Third Time is a Charm for Utah Utes

by Travis Normand

On September 15, the Utah Utes defeated rival BYU in the 2012 edition of the “Holy War” played at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

However, it’s not the upset that made the end of this game unconventional.  In the last five minutes of the game, the Utah football team did just about everything they could to blow their 10-point lead.  However, upon finding a way to preserve the upset, the Utah students decide that it is time for them to take matters into their own hands.


[If you don’t want to watch the whole video, jump ahead to about the 13-minute mark]

While I don’t think that the Utah students were trying to lose the game for their football team, I do think they acted without any knowledge as to the consequences of their actions.

I also think that the students honestly believed the game was over. Afterall, most students or fans of any football team don’t really know all of the ins-and-outs of the game itself — as the students at Utah clearly demonstrate here. Can I honestly expect a bunch of college students in Utah to know exactly when a football game is over? I guess not.

I am not saying that Utah students are stupid however Utah is only ranked No. 125 overall in the 2012 National Rankings by U.S. News and World Report (BYU is ranked No. 68). What I am saying is that the Utah students failed to exercise any common sense, logic, or reasoning, and thus prematurely rushed the football field three times.

Of course, some will point out that the ESPN commentators were confused.

After the students rush the field, the second time, the commentators begin discussing the penalty flag that was thrown (see the above video at the 18:15 mark). In discussing whether or not BYU will get another shot at the field goal both commentators agreed that no matter what the flag is for the ball belongs to Utah and thus the game should be over.  Unfortunately, the commentators were incorrect.

Despite their extremely non-football-savvy fan base, Utah was able to hold on for the win.

While I didn’t have any stake in the outcome of this game, I was hoping that BYU would convert their final field goal attempt and send the game into overtime. Had the game ended regularly, I wouldn’t have cared who won or lost but after witnessing this debacle of football fandom I wanted BYU to defeat Utah in overtime.

I can’t imagine the hysteria that would have ensued as the Utah students would have been forced to deal with the fact that if not for them they would have defeated their rival.  Oh well, I guess that sometimes ignorance really can go unpunished.

I know, some of you are probably thinking that I am being too hard on the students at Utah.  They just defeated their rival and should be allowed to celebrate, right?  Absolutely!  However, this is essentially the problem, as the Utah students started the celebration before their rival had actually been defeated.

Those who are willing to excuse such mistakes obviously haven’t watched much college football.  In college football upsets happen every weekend.  Most, if not all, of these upsets happen in atmospheres that are emotionally charged.  These upsets also typically involve teams that are rivals.  However, no matter the circumstances surrounding the upset, the students at other schools don’t always rush the field.  Why?  Because believe it or not, many student bodies are able to embrace the old phrase — “act like you’ve been there before.”

But have the Utes been there before?

Yes, actually they have. This isn’t their first time to beat their rival.  In 2008 Utah defeated BYU 48-24, in 2010 they won 17-16, in 2011 the Utes dismantled BYU 54-10, and now in 2012 the Utes have made it three in a row.

The 2008 Utah squad actually went undefeated (13-0) and finished off the season by defeating No. 4 ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, 31-17.  The 2004 season also saw the Utes finish undefeated (12-0).  Their final game in 2004 was a victory over No. 20 ranked Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, 35-7.

Further, the 2012 victory doesn’t mark the only time that the Utes have gone on a run of consecutive victories against their rival BYU.  Besides the three wins from 2010-2012, Utah won four straight from 2002-2005, and three straight from 1993-1995.  These are not the only times, but they are the most recent.

But wait, even the ESPN commentators said that they had never seen anything like this before?  Actually, they said this twice during the last few minutes of the game while the Utah students were rushing the field for the second or third time.  Regardless, the commentators inability to recall college football games from memory doesn’t excuse the Utah students from acting like morons.

While the commentators may have never seen anything like this before, the rest of the country has.

In 2008, the University of Cincinnati students prematurely rushed the field in their game against Pittsburgh:

And how do you forget this one?  On 21 November 2009 Arizona is leading Oregon 31-24 in the 4th quarter with 00:31 seconds remaining.  As the Ducks get ready for 3rd-and-5, Arizona students begin lining the field in preparation for their “certain” victory.

However, Oregon ends up scoring a touchdown to tie the game 31-31.  The Arizona fans are forced to stand on the sidelines for two overtime periods only to see the Oregon Ducks win the game 44-41.

And what about “the Play?”  This is THE premier example of a premature field rush.

Of course, maybe the commentators were referring to BYU getting one second put back on the clock after time seemingly expired and the fans had already rushed the field?  Is this what they had never seen before?

If that is the case, they must not remember the 2009 Big 12 Championship between the Longhorns and Corn Huskers.  Not only had time run out but the Nebraska football team had cleared the bench and ran onto the field to celebrate their upset victory.  This didn’t stop the referees from clearing the field, putting a second back on the clock, and allowing the Longhorns to kick the game winning field goal.

The list of examples is endless.

Unfortunately, so are the dumb comments this Utah student makes while filming the triple-field rush.

Lets review:

After what feels like a full five minutes of solid high-pitch screaming, you finally get some of the student’s brilliant commentary around the 1:20 mark.  Of course, you don’t have to suffer through the entire video, as you can just jump to the following spots that I have listed below.

[1] At the 1:20 mark, you can hear a male student (in the back ground) announce to his friends that the play is under review.  What a genius!  Do all Utah students take as long as this guy does in order to realize and state the obvious?

[2] At the 1:40 mark, the two girls (one of which is filming this video) start discussing the fact that they have no clue where the football team went.  One of the girl students asks, “Where did the team go?”  Next, she answers her own question with “I guess they are still out there.” (Thank god we have Sherlock Holmes on the case here).

[3] At the 2:10 mark, the referee announces the findings of the replay officials and states that there is one second remaining in the game.  This is met with the girl student’s reaction of “WHAT,” “Nooooo,” and “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?”

At the 2:17 mark, she makes a follow-up comment that appears to show her frustration with the officials’ decision.  Her frustration is based purely on the fact that “all these people are on the field, seriously!?”  As if the officials should have decided that there was no time left in the game due to the fact that the students had already rushed the field.  Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

[4] At the 2:28 mark, she makes one of her best comments, “Just stay on the field.”  At the time she says it, it comes across as part of her frustration with the officials’ decision, however, it will later become clearer as to what she “really meant.”

[5] At the 2:34 mark, Sherlock Holmes chimes in again.  While staring at a field with 11 Utah and 11 BYU football players, all of which are ready to resume the game, she announces “Oh, there are the Utah players!” (Thank god she found them!)

[6] At the 2:45 mark, the girl who is filming asks “Are they [BYU] going for it? Are they going to kick it?” (If there was ever a question that I wish I was present in order to answer it would have been this one.)  Upon realizing that the answer to her idiotic question is a more than obvious YES, she proceeds to scream “Block it, BLOCK ITTTTT!”

This would be the moment where I suggest you turn down your speakers and remove all dogs within hearing distance.

[7] At the 3:07 mark, Utah blocks BYU’s field goal attempt and the second student rush is on!  The girl filming and her friends, join in the celebration from their seats high above the field.  All is right with the world!

But wait … In the back ground you can hear the P.A. announcer state that there is a flag on the play.  In what then appears to be a short game of “telephone,” the students (including the girl filming) repeat the fact that “there is a flag on the play” upon hearing the announcer.

It is around this moment where the celebratory occasion becomes a situation where the students who rushed the field are now suddenly idiots and they clearly should have stayed in their seats, just like those of us up here in the nose bleed section did!

[8] At the 3:55 mark, they start asking and worrying about a friend named Cody who is on the field. I have no idea who Cody is.

[9] At the 4:24 mark, the girl filming finally says “get off the field people; hey whats the flag on?”  Yes, she makes a quick statement that ends with an abrupt question. In other words, for all she knows the flag could be on BYU and the game could be over.  If this is the case, then whether or not the Utah fans are on the field is irrelevant.  However, this makes no difference to her…as she just thinks everyone should get off the field.  (This is where you finally go back and see comment [4] where she says “Just stay on the field!“).

[10] At the 4:31 mark, the girl filming apparently sees and announces that there is a naked girl running onto the field (“That girl is naked“).  Of course, two seconds later she states that the girl is not really naked but is wearing a sports bra.  It’s almost as if the mysterious “naked” girl caused the student filming this video to go completely ADD on us, as everything suddenly becomes all about this naked/non-naked girl that she sees.  She is suddenly oblivious to the fact that there are several hundred other students rushing the field for the second time.

[11] At the 5:03 mark, the girl filming says that “I am sure the people watching this at home are wondering what is going on.”  I hate to break it to her, but the people at home watching the game on ESPN are pretty informed as to what is going on.  It is this girl, and her several hundred student friends, who are the clueless morons.  After all, they are the ones that have either rushed the field twice or are filming the sophomoric behavior while making statements that show the level of their football/fan I.Q.

[12] At the 5:19 mark, you finally get to see a true moment of school spirit and student-body solidarity.  The home crowd of Utah fans start chanting at the Utah students on the field.  What is the chant?  “It’s [the game] not over!

If this were an episode of Wild Animal Kingdom, you would be listening to how rare of a moment this actually was.  “You are witnessing a crowd of thousands who, just moments ago, were supportive of the field rushers (see comment [4]).  However, as the game drags on due to no one’s fault but their own, the faithful crowd begins to turn against their own!”

Yes, it must be nice to sit in the nose bleed section on this night.  Almost as if it were God’s own personal throne, perched high above all else, casting judgment on those below.  Had it not been for the location of their seats, these idiots behind the camera would have been among the few hundred students that rushed the field multiple times.

[13] The 5:40 mark: This is one of my favorites and truly is a classic moment.  The referee announces the facts that support why the penalty flag was thrown.  In doing so he states the facts as they happened and says nothing shocking or controversial.

Anyone paying attention to the game (or watching at home on ESPN, see comment [11]) would not only understand the referee’s call but would not be shocked by it at all.  The girl filming this video doesn’t let any of this common sense phase her as she lets out a loud and delayed “WHATTT!!!?” in response to the referee’s announcement.  You can hear a guy off camera explaining the outcome to her step-by-step and says that BYU is going to get a chance to kick the field goal again.  Her response; “Nooo Wayyy!

This classic moment is capped off by another guy in the crowd yelling “YOU ARE IDIOTS!” (At around the 6:03 mark).

[14] At the 6:35 mark, the girl filming makes one of her more telling statements.  After several “OH MY GOD” comments in response to BYU getting another chance to kick the ball, she finally decides to tell us that “I’ve never experienced this ever!”

I know, shocking.

Of course you have “never experienced this ever.”  How could you have?  How could you have experienced something before it actually happens?  (Again, see Utah’s ranking above).

I am not sure that it makes it any better if we assume that she meant to say that she has never experienced a crazy ending to a football game before.  After all, it is evident from her comments and reactions that she hasn’t experienced much of anything before, much less a college football game.

[15] The 7:15 mark, BYU misses its final field goal and everyone goes nuts! The students storm the field for the third time!  No one appears to have a problem with anything.

Still not convinced Utah fans seem to have below average intelligence when it comes to college football?  Well, check out the following links:

There is a comment to the article at DeadSpin.com that is too good to pass up.  Posted by a user named QuinneyUte15: [emphasis added]

I was there (and rushed the field each time).  It was pretty surreal that the game “ended” 3 different times.  The refs tried to hand them the game with questionable calls the entire 4th quarter.  Here is a video from the perspective of someone who rushed the field 3 times

I am not completely sure if this guy is aware of the fact that the game didn’t actually end three different times.  He just thinks it did.

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