The BYU vs. Utah Showdown

Sep 16, 2013

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Jake Wixom

A Tale of Two Universities

On Saturday, September 21, a century-old war between two university football teams will once again be fought at LaVell Edwards stadium right here in Provo, Utah. In anticipation of this epic battle, I’ve decided to break down the history of what has come to be known as “The Holy War”.

For about the last 100 years, Brigham Young University (formerly called Brigham Young Academy) and its northern rival, the University of Utah, have brought battle to the field every year in what is known as the biggest football rivalry in the state of Utah. At different points in each school’s history, dominance has been shown over the other.

  • Early in the 1900s, Utah won the majority of the games, but in the mid ‘60s, BYU began to grow into a serious threat to the U of U record, winning 3 rivalry games in a row.

  • In the 1970s, BYU’s most successful coach, LaVell Edwards, began to really turn the tide on their scarlet-clad rivals. During the time while he was head coach, BYU won 22 out of the 29 rivalry games and BYU saw more success than it has under any other leadership, including an undefeated national championship season in 1984.

  • Shortly after the departure of Coach Edwards in 2000, Utah once again began to get an edge up on BYU.

  • Now the battle is as hot as ever as BYU and Utah take turns being on top, like race horses barrelling down the homestretch trying to get ahead.

Because of the history and nature of the two universities, this ongoing battle has been dubbed “The Holy War” by media and locals alike, and is one of the biggest events of college sports in the state of Utah each year. This Saturday, fans from both sides will fill LaVell Edwards Stadium to see the war fought with as much intensity as ever.

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