The Utah Utes escaped a late rally by the BYU Cougars to win 24-21 in one of the most bizarre endings in the history of the Holy War, and win their third straight game over the Cougars. Utah led 24-7 after the third quarter by kicking a par of field goals, a 47-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Mo Lee after a bad BYU snap and then a Jon Hays connected to Dres Anderson on a 39-yard touchdown pass.
BYU made a comeback by scoring a pair of touchdowns to make it a three-point game. Utah had a chance to run out the clock with 3:39 left, but they gave the ball back to the Cougars with 1:11 left.
BYU started their final drive at their own 8-yard line and quarterback Riley Nelson completed a 47-yard completion on 4th-and-12 to get them to the Utah 34-yard line. The rest of the game was full of a whole lot of crazy, and it started with eight seconds left in the game. Nelson then had a pass tipped and it soared in the air, and initially the clock expired but their was one second added on the clock.
Before the one second was added back on the Utah fans rushed the field, and after the fans were put back off the field, BYU was allowed to kick a 51-yard field goal.
The final field goal was blocked, but the Utah fans and players rushed the field which was a live ball penalty and cost them 15 yards. So, once again the fans had to be cleared off of the field, and BYU then took a crack at a manageable 36-yard but Justin Sorensen pushed the ball left. For a third time the Utah fans rushed the field, and this time the game was officially over.
In the lengthy history of the Holy War with various wild endings over the years, this 2012 finish has to be up there as one of the most bizarre finishes.
What also made this win even more amazing for Utah is that they were playing without their starting quarterback in Jordan Wynn, starting running back John White IV and a depleted secondary which had multiple starters out due to injury and suspension.