Loyal Cougars

Best Game Ever: 2006 – BYU at Utah from the MUSS

BYU fan Jared Crouch sat in the MUSS for the 2006 BYU-Utah game. He shares his story as part of our Best Game Ever series.

It was a chilly November night in 2006. A close friend of mine was a student at Utah and a casual member of the MUSS. While hanging out, it was disclosed to me that she would be out of town the weekend of the Holy War. I jumped at the chance to take the two tickets off her hands — even with the knowledge that the seats were squarely in the middle of the MUSS.

I called up a former roommate of mine and asked if he wanted to attend. He was in. Leading up to the game, I was extremely nervous about sitting in the middle of the MUSS and cheering on the Blue & White. But knowing that I had a fellow BYU compatriot with me slightly eased the tensions.

As we marched through the red-stained streets near campus we fell victim to numerous jeers, racial slurs (my buddy is of Hispanic heritage), and the typical activity associated with a few too many barley pops.

Brushing aside the vitriol, we entered the stadium and slowly made our way to our seats. Inching closer and closer towards our seats, I could feel the hatred of those around us weighing down on my shoulders.

Minus the fact that we were situated in the middle of the MUSS, our seats were fantastic: 35 yard line, row 10. We were fortunate to have our seats on the very end of the row, something that came in handy at the end of the game.

During the game we, for the most part, were relieved of much of the hate we received outside of the stadium. I remember watching the Cougs dominate the first quarter and thought to myself that this would be the year we would absolutely crush the Utes. But in typical BYU fashion, the Utes came back to make it close at half.

During halftime we made our way to the concession stand. While waiting in line there was a fairly annoying BYU fan, dressed in a former BYU band outfit, spouting off to several Utah students about the game. Offense was taken and a fist fight broke out. Security was forced to intervene and several individuals were asked to leave the stadium. After the dust up, tensions were even higher as we headed back to our seats.

Utah came out and absolutely dominated the 3rd quarter. My friend and I both had that sick feeling in our stomach, the same one we all felt in previous years. But I still held hope that BYU would get back on track and make it interesting.

When John Beck found Daniel Coats in the endzone to go up by 3 with only a few minutes left, I thought BYU would walk away with the win. If we could hold Utah on the next drive we would taste victory in a well-fought game. Then Brent Casteel made our defense look like Swiss cheese. He made BYU look silly on a 40-yard play and then a 20-yard slant/screen for the TD.

I felt sick to my stomach, had a dizzying headache, and just wanted to leave. The game was over in my mind, there was only a minute left. My buddy convinced me to stay. He kept saying, “Remember McMahon and the miracle bowl. They can win this man, they can win this.” Reluctantly, I agreed to stick around.

With 3.2 seconds to play we watched as Beck continued to scramble around the field looking for an open player. We were sitting on the East side of the stadium toward the South endzone – which gave us a perfect view of what Beck was seeing. As the play continued to develop, my buddy started screaming “Harline’s open! Harline’s open!”

As the ball landed in the soft cradle of Harline’s hands, the entire MUSS went completely silent (you could quite possibly hear a pin drop). My buddy and I, with our mouths open in pure awe, began cheering at the top of our lungs. With the students around us still in shock, we quickly made our way out of the MUSS and out of the stadium cheering loudly the entire time.

To this day I have yet to experience the raw emotion and enjoyment that this game produced (the closest being Jimmer going off against SDSU at the Marriott Center). It will forever live in my memory as the best game ever.

BYU 33 Utah 31
Nov. 25, 2006 – 1:30
 pm MT
Salt Lake City, UT | 
Attendance: 45,330
Box Score

Leave your memories of this game in the comments!

The Loyal CougBest Game Everars “Best Game Ever” Series is about shared stories — the time you left a game you attended in person and thought “that was the best game ever.” If you have a story to tell of such a game, submit it to bestgame@loyalcougars.com and share it with the fan base.

Read the timeline of published stories at the Best Game Ever page.


One Comment

  1. Eric Allred

    August 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Fantastic story! The one and only game I’ve ever watched inside Utah’s stadium was this very game, watched it with my brother and father, all of us BYU alum (and we don’t live in Utah). Fantastic memory! Too bad we can’t beat them more consistently in the past decade or so…… I long for the good ol’ days of the ’80’s and ’90’s when the typical scores were like BYU 54 – Utah 17.