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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Remembering the Rivalry: BYU 37, Utah 17 (1996)

After dominating the series and losing only twice from 1972 to 1992, BYU suffered three straight losses from 1993 through 1995. The 1996 game ended this skid in an astounding way. Since his six touchdown passes and over 530 yards passing in the opener, Steve Sarkisian had led an aerial attack that was among the tops in the nation. On this day, however, Sarkisian took a back seat to the one-two punch of Brian McKenzie and Ronny Jenkins. Each back repetitively ripped off 10, 15 and 20 yard runs on their way to over 300 combined rushing yards. The Utes were stunned and could not make adjustments to stop the ground attack. Sarkisian finished the day 7-12 for 70 yards.

The BYU defense played well, too. Oversized running back Chris Fuamatu-Maafala was held in check with only one rush over 10 yards.

With the 37-17 win, BYU moved to 12-1 on the year, and clinched the Mountain Division of the 16-team Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

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