Not for Lyons. He was able to watch Carter the year before, which Lyons explains made him feel prepared to take over. Lyons didn’t worry about any pressure to deliver the first ever three game win streak against Utah, or to follow in the footsteps of a NFL quarterback.
It helped that Lyons still had Phil Odle to throw to. Lyons connected with Odle in the first quarter for a 21-yard touchdown to give BYU a 7-0 lead. BYU never trailed in this game. A 27-yard Dennis Patera field goal broke a 7-7 second quarter tie, and gave BYU the lead for good.
Although the score board didn’t reflect it, BYU completely dominated the Utes. This was something Lyons pointed out more than once. He compared it to recent games in the rivalry, like 2007, where BYU’s failure to finish drives kept Utah in the game.
Five Cougar drives ended in missed field goals. One ended in Utah returning an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.
Some second half rain showers probably contributed to the missed field goals, and the BYU offense using a conservative ball control offense to try and run out the clock and end the game. Nevertheless, the offense ran 100 plays, which was a new school record.
The Cougar defense, led by Craig Bozich, was truly fantastic that day. They did not allow a single point. Besides the pick-six interception, the only other Utah points were scored on a 90-yard kickoff return late in the fourth quarter following a Tom Rippee 4-yard touchdown run.
When the final gun sounded, BYU had a 17-14 win. They “beat Utah,” which was exactly what the little message Lyons found in his locker every day that week extolled him to do.