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BYU and Utah rivalry set for game 100 tonight -- if you count the 19th Century

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Utah defensive back Dominique Hatfield runs after making an interception against BYU during the first half of the Las Vegas Bowl NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

One hundred games.

That is how many times Utah and BYU (BYA) will have played after tonight. That includes the games that took place in the 1800s. Not everyone counts those, which is possibly why more isn't being made of this game as the one that marks the big anniversary. In the modern era, tonight's tilt will be game number 94 — a much less sexy number.

That long history is one of the factors that make the "Holy War" one of the better rivalries in college football. The proximity of the two schools surely helps as does the unmistakable religious undertones. The red vs. blue color scheme isn't too bad either. If you missed it, we already told you the who, what, where, when and why about the game.

As has been written many times, this game pits family members against each other, neighbor against neighbor and, lets be honest, ward member against ward member. One side might celebrate wins with beer and champagne, the other side partied hard in 2017 when caffeinated soda hit the campus.

This year, there is lots of talk about Utah's eight-game win streak. Throw in a year when the two teams didn't play and BYU has yet to win a contest this decade. The last Cougar win was Nov. 28, 2009 — a 26-23 overtime victory.

BYU had great success in the 1970s and 1980s, winning 16 of the 20 games in those decades, but in the 99 games leading up to tonight, Utah holds a 61–34–4 advantage.

The Cougars were unmistakably the better football program during its stretch coached by legend LaVell Edwards, who won a national championship in 1984 — a fact no self respecting Cougar fan doesn't know. Even those born after the Cougar domination can't miss the host of tonight's contest: LaVell Edwards Stadium. The coach built a program that turned the rivalry around in 1972 . Before that, BYU had won only five games since the two teams first played in the 20th Century.

Before that, the teams played three times in 1896, twice in 1897 and once in 1898 when BYU was BYA, or Brigham Young Academy.

The rivalry was dead even in the 1990s and the 2000s, with 10 wins and 10 losses for each team. Both decades contained a 5 - 5 split between the teams. Since then, things haven't gone as well for the blue team, but, things have been much worse.

After the teams played in the modern era, starting in 1922, BYU didn't get a win until 1942 with a 12 - 7 victory. There were three ties in that time, but Utah held a commanding advantage. Almost as bad for blue, the next win was in 1958.

You can see every score, averages per decade, ties and years skipped at Mcubed.net , but only starting from 1922. To see results from 1896 when BYU was BYA, see Wikipedia's chart, archived from a now defunct college football website.

Transportation is expected to be a challenge when big crowds head to Provo for the 8:15 kick. Utah is a 6.5 point favorite.