BYU Football will square off in the Holy War against Utah in 68 days!
Things are starting to get heated up. If you get on social media, particularly Twitter, Utah fans are already starting to bash on BYU over everything. Just yesterday, I saw Ute fans bash BYU on:
- The Neil Pau’u situation
- If they could have one wish it would be to never play BYU again
- Nine in a row
- Game doesn’t matter
- Honor Code Office
- Zach Wilson is the worst D1 QB in the state
The list probably could probably keep going, in fact, I was only on Twitter yesterday for a total of ten minutes, so who knows what else was being said. All I know is one thing, the game matters to both teams.
Utah does have a point in that the Pac 12 gives them a platform to fight for a Rose Bowl birth by winning the conference. BYU very well may not be their biggest game of the year if they find themselves in the Pac 12 Championship but for them to throw BYU off to the side as if they are a Montana Tech or Vermont A&M is ridiculous and untrue.
If it were true, then Utah would honestly have the most engaged, angry and upset fanbase in the world in any sport. Think about it, two years ago some Ute fans vandalized the Cougar statue, they are constantly searching and bashing on BYU articles and they can’t ever stop talking about BYU. If BYU really was just a trash opponent and they still did that to us, imagine what they do to Pac 12 teams… I’m surprised the University of Oregon is still around if what they say is true.
Except it isn’t.
Today’s player is another lineman that doesn’t have the stats to back up his case, but his performance against the Utes earned him the No. 68 spot on the BYU Top 100.
No. 68 John Tait – Lineman – 1993, 1996-1998
John Tait was one of a very short of list of BYU players who not only got drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, but he got drafted after his Junior season. Standing 6’7″ tall and 310 pounds, Tait did whatever he wanted to do. If he wanted to block two rushers coming at his quarterback, he did that. If he wanted to give his running back a three foot wide hole, he was able to do that.
Watching his games, he played left tackle most of the time but was moved occasionally depending on the opposing defense and the playcall. Normally, the offensive tackles job is to make sure that the defensive end doesn’t get into the backfield. Tait however was different. Because of how big and talented he was, often times he would let the DE five yards into the backfield before pushing him back another five yards. This would open up a huge hole for either the QB to step into to throw or for running backs to run through.
Tait was the unsung MVP of the 1998 game against Utah. Time after time after time Tait was the lead blocker on runs, despite playing the outside tackle for the team. The team relied heavily on Ronney Jenkins in that game and Tait was the one more times than not either opening up a hole on the inside or sealing a block to the outside. That season both BYU and Utah were really good, and Tait’s performance made the difference in who won that game.
Like the other linemen listed in this BYU Football Countdown we don’t have the statistics or memorable moments, but when you go back and watch him play, and consider he left for the NFL after his Junior season, there is no question that he deserves to be ranked No. 68 all time for BYU.