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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flashback: Brigham Young Cougars 44, Oregon State Beavers 20 (Las Vegas 2009)

Exactly 365 days ago, the Brigham Young Cougars faced the Oregon State Beavers in the very first Las Vegas Bowl to ever pit two nationally ranked teams against each other. The boys in blue, royal blue to honor the 1984 national championship team, made sure only one team would maintain its national ranking.

Less than ideal weather (strong winds) required each team make game time adjustments. BYU quarterback Max Hall needed just one pass attempt to adjust to throwing into the wind. The Oregon State quarterback struggled all night to adapt. BYU punter Riley Stephenson was able to adjust his punts to average 27 yards punting into the wind, while the Oregon State punter maintained the status quo and twice punted the ball just six yards.

The play of the game came early. With just under two minutes to play in the first quarter, Oregon State attempted a swing pass to Jaquizz Rodgers. Rodgers couldn’t get a handle on the ball, which, by the way, was a backwards lateral. In a very heads up move, Jordan Pendleton ignored to ball on the turf and flattened Rodgers. This allowed Matt Bauman to pick up the ball and race 34 yards for a TD. That gave BYU its first lead of the game. The Cougars never relinquished it.

Max Hall made sure to put the game out of reach with one touchdown pass in each of the second and third quarters. With a 30-7 lead going into the fourth quarter, Manase Tonga finished off the Beavers. Early in the third quarter, he hauled in Hall’s third TD pass of the night. Tonga scored a second TD almost ten minutes later to give BYU its larges lead of the night, 44-13.

Highlighted by the fumble return for a TD, the Cougar D played one of its best games of the year. They completely stymied Oregon State’s dynamic duo—the Rodger’s brothers. They only combined for 120 yards of total offense. The D only allowed Oregon State to convert on 5 of 16 third downs, and 2 of 6 fourth downs. The defensive front spent most of the night in the Beavers’ backfield making several tackles for loss. Scott Johnson diffused Oregon State’s late attempt at a comeback by intercepting a pass and racing 56 yards the other way.

The 24 point win was the third largest margin of victory in BYU bowl history (at that point). The 44 points were the second most in BYU bowl history (at that point).

More flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

You can watch the full game here.

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