Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 20, Colorado Buffaloes 17 (Freedom Bowl V)

Twenty-two years ago, today, the Brigham Young Cougars broke a three game bowl losing streak with a come-from-behind win over the Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado came into the game as the seventh best rushing team in the country averaging 281.4 yards per game. It was BYU, however, that started the game with two big run plays. A fumble on the third play turned the ball over to Colorado at midfield. The Buffaloes capitalized with a touchdown. Later in the first quarter, BYU tied the game at 7 with a 90-yard, 8 play drive capped by a Sean Covey to Mike Salido 19-yard touchdown pass.

The touchdown pass to Salido was Covey's only memorable moment. In the second quarter he threw a bad pass into the end zone that was intercepted. Covey was just 4 of 10 for 39 yards in the first half. Trailing 14-7, LaVell Edwards decided to play Ty Detmer at quarterback in the second half. Detmer's first play was a 21-yard completion to tight end Darren Handley.

Detmer's first drive stalled and BYU had to punt the ball back to Colorado. BYU got the ball right back when Brian Mitchell intercepted a Colorado pass on the very next play. This time, BYU finished what they started and tied the game at 14 when Detmer found Chuck Cutler in the end zone from 15 yards out.

In the fourth quarter, Colorado used a fake field goal to get inside the BYU 10-yard line. The Cougar D stiffened. Tim Clark got in the back field and made a tackle for a loss of seven yards. On third down, free safety Scott Peterson stopped Colorado running back Eric Bieniemy short of the goal line. This time, Colorado kicked the field goal.

BYU muffed the ensuing kickoff and had to start at their own 8-yard line. A false start penalty pushed them back to the four. Detmer, however, drove BYU as close as the Colorado 10-yard line before BYU had to kick a field goal with 4:11 to play to tie the game.

Needing to stop Colorado for a final chance to take the lead, Peterson made a leaping one handed interception to get BYU the ball back in Colorado territory. With 2:33 to play, Jason Chaffetz kicked a game winning 35-yard field goal.

BYU outscored Colorado 13-3 in the second half to win 20-17. Detmer was named the offensive MVP. He finished the game 11 of 17 for 129 yards and one touchdown. Matt Bellini was both the leading receiver with 4 receptions for 41 yards and the leading rusher (8 carries, 78 yards). As a team, BYU rushed for 152 yards, which was a BYU bowl record at that time.

More flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

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

You can watch the full game, here.

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Poll Results: Where does the New Mexico Bowl win over UTEP rank among BYU's 11 bowl wins?
Brigham Young Cougars Coaching Changes
Friday Highlights: Las Vegas Bowl 2009 (Brigham Young Cougars vs. Oregon State)
Thursday Trivia: Post Christmas Bowl Games