 

UTES Defensive Rankings

Rushing Defense: 95.5ypg, 5th NCAA

Passing Defense: 216.5ypg, 55th NCAA

Total Defense: 312.1ypg, 14th NCAA


In addition to being one of the more heated matchups in college football, the Holy War is possibly the most intertwined rivalry in the land. 

Former cougar LB Francis Bernard is now getting reps on the hill. Both head coaches, Kyle Whittingham and Kelani Sitake, played at BYU and have coached at Utah. Whittingham has been a Ute since 1994 while Sitake’s stint in crimson came from 2005-2014. Justin Ena and Freddie Whittingham, both current Utah assistants, spent their playing days in Utah County. Utah WR coach Guy Holiday is a former BYU assistant while both Aaron Roderick and Ilaiasa Tuiki are former Ute assistants. 


Bill Riley: UTAH 27 – 10 BYU

Mitch Harper: UTAH 30 – 20 BYU

Kyle Gunther: UTAH 44 – 9 BYU

Ben Anderson: UTAH 30 – 6 BYU

JP Chunga: UTAH 30 – 5 BYU

Porter Larsen: UTAH 40 – 10 BYU


The 99th installment of the Holy War can be heard live from Rice-Eccles Stadium on ESPN700 or ESPN700sports.com. Bill Riley, Scott Mitchell and Tom Hackett have the call as the Utes look for their eighth straight. Guy Haberman and Evan Moore have the Fox Sports 1 broadcast as BYU looks to end the drought.

Kickoff: 8p.m. MT

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