The Game, In Real Time
As the Holy War gets under way, I thought I'd try to report on what's going on in real time. Now, I can't figure out how to make this thing update in real time and scroll across the front page of CSTV.com. But this has to be the next best thing. Here we go.
T-minus 20:00 minutes to kick-off: The press box food is fantastic. The only problem is that it's not an all-you-can-eat affair. I'll have to see if I can sneak more of the killer pasta salad late in the first quarter.
8:00 minutes before kick-off: The band has marched and the National Anthem has been sung. Gotta tell you, the crowd here has to be the loudest and best singing crowd I've ever heard. I'm not sure if the Mormon Tabernacle Choir came down from Salt Lake City, but it certainly sounded like it.
2:45 minutes before kick-off: The BYU seniors are being announced and while there's a healthy amount of cheering from the fans in blue, it's nice to point out that the Utah fans are clapping along.
1:30 minutes before kick-off: No reciprocity from the BYU fans. As Utah runs out, the BYU fans let 'em have it.
15 seconds before kick-off: Tough to rate the coolest thing that just happened in the last minute. BYU performed the haka, just like Hawai'i ends their games. I'll have to ask Caitlin if she saw it on the sidelines. Meanwhile, three Apache helicopters just did a fly by of the stadium. Incredible pre-game stuff so far.
Kick-off: Louie Sakoda kicks off for Utah for a touch back. The kid has a rocket for a leg. Game on.
13:43: BYU quarterback Max Hall gets a pass knocked down at the line. The zebras blow the play dead but no one on the line of scrimmage seems to notice... or care. The shoving match broke up on its own, but it's a sign that this will be a heated game.
11:30: Just checked CSTV.com to see if any other college football coach had quit, resigned or gotten fired in the past hour. So far, no one new. I'll bet that changes by the half.
9:24: Big time interception by Utah's Joe Jiannoni. Utah takes over at BYU's 16-yard line. Gotta love those juggling interceptions. Could be the big play that starts the scoring here.
8:22: Elijah Wesson just got shellacked by BYU's Corby Hodgkiss. I mean de-cleated. This kind of hit sends you to the dentist for replacement teeth.
6:36: This game could end 6-3 if it keeps going like this. Utah's Brian Johnson hung a lame duck in the air and Hodgkiss made a great move to pick it off. He should have been off to the races but sometimes that grass will jump up and grab you.
4:15: The hits just keep on coming. There's been a brutal sack by the Utes' Keppa Gaison. Nasty shots to running backs and even the side judge has been taken out. It's clear that no one likes anyone here.
2:41: If turnovers were scores BYU would lead this game 2-1. A fumble on Utah's 35 gives the ball back to the Utes--they needed it. I need more pasta salad. I'm sneaking up there during the TV timeout. If this blog ends here, I've been thrown out of the press box for stealing food.
14:00: Dear Diary; Jackpot. There's tons of food left up there. I just made a kiling on pasta salad and pork wrapped in bacon. Oh yeah, still no score here. This game feels like a see-saw. No one's going anywhere, but there's still ups and downs.
10:00: There's a little bit of dialog between a Utah fan and a BYU fan right below me. Man, I wish I could read lips. I'll give it a shot.
Utah fan: My potato salad is so much better than yours.
BYU fan: Not a chance, my car a has a Hemi!
That can't be right.
7:42: Utah ties the game... the turnover game. Johnson throws another pick. The ball got deflected in the air and eventually wound up in BYU's hands. At this point, I want the game to end 3-0. It'd be historic.
4:47: Alright, points have been scored. Mitch Payne notches a 22-yard chip shot for a 3-0 BYU lead. Only two more field goals left in this game if my earlier 6-3 prediction was right. Note: It probably isn't.
3:50: Break out the razzle-dazzle. Utah tries a double reverse... which promptly gets blown up for a loss of five. Don't get the double reverse. Never have, never will.
3:11: First extra-curricular brewha to merit a yellow flag. Didn't look too physical so I'm guess any number of magic words were uttered. Again, I'm no lip reader but it looked like "farfignugan."
2:00: Guy next to me asks if there's any more food left. Thinking I can score more pasta salad I told him, "No." I hope he couldn't smell the garlic on my breath. After a big first down catch BYU tight end Dennis Pitta hands the ball to a Utah defender. Very "Cool Hand Luke" I thought, but in this league it's unsportsmanlike conduct and that costs you 15 yards.
End of the Half. BYU took a couple shots down field but couldn't quite get it working. 3-0 is your score. It's an exciting 3-0. The intensity of the game is palpable and the hits are huge. I'm lovin' it.
HALF TIME: They put the food away. I'm crushed. I really thought I could get to four plates of food today. In other news, I love when they bring someone out of the stands to kick a field goal for a lifetime supply of God-knows-what. This guy never had a chance. It took two false starts and he finally flubbed it just into the end zone. It was so short it reminded me of my chipping game.
13:45: The Utah offense that came out of the locker room is not the same. They're putting a great drive together here and have made it down to BYU's 24-yard line. They're mixing formations and play calls and moving the ball very well. If they score, they need to miss the extra-point to keep my prediction in play.
9:45: A big sack by BYU's defense keeps the prediction intact. Utah evens the ballgame in the stat that means the most. 3-3, tie ballgame. Jan Jorgensen got the sack, his second of the day. It makes 10.5 for him on the season which leads the conference. When this guy makes a sack, you hear it. The crowd goes nuts.
7:00: The BYU band has played everything from the "Imperial March" to "Keep 'Em Seperated." Gotta love the variety. I think I might have also heard the theme from TLOTR. That's "The Lord of the Rings" in case you're not a huge nerd-case like me.
5:23: Every school with a feline mascot has the same cat-like growl play over the loudspeaker for first downs. Maybe PETA issues the same tape to every school. I'll get back to you on that.
2:52: BYU got on the horse and mounts a solid 67-yard drive but is turned away without a touchdown. The running game worked well but Utah's corners made some great plays to keep the Cougars to a field-goal. 6-3 Cougars. According to my prediction, I should be able to pack up and start the drive to Vegas. Of course, if I was that good at predictions, I'd be in Vegas already with a million dollars already bet on this game.
1:17: Utah's having a real tough time here. They're backed up on their own 3-yard line courtesy of two straight offside penalties. The crowd is really getting into it and it's obviously hard to hear on the field.
64,000 people just watched 3 minutes of TV together. I had no clue what was going on. Apparently, BYU had made a mini-series, which seemed to parody 24 or some show like that. It featured the Cosmo the Cougar, Rowdy Boscoe and Steve Young. There were helicopters, race cars and explosions. I'm going to need some time to figure out just what went on here. Fans were riveted. The stadium was silent. Even the press box stopped to watch. I guess I'll have to wait for the series to come out on DVD.
13:48: These Utah corners might be playing the best I've ever seen corners play in the red zone. Insanely tight coverage, no breathing room for receivers. They just turned away another BYU drive. The Cougars were forced to go for the field goal and they hit it; 9-3 BYU.
11:19: Jereme Brooks never wants Utah to run a flea-flicker again. The Ute's tried a reverse flea flicker--incredible, I know. Brooks was the intended receiver but when Johnson's pass sailed high, Brooks was leveled. Might have been the biggest hit of the game so far.
8:45: If BYU loses this game, they have no one to blame but themselves. Driving just inside Utah's 30-yard line BYU blew two consecutive chances to score. Both times, receivers ran block-release routes and both times they were WIDE open. An overthrow the first time and butterfingers on fourth and five cost the Cougars big time.
6:39: With four minutes left in the game, I have to head down to the field to finish up the game there. I'll fill in the rest after the game.
5:30: Utah is driving and I don't want to leave. I'm sure I'll be in the elevator for something big just like Art Rooney when he missed the Immaculate Reception. Such is life.
4:00: I'm heading down to the field because I have a feeling this game is about to get crazy. Stay tuned.
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What a finish. What a finish! BYU pulled themselves out of the fire and chalked up another devastating blow to the Ute's. On BYU's last drive, they were helped out by the men in stripes. One call, an unnecessary roughness call was just that, unnecessary. There's no way that in a game this physical you call that penalty. The only gray area, and keep in mind we were on the field and unable to hear the call, is whether the defender led with the helmet. If he did, fine, but I think it was a bogus call. The second call was a pass interference call. They got that half right. If you look at the film, I think you'll see the receiver dragging the defender with him by the chest pads. Still, a great finish.
Any game that ends in the fans storming the field and the quarterback, in this case Max Hall, being carried off by the fans is a good one. We've got all the bedlam on the video, so make sure you check it out.