Startin-to-Brown play should be chronicled in BYU lore


It was the fall of 1958, a beautiful time of year in Provo. I came to BYU freshman orientation on the BYU campus with palpable excitement. Not only was I looking forward to college life and classes, but also to finding good-looking Mormon coeds. To top it off, football season was already underway, and the Cougars had handily defeated my home town Fresno State Bulldogs, with the Utah game in Salt Lake City only a few days away.

Student body excitement was at a fever pitch, and we felt the Cougars had a chance to break a long winless streak against Utah and to defeat them for only the second time in history.

The bonfire rally the night before the game, with a cameo appearance from legendary yell leader Dick Moody, only added to the exuberance and optimism. We topped it off on game night with a slow-moving caravan of cars from Provo to Salt Lake City and the stadium, and still arrived well before the kickoff.

Left to right: Lonnie Dennis, R.K. Brown and John Kapele (BYU)

Left to right: Lonnie Dennis, R.K. Brown and John Kapele (BYU)

Our hopes for a win suffered a setback when the Cougars fumbled the kickoff and the Utes scored on the next play. Little did we know that it would be the last score in the game by Utah. With the score tied 7-7 late in the fourth quarter, BYU end R.K. Brown took a pass from quarterback Wayne Startin and raced down the left sideline for a touchdown. The Cougars shut down the Utes and their All-American quarterback Lee Grosscup, and we streamed onto the field.

I got a piece of the wooden goal post and kept it as a treasure along with my brother’s piece of the goal post from the only other win against Utah in 1942. I am sorry to say that those mementos were lost in a family move. What was not lost was the indelible memory of the Startin to Brown pass and a great night in BYU football history.

Ken Driggs of Mesa, Ariz., is a BYU graduate and served as Cosmo in the ’60s. Contact him at


  1. Ron White

    Way to go, Kenny! One should observe that this game was BYU’s first win over the Utes since our 4Fs had beaten their 4Fs in 1942. Go Cougs!
    -Ron White

    P. S. It should be noted that in 1958 24 of the 34 games that had been played in the modern era (1900s) were contested in SLC, so Utah’s winning percentage must be discounted to factor in that advantage.

  2. Not a Ewe

    Except for the fumble last year the Coug’s would have won. The Ewe’s have been living off luck for a long time now. This year I guarantee the Coug’s will send the Ewe’s back to where they belong… at the bottom of the over-rated PAC-12.

  3. Oregon Fan Club

    Nice memory, Ken! Every BYU win over Utah should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. This is a classic. I remember a professor of years ago telling how MANY fans went to the BYU-Utah game fasting either on Thanksgiving day (or weekend) in the early 1950s; the Cougars were so desperate for a win. Such a rivalry!

  4. Kenneth D. Peterson

    I was a BYU sophomore at the time. I took a date to the game. It was a great game. I was just telling a BYU fan about the game yesterday. After the game I took my date to the Rainbow Rendezvous to the dance. The original Kingston Trio were playing. They were in great form and every once in a while they would shout out BYU as they were singing and everyone in the crowd would cheer. I was a BYU crowd. It was a great game and a great night.

  5. Wayne Startin

    Wayne Startin here, living in Rexburg, Idaho. I just turned 76 last month. In those days, we called our own plays. I remember that the name of the play was 427 Counter Pass. I have many fond memories of the BYU-Utah football rivalry.

  6. Greg Meeker

    I had the great opportunity to not only play football for Wayne Startin, I work with him as an assistant. I can tell you I never met a man that was such a great leader of men on the grid iron. He should be part of the great history and lore of BYU. Matter of fact Wayne Startin is a stud. He makes a great Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich. Coach you’re a hero to me.

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.