When the Cougars take the field against Weber State Saturday, it will mark the 22nd anniversary of one of BYU’s most celebrated wins, a 28-21 upset over defending national champion and No. 1 Miami (Fla.).
BYU entered then Cougar Stadium ranked No. 16 in the nation and a 131/2-point underdog. Ty Detmer’s performance grabbed the nation’s attention and launched his Hesiman Trophy campaign, which he went on to win in December that year. The College Football Hall of Fame inductee completed 38 of 54 passes for 406 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Trailing 21-20 late in the third quarter, BYU came up with the game’s final score with three minutes left in the quarter. Detmer not only competed a touchdown pass but found the end zone again for a two-point conversion.
Twice in the fourth quarter, the BYU defense came up with big stops. Miami fumbled at the Cougar 15-yard line only for BYU to later lose the ball at its own 37. The Hurricanes took advantage and marched to the 13 but the Cougar defense came away with an interception to halt Miami’s scoring attempt. With less than two minutes left in the game, BYU held again after it batted down a ball for an incompletion on fourth down.
The Cougars ran the clock out to secure BYU’s first – and only – victory over a No. 1-ranked opponent. BYU vaulted from No. 16 to No. 5 in the AP poll after the win – its highest ranking since winning the 1984 national championship.