The only reason this game was so close was because the Utes left a lot of points out on the field. Their defense should have intercepted four more balls than they did, a couple of which would have obviously been returned for touchdowns.
This turned out to be a great game... for Utah fans. Just as we expected, when Max Hall bleeds, his blood is as red as any true Ute fan. He showed last night why the team voted him the MVP of the game (even with the $10 payoff they had to give him to throw the game). The game started out strongly in Utah's favor as they took a quick 17-3 lead. BYU smartly used their runningbacks to get to the outside and were able to rack up quite a few yards on the ground, tying the game at 17. This was the closest that they would be.
It wasn't long after this that Max Hall started imploding. Utah's defense mixed it up a bit and used a couple of defensive schemes that they have never used before and that Hall had never seen before. Their defensive ends started switching sides off and on and a couple of times they even dropped back into coverage rather than blitz the QB. Each of BYU's last five drives ended with a Max Hall turnover. The Utes turned three of these turnovers into 21 points in the fourth quarter, making a close game not look that close by the final score.
Most of Hall's interceptions came when Utah was blitzing. They didn't record a single sack all night, but when they blitzed 5, 6 or 7 Max Hall couldn't make a play. Out of Hall's 41 pass attempts, 6 ball were batted down at the line, 5 ended in interceptions and 4 hit Utah's defenders in the chest or hands but they couldn't bring them in. Johnson, on the other hand, only had 6 incompletions, over 300 yards and 0 interceotions.
In my opinion, the player of the game award goes to Paul Kruger. He had one of Max Hall's interceptions, lots of tackles and was a big part of the pressure that gave Max Hall fits. On the offensive side of the ball, Utah quarterback Brian Johnson had one of his best games ever.
Now, Utah gets a second chance to play in a BCS bowl game, but us Utah fans shouldn't be satisfied with that. Once again, the Utes will be left out of the battle for the national championship game - even though that have yet to lose. With a playoff, Utah would at least have a chance to play for a national championship - if they continue to win. The BCS is, and always will be, a joke. (I'm not saying that I think the Utes are a championship caliber team, just that I think that until a team loses, it shouldn't be out of the title hunt. This includes you Boise State and Ball State!).