Looking Back on Our Favorite Sports Moments of the Year


University of Utah senior running back Zack Moss (2) on the sideline during the Ute’s game against the University of Oregon Ducks in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship. (Photo by Justin Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


As this school year comes to a close, we, the Chrony sports desk, are taking this time to look back on some of our favorite sports moments from the year.


Casey Overfield 

This year of Utah athletics was amazing, and it is almost impossible to choose just one spectacular moment, but I will always remember the last men’s basketball game of the season. Utah played Colorado in a game that we were unlikely to win, as the Buffaloes had won by 39 points earlier in the season. Despite the low chances of a win, the team delivered one of the best games I have ever witnessed. Colorado led for almost the whole game, but in the final seconds Both Gach put up two points to tie it up. At the final buzzer with Colorado up one point, Gach launched a 3-pointer, and time stopped as 10,000 Utah fans held their breath and watched the ball bounce off the rim and miss the basket. The Utes would lose their final home game by a heartbreaking one point. Then, a foul was called on the Colorado defender and Gach stepped up to the line for three shots. He needed one to tie the game and two to win it, and Gach did just that. With each shot, the volume in the stadium increased as Gach went three-for-three to lift Utah to a thrilling 74-72 victory. It turns out this would be the last time I watched the team play as a student, and it was the perfect game to go out on. 

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Sammy Mora 

There were so many great athletics moments this school year, but my favorite was on the last Sunday of February. I was at home watching the Utah vs. UCLA gymnastics meet, a meet I always look forward to. Things were so close heading into the final rotation. It was anyone’s meet, and it was going to come down to the final performances on the beam and floor. While Kyla Ross was the final UCLA gymnast to take the floor, Abby Paulson mounted the beam for Utah. I have seen my fair share of intense games and meets, but there was just something different in the air as I was sitting at home watching Paulson do her routine. After she dismounted, I remember telling my mom that if that wasn’t a 10, I didn’t know what would be one. When her perfect score popped up on my screen moments later, I jumped off the couch and ran around my house because I was so happy for her and this team. While I knew Utah hadn’t won the meet yet, not until Ross’s score came through, I just had a gut feeling that this team had knocked off their rival on the road. 

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University of Utah Jaylon Johnson (1) scores a touchdown after catching an interception in an NCAA Football game vs. The Washington Husky in Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 (Photo by Cassandra Palor | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Brayden Ramsay

My favorite Utah sports memory from the 2019-20 season was the Jaylon Johnson pick six against the Washington Huskies. With the Utes down 21-13 and just over three minutes left in the third quarter, Washington’s Jacob Eason dropped back to throw and immediately started running towards the sidelines. Why? Because Johnson baited him to throw and then stepped in front of Aaron Fuller to intercept Eason’s pass. Johnson then raced 40 yards for the touchdown. This play alone gave the Utes the boost they needed to beat Washington and keep their hopes for the College Football Playoff alive. “A lot of film study went into it,” Johnson said. “We needed a big play, and the whole time we were down I just kept telling myself, ‘You’ve got to make a play. You’ve got to be the one to change the game.’ And when it came down to it, it was about taking advantage of the opportunity, and that’s what I did.”

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Cole Bagley 

To open the 2019-20 football season, the Utes headed down south to take on BYU, and for the first time in my life, I would be in attendance. As I entered LaVell Edwards Stadium, I felt the electricity and excitement as the stage was set for the next Holy War. A sea of royal blue colored the stadium as BYU fans were anxious to get their first win against Utah in over a decade, but the Utes were not about to let BYU spoil what would be a nine-game win streak against the Cougars. Utah continued their dominance with pick sixes from Francis Bernard and Julian Blackmon, 187 rushing yards by Zack Moss and three turnovers committed by BYU. While the Utes rained on BYU’s home opener, so did the weather as rain delayed the game with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. As BYU fans fled the scene, a sea of red remained and the sound of “Let’s Go Utah!” rang through LaVell Edwards as the Utes would go on to win 30-12.

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Ethan Pearce

My favorite moment of the sports season for the Utes was the women’s basketball win over BYU in Provo on Nov. 29. The Utes won in overtime, 77-73, in a game that was close all night up until the final buzzer. Between a free throw from Dru Gylten with only three seconds left in regulation to tie it, clutch shooting by Brynna Maxwell and Andrea Torres in overtime and an incredible team effort to pull off a huge win on the road against a rival early in the season, this game had it all. There were 27 lead changes on the night, and both teams played hard. Four Utes scored in double figures and Maxwell led the way with 18 points. This would be the fourth win in a row for the Utes, who were beginning to put together a nice run. The most exciting game of the season always comes against the bitter rival, and this one was no exception.

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Scott Stephens

My favorite sports memory of the season came when the Utes played UCLA at home in football. Julian Blackmon came on a safety blitz and sacked Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson Robinson, causing him to lose possession of the football. Mika Tafu was there to scoop up the loose ball and rumble over 60 yards for a touchdown. It was easily the loudest moment in Rice-Eccles Stadium from this season and one of the more electric moments I have seen in my time as a student. The Utes also went on to win the game 49-3, a part of the stretch of eight straight wins that secured them their second straight birth into the Pac-12 championship game as the Pac-12 South champions.

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Ryker Jackson

My favorite athletic moment of the year was when our men’s basketball team took down the Kentucky Wildcats. We lost many years ago to the Wildcats in the late ’90s, a loss that prevented us from winning the NCAA Tournament. Since then, I’ve felt as if there has always been a chip on the shoulder of the program. I never thought that we would be able to defeat the Wildcats, especially not this year, when we have so many freshmen and sophomores on the team, and we were playing on the road. It was coming down right to the end, and because of terrific play from our young team, we were able to hold on and defeat Kentucky. As a big Utah fan, it felt like a cathartic experience. I love our team, and I love the fact that they were able to come together against a powerhouse program and hold their own. That was by far my favorite sports moment of the year.

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NCAA Football game vs. Arizona State University at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, October 19, 2019. (Photo by Tom Denton | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Carlos Padilla 

This football season, the Utes had one of their greatest runs in school history — maybe second only to the 2009 Sugar Bowl season where the Utes were immortalized as BCS busters. Watching the Utes defeat team after team was absolutely spectacular. They showed no mercy and peaked as the No. 5 team in the country. Seasons such as these leave the doors wide open for the future of Utah football. A highlight that shines through from this season came when Zack Moss broke the Utah all-time rushing record. As a cornerstone of the program, it was only fitting when the announcer boomed over the speaker that Moss would forever be in the record books.

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Mallory Arnold

My favorite moment from the 2019-20 season comes from Utah volleyball when they beat BYU to advance to the Sweet 16. Utah got their rhythm very early and avenged their loss to BYU earlier in the year. In September, the two teams faced off, and BYU swept Utah in three sets at home. This time, in December, the roles were reversed, and it was Utah who swept the Cougars in three straight sets on their home court. Utah came out hot and ready to play from the get go. The game started with an ace and Utah never slowed down. Utah took each set by a whopping 10 points, winning each with a score of 25-15. Utah had a .394 hitting percentage while the Cougars only hit .109. As a team, they were hitting on all aspects with 12 blocks, four aces, 49 kills and only 10 errors. Dani Drews led the team with 17 kills. Kenzie Koerber was right behind her with 11, Oblad tabbed eight and Zoe Weatherington got seven. Oblad and Koerber also led the team with five blocks apiece. BYU hasn’t been swept at home since 2011, so Utah was breaking the record books all over that night.

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