Flashback: BYU goes to the land down under for final game of the season

Exactly 25 years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars were 8,473 miles from home playing a conference game against Colorado State. The Rams were an additional 293 miles from home. In Melbourne, Australia, BYU beat a Colorado State team that was tougher than their record would indicate in 1987.

The Rams finished the season just 1-11, but seven of those losses were by less than 10 points, including a five-point loss to 10-3 Wyoming. BYU would win by four. The game wasn’t really that close, but far closer than expected given the discrepancy in the two team’s win totals.

BYU looked like the better team early on and jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Matt Bellini caught his second touchdown reception from Sean Covey to give BYU a 17-7 lead. Bellini would finish the game with 8 receptions for 91 yards.

Colorado State would close that lead to 17-13 by halftime.

Jet lag must have set in for the second half as both teams were scoreless in the third quarter. The Cougars awoke first in the fourth quarter and started to pull away.

Leonard Chitty kicked his second field goal of the game, and Covey ran 5-yards for a touchdown to give BYU its biggest lead of the game at 27-13.

Colorado State closed the gap to 27-20, and later got the ball back with an opportunity to tie or take the lead. With 3:00 left in the game, the BYU defense rose to the occasion and stopped the Rams on fourth down.

BYU took over on Colorado State’s side of the field. The Cougars couldn’t run the clock out, but they were able to add a field goal to push the lead back to 10 with less than two minutes to play.

Colorado State did drive down the field and score a touchdown before time ran out, but it was too little too late. Final score: BYU 30, Colorado State 26.

Tight end Darren Handley led BYU in receiving with 8 receptions for 100 yards.  

Colorado State finished the game with more yards of total offense, 344 to 312. The BYU defense sacked the Colorado State quarterback nine times, which helped limit the Rams to just 27 yards rushing.

Only 7,652 Aussies attended the game. With the 1978 win over UNLV in Japan and the hundreds of games won in the United States, BYU has now won football games on three different continents. 

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