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Friday, September 14, 2012

Game Threes Not Kind to BYU

On this Holy War Eve, I find myself browsing through the BYU stats, trying to figure out the Cougars' chances at beating the Utes this year.

Florida State spoiled BYU's 2009 and 2010 campaigns
 on game three of BYU's schedule.
Unfortunately, I uncovered something that does not bode well for the Cougs. Since taking over, Bronco Mendenhall's teams have only won one (1) game three. That win came in 2008, a 59-0 shalacking of UCLA in Provo.

Game three has been a tough slot in the Cougars' schedule for some reason. In 2005, TCU snuck into the BYU schedule early to accommodate BYU's late-season trip to South Bend, beating BYU by 1 in overtime. In 2006, Boston College stole a win in another overtime game. In 2007, Tulsa beat the Cougars in a track meet, 55-47. After beating Oklahoma and Tulane to start the season, in 2009 BYU was the trendy pick to bust the BCS and possibly be the first non-BCS team to break into the national championship game before Florida State humbled the Cougars at home, 54-28. The next year the Seminole proved it wasn't a fluke and sent BYU home from Tallahassee with a 34-10 loss. And, of course, last year was the day that will live in infamy among the Cougar faithful as Utah was not a polite guest in Provo, handing BYU a 54-10 loss, causing 7 turnovers.

It is notable that all of these losses came to reputable teams. It's not as though there is some strange curse on weak three such that BYU is losing to UNLV or New mexico State. But nonetheless, week three seems to be BYU's humbler every year.

Is this the year BYU shakes the trend and pulls out a win in Salt Lake?

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