After last year's overtime loss to BYU down in Provo, I opined that Kyle Whittingham's teams just weren't getting it done in the clutch against the Cougars. After BYU methodically moved the ball down the field in the closing minutes of Saturday's game, that comment rattled around in my head.
It looked like Kyle Whittingham once again would be on the losing end of a hard-fought, tightly contested Holy War.
Then Brandon Burton stepped up and saved the day. His blocked field goal washed away all the pain felt from the last few close rivalry losses.
The good guys finally won one in epic fashion. I would have been more comfortable with a blowout, but this one is a bit more enjoyable because of how tormented we've been in this series over the last few years (minus 2008).
Now it's BYU players, coaches and fans left with the dreaded feeling of what ifs for the remainder of winter, all of spring and most of summer.
For Kyle Whittingham, though, this must feel real good. There is no one more invested in this program than Coach Whittingham and he has been on the bad side of this rivalry a bit more than he probably would have liked. Especially with how each of his losses to BYU ended essentially with Utah blowing a lead late. It was the case in 2006, 2007 and yes, even 2009.
And it looked to be the case in 2010. But a remarkable comeback and the best finish in this long rivalry's history made sure those past demons weren't going to resurface.
Make no mistake about it, the Utes won this game. BYU didn't just give it to them. This wasn't a game lost because the kicker missed a field goal. This game was lost because Utah blocked that field goal. They made the play. They created the stop and prevailed because of it.
Don't let any Cougar fan try to take away what transpired Saturday night. The Utes showed heart, clawed back and finally, finally made the last stop.
It's four years in the making.
Now let Harline is Still Open, 4th and 18 and George is Still Running die.
They're irrelevant now. Utah finally won in miraculous fashion. Not BYU.