BYU vs. Utah State: Mo Moments

The Brigham Young Cougars beat the Utah State Aggies because they scored more points, they were the better team, and they had momentum on their side. Of the six “Mo Moments” in the game, four favored BYU.

Mo Moment 1
The early momentum went to Utah State. On the game’s opening drive, BYU was moving the ball methodically down the field. The Cougars faced a 4th and 1 at Utah State’s 30-yard line. BYU had already converted one fourth down on this drive. This time, the Aggies denied BYU.

Momentum swing! A BYU scoring threat had been averted. Utah State didn’t do move the ball after taking over on downs, but the next BYU series was a 3-and-out. Then, Utah State took the ball and drove 56 yards and kicked a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead.

Mo Moment 2
Right before Utah State kicked that field goal was the next mo moment. Utah State should have scored a touchdown. The Aggies had 1st and Goal at the 6-yard line. Utah State had four plays longer than six yards already on this drive. On first down, BYU moved Utah State back two yards. After a 7-yard pass moved the ball to the 1-yard line, BYU came up with another two-yard loss. With fourth down at the 3, Utah State decided to take a delay of game penalty and kick the field goal.

Momentum shift! Sure, Utah State got the points, but the BYU defense sent a message loud and clear: you are not getting in the end zone. After driving 56 yards on that drive, Utah State had just 52 yards the entire second quarter. Utah State knew the BYU defense had the upper hand.

Mo Moment 3
After another BYU defensive stop with less than a minute to play in the first half, BYU could have run the clock out happy to be down just three points. Instead, the Cougars decided to attack. With just 28 seconds to play, BYU needed a big play to cover the 61 yards. That play came in the form of a 28-yard pass to Cody Hoffman.

Momentum boost! At the 25-yard line, BYU was in business. Hoffman caught another pass and raced to the 3-yard line on the next play. BYU was able to score a touchdown with three seconds to play. The 6-3 lead was invaluable.

Mo Moment 4
Momentum didn’t play a role in the third quarter, but mo moments were abundant in the fourth. BYU was on the verge of taking complete control of the game. After starting the drive at their own 5-yard line, the Cougars had moved all the way to the Utah State 37-yard line. The BYU ball carrier had been tackled on the BYU sideline. A BYU player not even in the game let his emotions get the best of him, and he pushed a Utah State player. That resulted in a 15-yard penalty. On the next play, BYU threw an interception.

Momentum shift! The momentum was now on Utah State’s side. With the ball at their 48-yard line, Utah State had a prime opportunity to move into scoring range and kick a field goal to tie, or score a touchdown to win.

Mo Moment 5
Following the interception, Utah State moved to the BYU 15-yard line in eight plays. A false start penalty on 3rd and 10 moved the ball back five yards. An incomplete pass forced Utah State to attempt a 38-yard field goal. It missed wide left, with the extra five yards probably being the difference between a make and a miss.

Momentum shift! With 7:47 to play, BYU was now in a position to run out the clock with the ball control offense they had used the entire game.

Mo Moment 6
BYU’s drive stalled, and the Cougars punted back to the Aggies with 5:06 to play. They quickly picked up two first downs, and were moving downfield. That is when Uani Unga burst into the backfield and sacked the Aggie quarterback for a 9-yard loss.

Momentum boost! The distance was too much to overcome. Utah State was forced to punt, and BYU ran out the clock.

Each team had an opportunity to seize momentum during the game, but they didn’t. Utah State blocked a BYU field goal in the second quarter, but the Utah State offense was not able to do anything to capitalize on the special teams play. BYU recovered a fumble at the Utah State 9-yard line at the start of the third quarter. A holding penalty moved BYU back 10 yards. The Cougars faked a field goal to finish the drive, and that did not go well.  

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