November 22, 1980--Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jim McMahon played with a vengeance. Two years before, the Utah Utes gave McMahon his first loss as a starter, and that was after BYU had built a 16-0 halftime lead. This time, McMahon was sure to build an insurmountable lead. Jimmy Mac was 21-34 on the day for 399 yards with 3 touchdown passes and one interception. The three TDs gave him 42 for the year, which was a new NCAA record. It was also McMahon's 10th straight 300 yard passing game, another new NCAA record, breaking the previous record set my Marc Wilson just a year before. McMahon also scored on a touchdown run.
As great as McMahon was, he didn't do it all alone. Running back Eric Lane had a hat trick of his own scoring three times. Scott Pettis, another running back, broke off a 50-yard run--the longest of the year by a BYU back.
Utah did it's best to keep the game respectable only going into the half down 21-0. Any hopes of another comeback were extinguished as BYU exploded for five second half TDs.
The defense did its part by keeping Utah off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.
The 50 point win is still the largest margin of victory for either team in this rivalry. It also gave BYU its fifth consecutive WAC championship and tenth consecutive victory (one shy of the school record, at that time).
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Visit the Special Features page for links to other installments of Remembering the Rivalry.
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