Fans psyched for Utah-BYU game

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

Everyone has heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, when it comes to Utah and BYU — foes who make up one of the fiercest rivalries in sports — one man’s “Oh crap!” is another man’s “Woohoo!”

In the backs of their minds, fans on both sides know that when Utah succeeds, BYU benefits, and when BYU succeeds, Utah benefits. The state is bolstered when either team makes national headlines.

But fans let their emotions get the best of them, and most would rather the other goes 0-12 rather than garner attention for the state.

It’s the nature of the rivalry.

But even the most anti-BYU or anti-Utah fans have to be excited about the situation surrounding this year’s showdown.

Saturday’s game — even if you take the rivalry out of the equation and focus purely on the two teams — is shaping up to be one epic battle.

Both programs are enjoying seven-game winning streaks. That has never happened in the long history of the Holy War.

Although many Ute fans would prefer BYU to perennially suck, the prospect of beating the Cougars while they’re flying high has to be even more satisfying (although kicking them while they’re down is not without its charm).

The game would be packing even more of a punch had the Utes found a way to beat Air Force in the final minutes of the game on Sept. 8 instead of being subjected to a heartbreaking goal-line stand.

Two seven-game winning streaks clashing in late November isn’t anything to grumble about though. And the game really could still be for a share of the conference title.

What, you don’t think there’s a chance that BYU (8-2) could lose to San Diego State (4-6)?

It could happen. One word: letdown.

Saturday’s game in Provo will be the most intense, hyped-up, emotional battle of BYU’s season. They’re used to leaving everything on the field in that game and exhausting every last resource.

The media will be hounding both teams all week. Radio shows will feature hours of trash-talking between rival fans in which everything from lifestyles to mothers will be insulted.

Little, old ladies will see BYU players in the produce section and tell them to “kick those dirty Utes’ tushes.”

Both campuses will be buzzing with predictions and pranks all week.

By Saturday at 12 p.m., the situation will have reached a fever pitch.

Saturday could produce one of the greatest narratives in the history of the series.

Not to build up the game, though. After all, at the press conference following the New Mexico game, coach Kyle Whittingham emphasized that he didn’t want the BYU game to get overblown.

“It only counts as one win,” he insisted.

Good one, coach. I knew there had to be a sense of humor buried beneath that stoic, tough-guy exterior.

As most fans know, BYU and Utah is always about more than a win or a loss.

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