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NCAA Game Summary - Utah at BYU

(Saturday, November 24th)

Final Score: (23) BYU 17, Utah 10

Provo, UT (Sports Network) - Harvey Unga's 11-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds to play gave 23rd-ranked BYU a dramatic 17-10 victory over Utah, helping the Cougars clinch their second straight Mountain West Conference title.

Unga ran for 141 yards on 23 carries and Max Hall threw for 269 yards for the Cougars (9-2, 7-0 MWC), who have won eight consecutive games, a record 15 straight overall against the Mountain West Conference and 12 consecutive games at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Austin Collie finished with five receptions for 126 yards and Mitch Payne connected on three field goals in the victory.

"I think our program is maturing, and there is less uncertainty as these situations come up," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "There wasn't any panic; there wasn't any loss of composure. There was simply diligence about our execution."

Darrell Mack rushed for 56 yards on 14 carries and scored a touchdown for the Utes (8-4, 5-3), who were coming off a 28-10 triumph over New Mexico last week and had a seven-game win streak snapped.

With Utah trailing 9-3, Mack put the Utes on top with a one-yard plunge over the goal line with 1:38 remaining in the contest, marking the first touchdown of the afternoon for either team.

BYU, though, converted on 4th-and-18 with 1:05 left to keep its hopes alive, then picked up 30 yards on a personal foul and a pass interference call against Utah.

Unga then scored on an 11-yard run up the middle and the two-point conversion floated into the hands of Collie in the back of the end zone, giving BYU a 17-10 lead.

Utah had one last chance to tie it, but the Cougars batted down Brian Johnson's pass in the end zone as BYU fans stormed the field in celebration.

"It was a tough loss obviously, and it was tough to swallow," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "I don't know what to say other than I am proud of our guys. It came down to the wire just like last year, and unfortunately it went the other way."

Both teams seemed off-kilter at the start, perhaps caught up in the annual hype that divides the state between fans wearing red and blue. The Cougars and Utes combined for three turnovers in the first quarter, all potentially costly.

Utah linebacker Joe Jiannoni picked off an errant pass by Hall at 9:31, and the Utes took over with a 1st-and-10 from the Cougars 16-yard line.

BYU tried to help them along, with a penalty on 2nd-and-13 giving the Utes a first-and-goal from the seven. Two plays later, though, Cougars safety Corby Hodgkiss intercepted Johnson two yards from the end zone.

The Cougars then went the other way, piecing together an eight-play, 65-yard drive that suddenly ended when Unga fumbled the ball well inside field goal range.

Payne then missed a 48-yard field goal attempt for BYU with 8:45 left in the second quarter. It came at the end of a 15-play, 58-yard march that began with 47 ticks left in the front stanza.

Payne redeemed himself with a 22-yard kick that snuck inside the right post with 4:47 left in the half, and BYU carried a 3-0 edge to intermission.

Utah answered with a 47-yard field goal by Louie Sakoda early in the third quarter that tied the game, but the Cougars climbed back on top with Payne's 23-yard chip shot at 2:52.

BYU extended the lead with a drive that bridged into the fourth quarter. Hall keyed the drive with an 18-yard pass to Michael Reed that put the Cougars back in field-goal range for Payne, who eventually connected on a 35-yarder with 13:48 left in the contest, giving his squad a 9-3 cushion.

Game Notes

BYU has won 19 of its last 21 games overall...The Utes and Cougars have met 83 times since the first official meeting in 1922. Except for 2004, the last nine meetings have been decided by seven points or less...The Cougars captured the Beehive Boot trophy with the victory...BYU's 15-game conference win streak is the longest since the club won 15 straight from November 15, 1983 to October 19, 1985. That streak was part of a school-record, 25-game league win streak that dated from October 9, 1982 to October 19, 1985...Johnson completed 17- of-29 passes for 129 yards and a pair of interceptions for Utah.

11/25 01:20:40 ET

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