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No. 8 BYU 24, Utah 21

November 18, 2001

PROVO, Utah (AP) _ With BYU struggling against Utah’s swarming defense, Luke Staley found a way to bail out the undefeated Cougars, keeping their hopes for a BCS bowl game alive.

Staley scored two touchdowns and added a 2-point conversion in the final 3 1/2 minutes as No. 8 BYU beat rival Utah 24-21 Saturday night in a dramatic comeback that gave the Cougars the Mountain West championship.

His second TD came on a 30-yard run that was dangerously close to being a forward lateral from quarterback Brandon Doman, but Staley dodged two tacklers as he skirted along the sideline to put the Cougars (11-0, 7-0) ahead 24-21.

Things got interesting when Matt Payne missed the PAT kick. Utah took over with 1:11 remaining and reached BYU’s 30 before Jernaro Gilford intercepted a pass by Lance Rice to end the threat.

With representatives of two BCS bowl games, the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls, watching, BYU fans stormed the field to celebrate.

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