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Saturday, September 5, 2009

BYU 14, Oklahoma 13 (McKay Jacobson: Hometown Hero)

McKay Jacobson looked like he would be the goat of the game when he fumbled an early punt that led to an Oklahoma touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Jacobson became the hometown hero as he caught the game winning touchdown pass from Max Hall with 3:03 to play. Jacobson, a Dallas area native, was playing his first game since 2006 after a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Japan, and it showed as he tried to field a punt on the hop in the first quarter. By the fourth quarter, he had shaken off the rust and caught the 7-yard pass from Hall as the Oklahoma defense converged on tight end Dennis Pitta and left Jacobson alone in the back of the end zone.

BYU completed its return to glory as it opened Bronco Mendenhall’s fifth season.

Bowl game? Check.
Conference Championship? Check.
National Ranking? Check.
Beat a national power? Check.

Never mind that 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford spent the second half on the sideline with an ice pack on his shoulder. The Cougar defense dominated the Sooners in the first half. Turnovers is what gave Oklahoma the lead early. BYU’s defense held Bradford to 96 yards passing. BYU was in control of this game from start to finish. The defense forced a 3 and out to start the game. BYU’s offense drove down the field, and, if not for a delay of game penalty negating a 41-yard field goal, would have gone ahead 3-0. As it was Jacobson’s fumble gave Oklahoma 7 points. An O’Neill Chambers fumble at the 1-yard line lost 7 points for BYU. Although the Cougar D gave up two big penalties (late hit and a face mask) to get Oklahoma into field goal range to end the half, the D played spectacularly well. Look at these numbers:

Oklahoma third down conversions: 2-11
Passing yards: 147
Rushing yards: 118

On offense, BYU was not without injury itself. A hamstring injury kept running back Harvey Unga out all night. Unga had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2007 and 2008. This placed a greater burden on Hall, who did not perform well in big games last year. This time Hall came up big leading the fourth quarter go-ahead touchdown drive that was 16 plays, 78 yards, and took 8:44 off the clock. He completed 9 of 10 passes on the drive, including the game winner to Jacobson making it 14-13.

Sam who? The Heisman has a new big three: Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, and Max Hall.

As for Jacobson, home has never been so sweet.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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