Morning links: BYU, Utah, USU all on Top 100 football games list for 2018

The 2018-19 college football season is in the rearview mirror, but BYU, Utah and Utah State were among the teams that made it a memorable year on a national level.

At least that’s how sports writer Bill Connelly of SBNation.com sees it.

Connelly ranked the top 100 best games from this past fall’s campaign, and each of the local schools played in at least one unforgettable contest. BYU and Utah both played in two of the 100 best games, according to this writer.

Of course, that included the one game in which the Cougars and Utes played against each other. Not surprisingly, the crazy, tale-of-two-halves BYU-Utah rivalry game made the list at No. 30.

“BYU led 27-7 with 16 minutes left. Utah looked at its watch and said, ‘OK, time to win,'” SBNation recalled. “After one touchdown in the Utes’ first 45 plays, they scored four in their next 19. And after 15 first downs in the first three quarters, BYU generated two in the fourth.”

The final on that memorable Nov. 24 night at Rice-Eccles Stadium: Utah 35, BYU 27. Nobody who lives in the Beehive State need be taught how many times in a row the Utes have beaten their rivals to the south. (Eight for newcomers to this bittersweet brotherly battle.)

“I hope everyone got their money’s worth out of that one. That was another Rivalry Game for the books,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “What would you expect? So many times there are so many storylines. The constant has been a great game.”

Here are the other games involving Utah teams that made this Top 100 list:

No. 59 — Michigan State 38, Utah State 31 (Aug. 31): Time has changed the perspective on this game, as SBNation humorously described.

“In retrospect, this almost feels like an upset. Utah State charged to 11 wins and a top-25 finish, while Michigan State limped from preseason No. 11 to 7-6,” the article pointed out. “But the first Friday produced a stupendous, back-and-forth battle either way. The Spartans led 27-14 when USU’s Gaje Ferguson scored on a pick-six, and Darwin Thompson gave the Aggies a 31-30 lead with five minutes left. But an acrobatic catch by Felton Davis set up a Connor Heyward touchdown, and USU’s last-ditch drive stalled.”

Former USU coach Matt Wells expressed his disappointment in his postgame remarks to 1280 The Zone: “We came in here to win.”

No. 66 — BYU 24, Wisconsin 21 (Sept. 15): Considering the Cougars got walloped by Wisconsin 40-6 in Provo in 2017 and the Badgers were ranked sixth in the nation, this outcome at Camp Randall was a shocker. It snapped a 41-game winning streak at home against nonconference foes for Wisconsin and was BYU’s first win over a top 10 team in a road game since a 20-14 victory at No. 3 Pitt in 1984.

“We kept telling everyone to believe,” BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki said.

No. 76 — Washington State 28, Utah 24 (Sept. 29): A certain group of blue-clad Cougars struggled to beat the Utes, but the ones from Wazzu found a way to give the Utes a painful loss early in the season. Trailing by three with 4:14 left, Washington State scored the game-winning touchdown on an 89-yard pass from quarterback Gardner Minshew II to Easop Winston.

“We knew they were going to come out and be heavy pass,” said Utah cornerback Julian Blackmon, “and they got the better of us this time.”

The No. 1 game of the season also happened to be the highest-scoring duel: Texas A&M 74, LSU 72.

“We fall in and out of love with this sport a lot. There’s so much at which to marvel, and there’s so much at which to rage against,” SBNation wrote. “We’ll say it’s fitting that the best football game of 2018 was as frustrating as it was amazing.”

TRUE LOVE

With one emoji and one retweet, Donovan Mitchell further entrenched himself in the hearts of Utah Jazz fans who love their NBA players and their home.

This was just Mitchell’s latest in a long line of expressions of affection for this New Yorker’s home away from home.

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Jazz forward Jae Crowder had his heart melted when two young Jazz fans shared their devotion to him on Twitter.

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WEEKEND PLANNER

Friday, Jan. 11

  • NBA: Jazz vs. Lakers, 8 p.m.
  • ECHL: Grizzlies at Nailers, 5 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Dixie State vs. MSU-Denver, 7:30 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Westminster vs. Chadron State, 7:30 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Utah at Washington State, 8 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Dixie State vs. MSU-Denver, 5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Westminster vs. Chadron State, 5:30 p.m.
  • Gymnastics: BYU vs. Utah, 7 p.m.
  • Skiing: Utah at Colorado Invitational
  • Men’s tennis: BYU vs. Weber State, 5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis: BYU at SMU Invitational
  • Track: BYU hosts BYU Indoor Invite (vs. UVU)
  • Track: SUU at Stacy Dragila Invite, at Pocatello/NAU Friday Night Challenge
  • Track: Westminster at Snake River Open, at Pocatello

Saturday, Jan. 12

  • NBA: Jazz vs. Bulls, 8 p.m.
  • ECHL: Grizzlies at Fort Wayne, 5:30 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Utah vs. Washington State, 6 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: BYU vs. Santa Clara, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Utah State at Wyoming, 4 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: UVU vs. Seattle, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Weber State at Portland State, 8 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: SUU vs. NAU, 2 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Dixie State vs. Chadron State, 7:30 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Westminster vs. MSU-Denver, 7:30 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: Snow at SLCC, 5 p.m.
  • Men’s basketball: USU-Eastern vs. Southern Idaho, 5 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: BYU at Saint Mary’s, 3 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Utah State vs. Wyoming, 2 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: UVU at Seattle
  • Women’s basketball: Weber State vs. Portland State, 2 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: SUU at NAU
  • Women’s basketball: Dixie State vs. Chadron State, 5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Westminster vs. MSU-Denver, 5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Snow at SLCC, 3 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: USU-Eastern vs. Southern Idaho, 3 p.m.
  • Men’s volleyball: BYU vs. Ball State, 7 p.m.
  • Gymnastics: Utah State at Pitt/WVU/Eastern Michigan, noon
  • Wrestling: UVU vs. Harvard and at Stanford
  • Swimming & diving: BYU vs. Grand Canyon
  • Skiing: Utah at Colorado Invitational
  • Men’s tennis: Utah at BYU, 5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis: Utah vs. Texas A&M, at San Diego
  • Women’s tennis: BYU at SMU Invitational
  • Track: BYU hosts BYU Indoor Invite (vs. UVU)
  • Track: Weber State, Westminster at Snake River Open, at Pocatello
  • Track: SUU at Stacy Dragila Invite, at Pocatello

Sunday, Jan. 13

  • Women’s basketball: Utah at Washington, 3 p.m.
  • Skiing: Utah at Colorado Invitational
  • Men’s tennis: Utah State vs. Weber State, 10 a.m. and vs. Idaho State, 3 p.m.

from deseretnews.com – Top Stories http://bit.ly/2VIC7Pv

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