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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

BYU stumble is Utah?s rise

By Nick Pappas

This is a tale that began Thursday. In a matter of hours, BYU would be playing TCU for a shot at Mountain West supremacy.

Not once in my long Ute life have I cared so much about a Cougar game. Since birth, I have surrounded myself with friends who wear red and white, and now I was faced with a predicament.

I am a poor college student. I don’t have Versus, or The Mtn., or any station for that matter. If I want to watch the next episode of “House,” I have to hold an antenna while doing a yoga pose. I needed to find somewhere to watch a BYU game.

I called my friend Chris.

Me: Hey, want to go somewhere and watch the BYU game?
Chris: Are you (expletive deleted) kidding me?

I called my friend Dave.

Me: Want to hit a bar and watch the Cougars?
Dave: Dude, are you high?

I might have been. It doesn’t matter, though. I suddenly realized my friends were not real Utah fans. A real fan would relish watching this game. A real fan would root heartily for the Cougars, wear their CTR rings while knocking celebratory steins.

That’s how much a real Utah fan hates BYU. Real fans rooted for the Cougars on Thursday and were heartbroken when BYU lost in humiliating fashion.

Why? Because it should have been us. We should have been the team that brought about a crisis of faith in Happy Valley. It was supposed to be a fairy-tale ending8212;the zealots waltzing into Rice-Eccles Stadium with Bowl Championship Series dreams dancing in their skulls, and the Utes shooting arrows into their floating balloon heads.

BYU didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. I sat alone at Lumpy’s, a poor college student putting beer on credit, and just couldn’t be happy about the thumping.

Another fear danced into my head that night. TCU is good. The Horned Frogs defense is stifling8212;the best in the country. I am realistic. Utah’s offense is nowhere near as explosive as BYU’s. Max Hall can flutter around in the pocket and make sound decisions that Brian Johnson just hasn’t.

That’s how I felt Thursday. Then Saturday, somehow my fears were dispelled.

Utah’s game against Colorado State was excellence. Yes, Johnson threw a deflected interception, but the defense held the Rams to a field goal afterward. Besides the opening drive, CSU quarterback Billy Farris and the Rams were flustered the entire game.

More importantly, the offense was stellar. Johnson made sound decisions, threw spiraling strikes and eventually won his 21st game as a starter, tying golden child Alex Smith for the most in school history.

If the Utes keep playing as they did Saturday afternoon, Johnson should exceed that mark by at least four more games, and, with luck, a Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl or Orange Bowl triumph.

Destiny isn’t just something that finds you. It lives through your actions. BYU tested the fates and left its destiny deep in the field in Fort Worth, Texas. Utah can give it life again Nov. 6 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

BYU had its chance and let it slip away. A new quest for perfection has just begun.

[email protected]

Nick Pappas

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