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Friday, June 11, 2010

Top 10 BYU Football Games, #6-Pitt, 1984

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10. BYU 21, Notre Dame 14 (October 15, 1994)
9. BYU 31, TCU 17 (September 28, 2006)
8. BYU 70, Utah 31 (November 18, 1989)
7. BYU 18, Texas A&M 17 (September 8, 1979)

6. BYU 20, Pittsburgh 14 (September 1, 1984)

Five years after BYU started its first perfect regular season by upsetting a nationally recognized program, BYU did it again in 1984. Known at this time as the “Beast of the East,” Pitt was ranked number 3 in the nation, not quite the same as Texas A&M's number 14 ranking. Robbie Bosco was making his first career start, whereas Marc Wilson was a senior with two years starting under his belt in 1979.

The game started slow with each defense keeping the offenses scoreless in the first quarter. In the second, BYU was able to get on the scoreboard with a field goal. Pitt was on the verge of scoring as well, but the BYU D stood its ground and kept the Panthers out of the end zone.

Turnovers swung the momentum into Pitt's favor in the third quarter. Two Bosco interceptions resulted in Pitt touchdowns. Later in the second half, however, BYU's Marv Allen came up with two interceptions of his own to help get BYU back in the game.

Bocso had played very well as a reserve the year before, but he was having a rough time in his first start. Despite Bosco's pedestrian performance through most the game, BYU found itself down two with two minutes to play, and the ball was in Bosco's hands. BYU had moved to midfield when Bosco dropped back to pass and spotted Adam Haysbert behind everyone. Haysbert shrugged off a Pitt defender, hauled in Bosco's pass, and raced the rest of the way to the end zone for the winning score with 1:37 to play.

Score (maximum points for each category is in parenthesis):
1.Caliber of Opponent: 13 points (25). Pittsburgh was ranked number 3 to start the season and had the reputation of the “Beast in the East.” The season, however, ended a disappointment (3-7-1). Five Pitt Panthers were drafted in the 1985 NFL draft (including the second and fourth overall picks), and two in the 1986 draft (one first rounder).
2.What was at stake: 14 points (20). Although it was not known at the time, it is clear now that the national championship was at stake. As is always the case in high profile non-conference games, national respect was on the line.
3.What was the impact: 18 points (20). With the upset victory, BYU jumped to number 13 in the AP poll, and hit the ground running towards the national crown. This game was an important factor in the season ending with the national championship. If BYU had played a less prominent team, the win would not carry the same weight. The game probably would not have been live on national television either.
4.Underdog: 10 points (10). BYU was a heavy underdog.
5.Dramatic win: 6 points (10). The final score came with 1:37 to play on a 50-yard bomb. The Cougar defense stopped Pitt on fourth down at the BYU 30-yard line to get the ball back and run out the clock.
6.Underlying storylines: 2 points (5). First live college football game on ESPN. Jump started the national title run. Robbie Bosco’s first career start.
7.Nostalgia: 5 points (10). Pitt’s poor season and the BYU offense struggling most of the day takes away from the nostalgia a bit. The greatness of this game has been lost, somewhat, by being lumped in with the season as a whole, and the Holiday Bowl sticks out as the best game of 1984 because it was the culmination of the national championship run.
8.Total: 68 points.

Video highlights:
BYU 20, Pitt 14, Part 1 (starts at the 8:50 mark)
BYU 20, Pitt 14, Part 2 (continues where Part 1 ends)

5. BYU 14, Oklahoma 13 (September 5, 2009)
4. BYU 24, Michigan 17 (December 21, 1984)
3. BYU 19, Kansas State 15 (January 1, 1997)
2. BYU 46, SMU 45 (December 19, 1980)
1. BYU 28, Miami 21 (September 8, 1990)

Sources:
http://www.drafthistory.com/
www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?type=school
www.shrpsports.com/cf/
http://www.cougarstats.com/
www.appollarchive.com/football/index.cfm

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