The 10 biggest games for Utah football in RES history

1994+vs.+BYU

1994 vs. BYU

In honor of Homecoming Week, The Daily Utah Chronicle decided to throw it back and take a look at the biggest games that have been played in Rice-Eccles Stadium throughout the years. From blowouts to stormings of the field to undefeated seasons, Utah football has seen some crazy games here in its home stadium.
 
Here are ten games that we ranked as the ten biggest games in RES history:
 
10. Utah: 28, Arizona: 27 — Nov. 4, 1972

1972 vs. Arizona
1972 vs. Arizona

This game has gone down as the greatest comeback in Utah history, if not college football history. Down 27-0 after three quarters, this game was all but over for the Utes. Fans began to leave the stadium to beat the traffic, but those who stayed were in for a treat. After two touchdown strikes, Utah relied on its defense to claw away at the lead. With 10 seconds left, down 27-21, quarterback Don Van Galder dove into the endzone after leading the Utes down the field with no timeouts to complete the comeback and get the win.
 
9. Utah: 57, BYU: 28 — Nov. 19, 1988
1988 vs. BYU
1988 vs. BYU

This wasn’t the greatest year in Utah history, as the team could only muster up a 6-5 overall record, but the “Holy War” brought out a whole new beast in Utah. BYU was ranked No. 19 in the Coaches Poll at the time and had won 15 of the last 16 meetings between the two schools. In this game, however, the Utes were able to score, and score often, as they completed the upset. This led to fans tearing down the goalposts of Rice-Eccles Stadium.
 
8. Utah: 31, Oregon State: 28 — Oct. 2, 2008
2008 vs. Oregon St.
2008 vs. Oregon St.

Oregon State wasn’t exactly a force in 2008 as they were only 2-2 heading into the game against Utah, but the Beavers had just come off an upset win over No. 1 USC a week earlier. The Utes were 5-0 and looking to extend their streak, but they found themselves down by 11 in the fourth quarter. In the closing seconds, “King” Louis Sakoda hit a 37-yard field goal to push Utah past Oregon State and keep its record unblemished.
 
7. Utah: 41, Texas A&M: 21 — Sept. 2, 2004
2004 vs Texas A&M
2004 vs Texas A&M

Everyone remembers the Utah team from 2004, as it was the original BCS-busting squad. During the offseason, Ute fans and media alike were hyping up the 2004 Utes, but they had to go up against traditional powerhouse Texas A&M. The Aggies, however, couldn’t even stay with Utah, as the Utes poured it on early and never looked back. This sparked the perfect 12-0 mark that eventually led to a Fiesta Bowl.
 
6. Utah: 34, BYU: 31 — Nov. 19, 1994
1994 vs. BYU
1994 vs. BYU

This was an ending no one watching will forget.
With just over two minutes remaining and Utah trailing 31-27, the Utes returned a BYU kickoff to the Cougar 33. Ute QB Mike McCoy then hit Charlie Brown for a touchdown to take the lead. BYU drove into Utah’s territory but the Utes’ defense broke through, sacking Cougar QB John Walsh and causing him to fumble. When Utah recovered the fumble, the Utes had their victory.
 
5. Utah: 24, BYU: 21 — Sept. 15, 2012
2012 vs. BYU
2012 vs. BYU

This game will forever be remembered as the night the MUSS stormed the field not once, not twice, but three times. BYU was on the Ute 34-yard line with under 10 seconds remaining and looking for a quick gainer to set up a game-tying field goal. Cougar quarterback Riley Nielsen took the clock down to the bitter end, and when his pass fell incomplete, the clock showed zero — or so it seemed. The MUSS rushed the field in celebration, but the refs put one second back on the clock. BYU attempted a 51-yard field goal that Utah blocked, sending the MUSS to storm the field again — but the play was still live, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. BYU lined up for a much more feasible 36-yarder. However a third celebration was in order as the attempt clanked off the up rights, sending the stadium into a frenzy for the third and final time.
 
4. Utah: 52, BYU: 21 — Nov. 20, 2004
2004 vs. BYU
2004 vs. BYU

The original BCS busters had made it through the 2004 season unscathed, a perfect 11-0. But as we all know, when Utah and BYU face off, any games previous to that week do not matter. The Cougars were hoping to walk into Rice-Eccles Stadium and ruin the Utes’ perfect season and their chance at a BCS bowl game. It was such a big deal, despite BYU being only 5-5, that College GameDay decided to travel to Salt Lake City to cover the game. However, Utah was up for that challenge and more as they dominated the game from start to finish.
 
3. Utah: 48, BYU: 24 — Nov. 22, 2008
2008 vs. BYU
2008 vs. BYU

Never in Holy War history has so much been at stake as in 2008. BYU and Utah both entered as top-16 teams. Utah was playing for the chance to go to their second BCS, and BYU was playing for a share of the conference title and the opportunity to derail what became Utah’s “quest for perfection.” Ute quarterback Brian Johnson dismantled the Cougar defense, and Utah intercepted Cougar quarterback Max Hall five times en-route to the victory. The celebration from this game carried on all the way to New Orleans and a victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
 
2. Utah: 27, Stanford: 21 — Oct. 12, 2013
2013 vs. Stanford
2013 vs. Stanford

In their third season as a member of the Pac-12 the Utes were still looking for a signature win — a victory that truly showed they belonged. They found it on a warm October night against the No. 5 team in the nation. The Utah offense kept Stanford off-balance with a series of wide receiver screens, and the defense stood toe-to-toe with the Cardinal’s big physical offensive line. On its final drive Stanford made it to the Utah six-yard line, threatening to dash the Utah upset, but when Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan’s fourth down pass fell incomplete, the celebration was on.
 
1. Utah: 13, TCU: 10 — Nov. 6, 2008
2008 vs. TCU
2008 vs. TCU

No. 11 TCU and No. 10 Utah, both on track to reach the BCS, met in Salt Lake for a November classic. Utah QB Brian Johnson led the Utes on an 80-yard drive and hit Freddie Brown for a touchdown with 48 seconds to go to give the Utes their first lead of the game. When the Utes intercepted TCU QB Andy Dalton with five seconds remaining, the victory was secure. The win kept Utah’s record unblemished and put their BCS destiny in their hands.
 
 
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