November 27, 2010
Last year, the BYU-Utah rivalry was introduced to a new standard when Max Hall claimed Utah fans were "classless." Well that may be true, I really didn't see that today.
When Brandon Burton blocked BYU's last second field goal, Utah players and fans for the most part were pretty classy. They celebrated the win instead of rushing the field to punch Jake Heaps, who was the only quarterback to show up today.
Then the camera panned to Mitch Payne, who was in shock that his kick was blocked. At that moment, Matt Martinez for Utah shoved Payne and yelled something at him in a way that you knew he was taunting. Really? Was that necessary?
I don't think so.
Martinez didn't prove Utah fans are classless like Hall suggested last year, but he proved he is classless. Just celebrate the win with your team and your fans and let the loss be enough for BYU to choke on.
First of all, you, Martinez, didn't win the game for the Utes, your teammate saved your ass because — if I'm not mistaken — BYU was supposedly a much worse team.
Utah started out the season 8-0 and BYU began 1-4. Utah was home. I was under the impression it was going to lopsided, but then Utah ran into TCU at home and got slaughtered. The loss didn't show the Utes were overrated, it showed everyone they were beatable. Since that game, Utah has been the most underachieving team in the FBS.
They should've murdered Notre Dame, they barely beat San Diego State (although that team is much improved), and they put up a giant goose-egg in the first half Saturday.
Yes, BYU was much improved record-wise, but winning against Colorado State or Wyoming doesn't save a football season. Utah should have smothered BYU in front of their home crowd.
Then there was the interception with 4 minutes left in the game. The one BYU picked off then fumbled, only to see the replay clearly show the cornerback's knee was down before the ball was out. That call screwed BYU and may have cost them the win (that said, BYU still had the opportunity to stop the Utes).
And Martinez, you let a freshman quarterback in the signature moment of his early career cut your Utes defense apart on its way downfield to set up the opportunity. So the last thing you should be doing is pushing a kicker around after you didn't do crap defensively.
The block also saved Kyle Whittingham, who foolishly burned back-to-back timeouts that allowed BYU to wind the clock down to four seconds. If Burton didn't block the field goal, think about the questioning on that call. Yeah sure it worked, but if Payne made the field goal and Whittingham didn't burn that one timeout — the Utes would still have 40 seconds to drive down the field and at least have some sort of shot at winning the game. Instead, Whittingham put his team in a situation where if Payne made the field goal, the Utes lose 19-17.
All aside, congratulations to the Utah Utes for winning the 92nd Holy War (a.k.a. the dirtiest rivalry in sports), it wasn't pretty but you guys played clean and won fair and square — except for Matt Martinez. For what was an awful first half, turned into one hell of a fourth quarter.
However, in the end, the real winner this week is TCU. They win the Mountain West and now sit pretty for an invitation to either the BCS Championship Game or, more likely, the Rose Bowl.
And for those who think the rivalry is over, it has just begun. Next season the Pac 10 Utah Utes will travel to the Independent BYU Cougars' territory in September for a nationally televised affair.