I'm not sure where to start with this one... First of all, Wyoming's coach gauranteed a win against Utah while talking to students last Monday. This obviously angered Utah (and Coach Whittingham especially - he should have been happy after the game, but he was on one) and Utah came to pay a bit of revenge. Utah played a fantastic game, but took a few minutes getting started. After Wyoming tried a fake punt in the first quarter (on their own 25 yard line) Utah used a modified version of the old fumblerooski play (watch for it in the video below) to score from 25 yards out.
This game seemed to be a throwback to the Urban Meyer days. Everything was working out, there were a bunch of "trick" plays, the defense was fantastic and Utah could have kept up with anyone in the country playing the way that they were. They were up 40-0 going into the half (and they threw an interception in the end zone in the last minute of the first half - they should have had another TD...). The best play of the game was probably a faked punt by Utah where Louie Sakoda (the punter) faked his kicking motion before tossing the ball (like a girl, I might add) across the line to a defensive lineman who ran the ball down to the 1 yard line (it was actually a touchdown, but the officials had already reviewed three calls and Utah wasn't afraid that they wouldn't score - so it wasn't reviewed).
There's a bit of controversy brewing over the game as well. Utah tried an onsides kick in the third quarter when they were up 43-0. While I don't condone his (Whittingham's) actions, I do think it was a good time to practice an onsides kick, but not a very sportsmanlike thing to do. Utah failed at the attempt (because they retrieved the ball at the 9.5 yard line and a guy was offsides). This gave Wyoming their best field position of the day (on the 34.5 yard line) and they still couldn't convert. This same attempt prompted Wyoming's Coach Joe Glenn to give the Utah bench the one-fingered salute. I've got to agree that the call was inappropriate and I think that Whittingham agrees, stating after the game that he regrets his decision.
The meat of this controversy is actually being fueled more by BYU fans than it is by Wyoming fans (I'm not saying that they aren't mad, but from visiting everybody's fan boards, that's the feeling I get). This is often the case and is something that drives me nuts. It goes both ways, Utah fans are angered more by things BYU does than the teams they are playing against and vice versa. The good news is that this (mainly the one-fingered salute) is giving the conference more attention than they've had all year and it's the first time that I've seen a MWC team featured on ESPN's homepage. Thanks Wyoming.
As for running up the score, I think that Utah's attempt on fourth and 2 in the fourth quarter should be viewed as more an attempt of running up the score than their failed onsides kick (you can't score on an onsides kick). Either way, Utah only scored 10 points in the second half, compared with Boise State's 21 points in the second half against Utah State (where BSU won 52-0) or John [from the comments I learned that I accused the wrong Beck. It should be Jason Beck here] Beck's TD pass to Harline in the latter-half of the fourth quarter against the Aggies last year (where BYU won 38-0 or something). In this game, Utah had pulled their offensive starters for the fourth quarter (although Mack only needed 3 yards to set a Utah record at consecutive 100-yard games). I really don't think that Utah was intentionally running up the score in the second half though (you better believe that they were in the first). I know that there are a lot of people out there who probably disagree, and that's ok. I'm certainly not condoning Utah's actions because I think that there are things that both teams regret.
Utah is easily the best team in the conference right now. They are running the ball, passing the ball and playing defense like its nobody's business. They haven't allowed a team into the end zone in 10 quarters. Wyoming had the 6th ranked defense in the country going into the game with Utah and Utah put up over 500 yards (while limiting the Cowboys to 122 - and 1/3 of those came in the fourth quarter).
You're not going to find me garaunteeing any wins though. As good as Utah is playing right now, they seem to have a knack for having big letdowns under Coach Whit. If they can keep the same intensity that they've had the last few weeks then everybody better watch out!
Yes, I've categorized this post under "rant" because that's exactly what I've done.