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History is on Utah's side

If anything, history acts as a guide for the unknown, especially in sports. Even though there is never really a guarantee, looking at past events tends to shed some light on the possible outcome for Saturday's game. If history is any type of indication, the Utes will be 12-0 Saturday night. Of course, that doesn't mean it's a given, however, the odds do seem to be stacked against the Cougars. 

Since 1999, the home team entering the Holy War with the better record has won 3 out of 4 times. 

 

  • 1999: The lone exception, the 7-3 Utes defeat the 8-2 Cougars to claim a share of the inaugural Mountain West championship.
  • 2001: BYU enters their rivalry game against the Utes at 10-0, Utah is 7-2. The Cougars rally in the final minute, defeating Utah 24-21.
  • 2004: An undefeated 10-0 Utah team crushes the 5-5 Cougars 52-21.
  • 2007: BYU, at 8-2, defeat the 8-3 Utes 17-10.  
Since 1999, the team with the better record has won in all but two years, 1999 and 2002. In 2002, the Utes entered their game against the Cougars with a 4-6 record, while BYU came into the game at 5-6. 

Since 1990, only once has the winner of the Holy War not led in most statistical categories. This season, Utah leads in 20, BYU in 10.

Since the Mountain West was formed, BYU has only managed to defeat one ranked opponent -- TCU in 2006. Utah hasn't lost as a ranked team in five years, that loss coming to New Mexico in 2003. 

Now these stats do not mean the Utes are going to win this weekend, but it does show that the better team generally wins in this series. Of course, if you want to play devil's advocate, you could say the difference between Utah and BYU right now is negligible. But the same could have been said last year, a game the Cougars won. It might not assure victory, but it seems to benefit Utah more than BYU.