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BYU-Utah football notebook: First Cougar student in line made his own luck

September 10, 2017 GMT

Aaron Evett is a typical BYU student in many ways. He is from Fallon, Nev., in his first year in his Masters of Accounting program.

But he had another distinction Saturday night.

Evett was the first Cougar fan in the huge line of BYU students that wrapped around LaVell Edwards Stadium as the Cougars prepared to take on rival Utah.

So how did he get such a prime spot?

Well, the days of camping out for a week are over as BYU has implemented a more random method of getting in line for football games.

“We had to get here last night at 8 p.m., but on Thursday night they had a card drop,” Evett said. “They gave out 2,000 cards for groups of five people. I was the first one. I was in the right spot at the right time”

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He explained that he saw some people who looked suspicious, so he sprinted over to them as soon as they dropped the card.

Once he had it, he gathered his group of five friends: Madelyn Turner, a senior from Tulsa, Okla., Blake Turner, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla., Colby Christensen, a junior from Sandy, and Landon Smith, a junior from Beaver.

Evett and his friends have been in the student line in previous years but he said that “usually we are like No. 100 or something like that.”

He said being in that spot, waiting at the front of the line to get in for arguably the biggest game of the year, was something special.

“It’s pretty sweet, especially for BYU-Utah,” Evett said. “It’s pretty crazy. Everyone comes up to us and says, ‘You guys are legends!’ It’s pretty funny.”

Evett and Co. determined from the start that they were going to be getting as far as possible up the sideline on the east side of the stadium. They ended up on the front row of the second section.

As expected, no one really slept on Thursday night with all the adrenaline and excitement.

“It’s been tons of fun already,” Evett said.

He said he was thrilled to see the Cougars and was confident they would play better against Utah, but he added that no matter what, he will be back in line for the Wisconsin game.

“I’m a diehard,” Evett said. “I’m a college football fan, so having Wisconsin here is a pretty cool thing. This year’s schedule is good.”

Not so fast: BYU got into the end zone in the second quarter against Utah, but the three-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Mangum to Talon Shumway was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty on Aleva Hifo. Rhett Almond missed a 28-yard field goal at the end of the drive.

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On its next drive, Utah also had a touchdown negated because of offensive pass interference and kicked a field goal to go up 6-0 in the second quarter.

The Cougars trailed Utah 9-0 at halftime and at that point hadn’t scored a touchdown since the second quarter of the opener against Portland State, a string of eight quarters.

Still in blue: Late in August, rumors swirled surrounding the situation of BYU junior linebacker Francis Bernard. The official word from the football team was that Bernard would redshirt but other reports said he would be transferring to Utah.

When the Cougars started heading onto the field to get ready for Saturday’s rivalry showdown, Bernard walked out onto the BYU sideline in a Cougar shirt, although he did exchange pleasantries with some of the Utah players who were warming up.

Coming back to Provo: Utah wide receivers coach Guy Holliday has been a lot of places in his career but it’s tough to imagine that he didn’t feel a little unusual as he walked onto the opposing sideline at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.

Holliday coached for BYU from 2013-15 before taking the same position at Utah after Bronco Mendenhall went to Virginia.

He spent quite a bit of the warmup time talking to Cougar coaches, administrators and players — some of whom he recruited to play for BYU.

Extra points: BYU won the toss and deferred to the second half. It was the third straight game where the Cougars won the toss. ... BYU alumni flagbearers were Kelly Smith (RB, 1980,82-85), Robert Parker (RB, 1984-86), Tom Holmoe (DB, 1977-81) and Robbie Bosco (QB, 1981-85). The team flags were carried out by punter Jonny Linehan and defensive lineman Trajan Pili. ... The game-time weather was 72 degrees and mostly cloudy skies.

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