Scores

Final/OT

Utah 41

(6-5, 4-4 Pac-12)

BYU 34

(6-5)

3:00 PM ET, November 19, 2005

LaVell Edwards Stadium, PROVO, UT

1 2 3 4 OT T
UTAH 14 10 7 3 741
BYU 3 0 21 10 034

Top Performers

Passing: B. Ratliff (UTAH) - 240 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: C. Brown (BYU) - 20 CAR, 153 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: B. Hernandez (UTAH) - 4 REC, 81 YDS, 2 TD

BYU rallies, falls short in OT as Utes pull out win

BYU rallies, falls short in OT as Utes pull out win

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said all week that backup quarterback Brett Ratliff had a strong enough arm to give the Utes a chance against rival Brigham Young on Saturday.

It was Ratliff's legs -- and his poise through the tense final minutes -- that caught BYU by surprise while he led the Utes to a win that saved their season.

Ratliff threw four touchdown passes, including one in overtime, and ran for another while scrambling to 112 yards rushing and leading Utah to a 41-34 overtime victory over Brigham Young on Saturday.

The Utes (6-5, 4-4 Mountain West) won the state rivalry for the fourth straight time and become eligible for a bowl game.

"To be a part of this and getting to win it, it's amazing," said Ratliff, whose 25-yard touchdown pass to Travis LaTendresse in overtime set up a final defensive stand that won it for Utah.

The game ended when John Beck's pass in the end zone was just out of reach for a diving Michael Reed on fourth-and-6. The Utes charged onto the field after the final incompletion and a few stuck around to douse Whittingham with a jug of water to celebrate the first-year coach's victory over his alma mater, which offered Whittingham its coaching job last year.

The Utes needed a win Saturday to avoid going from 12-0 last season to a 5-6 finish. And few gave Utah a chance after quarterback Brian Johnson tore a knee ligament the week before late in a loss to New Mexico.

"To me, this makes this whole season a positive one," Whittingham said.

Utah hadn't won four straight over BYU since a run from 1968-1971.

BYU (6-5, 5-3) trailed 24-3 at halftime and had to rally from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but failed to score after winning the coin toss and electing to let Utah go first on offense.

Ratliff threw the ball erratically, but caught the Cougars off guard with his running ability and had 19 carries, although only a few of them were planned. Quinton Ganther ran for 131 yards on 21 carries to help Ratliff, a junior college transfer, adjust in his first start.

"They were surprised we ran the ball. They're still surprised," Ratliff said.

Although many of his passes were way off, he completed 17 of 32 and was on target for all four of his touchdown throws. He also didn't throw an interception.

"Rat-a-tat-tat went off today!" said LaTendresse, who had eight catches for 88 yards. "He has a strong arm. Sometimes he muscles it a little too much, but he was on the money when he needed to be."

On second-and-10 from the 25 in overtime, Ratliff hit LaTendresse on a slant pattern at the 1-yard line and LaTendresse tumbled in for the score.

"It was the perfect play. The perfect call for the perfect situation," Ratliff said.

After the play, Utah still had to keep the Cougars out of the end zone to win it.

The Utes stopped Beck for 1 yard on a keeper, forced an incompletion and Soli Lefiti knocked down a pass on third down to set up the final play. On fourth down, Beck rolled to his left and threw a high pass that just missed Reed's diving attempt at the back of the end zone.

"They did a good job of D-ing up on that last play. There was nobody (open)," Beck said.

Beck was 27-for-47 for 309 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars, who still finished the regular season with a winning record for the first time since 2001.

Curtis Brown ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns for BYU, which trailed 24-3 at halftime after a quick start by Utah. The Cougars limited the Utes to 225 yards of offense in the second half and Beck led the rally with touchdown passes to Todd Watkins and Matt Allen.

"It came down to them making one more play than we did," said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, who was promoted from defensive coordinator after Whittingham turned down the job and accepted Utah's.

As the Cougars rallied, the Utes held on just enough to keep from ever falling behind. Ratliff hit Brian Hernandez for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 5:47 left in the third and Dan Beardall added a 44-yard field goal to pad Utah's margin just enough.

The Utes also kept the Cougars from driving within scoring range after punting to the BYU 38 with 2:11 remaining.

The Cougars still finished in second place in the league standings and should be making their first bowl appearance since 2001.

"It's tough after a loss like this to think about a bowl game," Beck said.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
UTAH
BYU
1st Downs2420
Total Yards491485
Passing240309
Rushing251176
Penalties12-869-74
3rd Down Conversions7-167-17
4th Down Conversions0-00-3
Turnovers01
Possession31:5528:05

Passing Leaders

UtahC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Ratliff17/322407.540-
Weddle0/100.000-
Brigham YoungC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Beck27/473096.620-

Rushing Leaders

UtahCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ganther211316.2034
Ratliff191125.9124
Brigham YoungCARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown201537.7264
Tahi5153.008

Receiving Leaders

UtahRECYDSAVGTDLG
LaTendresse68814.7125
Hernandez48120.3248
Brigham YoungRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown78412.0037
Harline44611.5018

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUTAHBYU
TD11:51BRIAN HERNANDEZ 3 YD PASS FROM BRETT RATLIFF (DAN BEARDALL KICK)
Drive info: 5 plays, 60 yards.
70
TD5:25CHAD JACOBSEN 15 YD PASS FROM BRETT RATLIFF (DAN BEARDALL KICK)
Drive info: 9 plays, 76 yards.
140
FG0:19JARED MCLAUGHLIN 31 YD FG
Drive info: 11 plays, 66 yards.
143
SECOND QUARTERUTAHBYU
FG8:05DAN BEARDALL 35 YD FG
Drive info: 7 plays, 48 yards.
173
TD4:37BRETT RATLIFF 4 YD RUN (DAN BEARDALL KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 7 yards.
243
THIRD QUARTERUTAHBYU
TD11:37CURTIS BROWN 5 YD RUN (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 64 yards.
2410
TD10:04CURTIS BROWN 64 YD RUN (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 64 yards.
2417
TD5:47BRIAN HERNANDEZ 48 YD PASS FROM BRETT RATLIFF (DAN BEARDALL KICK)
Drive info: 8 plays, 65 yards.
3117
TD1:32TODD WATKINS 13 YD PASS FROM JOHN BECK (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 40 yards.
3124
FOURTH QUARTERUTAHBYU
FG10:35DAN BEARDALL 44 YD FG
Drive info: 10 plays, 49 yards.
3424
TD8:31MATT ALLEN 28 YD PASS FROM JOHN BECK (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)
Drive info: 5 plays, 71 yards.
3431
FG4:50JARED MCLAUGHLIN 37 YD FG
Drive info: 7 plays, 18 yards.
3434
OVERTIMEUTAHBYU
TD0:00TRAVIS LATENDRESSE 25 YD PASS FROM BRETT RATLIFF (DAN BEARDALL KICK)
Drive info: 6 plays, 25 yards.
4134