I had no idea as I watched Taysom Hill start to march the BYU football team down the field in the final three minutes against the University of Utah Saturday if he would lead the Cougars into the end zone, but one thing was clear.
If BYU did score a touchdown, I wanted to see a two-point conversion attempt.
I don’t always like the idea of going for two when all that is required to extend the game is an extra point, but this was different.
This was the Holy War.
This was against Utah.
It wasn’t even a question for me whether going for two would be the right decision. It was the only decision.
As all of us now know, BYU did get the touchdown, did attempt the two-point conversion, and failed, giving Utah a 20-19 victory.
I have no second thoughts.
Here’s the truth: Utah has owned BYU ever since former Cougars quarterback Max Hall infamously said he hates “everything about” Utah.
It’s so much like a curse at this point that it should be named after Hall. I’ll leave it to the fine folks on Twitter to come up with a suitable name.
Utah had won five straight in the series (including last year’s Las Vegas Bowl), and each game proved to be gut-wrenching for the Cougars in a different way.
A win for BYU in the series — any type of win — would feel good for Cougar fans, but just imagine if the lasting image from the game was Hill crossing the goal line for a successful two-point conversion that won the game.
For Utah fans, there would be no worse way to lose to BYU than at Rice-Eccles Stadium, on a two-point conversion, after allowing an 80-yard touchdown drive in the final three minutes, when the strength of the team is supposed to be the defense.
That’s the magnitude of the blow BYU could have dealt, and it would have effectively made up for all five of the previous losses.
That’s not hyperbole, that’s the way it would be.
That’s why you go for it.
Time can be spent debating whether the actual play was smart. I wonder if BYU head coach Kalani Sitake (or offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, or whoever was responsible for calling the play) gave Hill the opportunity to change the play if he read blitz. It should have been known a blitz would blow up the quarterback draw.
But let’s not question the actual decision to go for two. With everything a successful attempt would have done, it really was a no-brainer.