True freshman Eathyn Manumaleuna was credited with the blocked field goal as time expired to give BYU a 17-16 win over UCLA in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
LAS -- No. 17 BYU (11-2) won its second consecutive Las Vegas Bowl, 17-16, against UCLA (6-7) in dramatic fashion -- by blocking the Bruins' potential game-winning field goal attempt as time expired.
With 6:24 remaining in the game, UCLA freshman kicker Kai Forbath successfully kicked his third field goal of the night and his second 50-yarder of the game. The 50-yard field goal capped a Bruin drive that took nearly four minutes off the clock and cut the BYU lead down to 17-16.
UCLA held the Cougars to a three-and-out on the next possession, giving the Bruins the ball at their own 29-yard line with 5:22 to play. This time it was BYU forcing a three-and-out, putting the ball back in Hall's hands.
On first-and-10 sophomore quarterback Max Hall hit Austin Collie for an over-the-shoulder, Willie Mays-esque grab, a gain of 37 yards along the left sideline. The play went for naught, as the Cougars ended up punting on the drive.
With 2:02 to go, UCLA lined up at its own two-yard line and began the game's final drive. The Bruins would march nearly the entire length of the field, taking the ball 87 yards in 12 plays.
With only three ticks on the clock, Forbath looked poised to knock down his fourth field goal of the night, a 28-yard shot, and give his team the win. However defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna would not allow BYU to taste defeat, as the freshman blocked Forbath's kick as the clock ran to triple zeroes.
The Cougars, who finish the 2007 season on a 10-game winning streak, were led by sophomores Hall and Collie. Hall threw 21-35 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Collie led all receivers with 107 yards on six catches. Collie also scored a touchdown reception.
The win marks the first time BYU has won back-to-back bowl games since the 1994 Copper Bowl and the 1996 Cotton Bowl. It is the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons that the team has won back-to-back bowl games in consecutive years.
On the second play of the game UCLA senior defensive end Bruce Davis sacked Hall who fumbled the ball, giving the Bruins the ball on the BYU 43-yard line.
Eleven plays later, the Bruins had to settle for a 22-yard field goal after Shawn Doman and Bryan Kehl stuffed senior Chris Markey for a loss of two yards on third-and-3. Markey carried the ball 22 times for 117 yards, becoming the only individual rusher to gain 100 yards on the BYU defense this season.
UCLA forced the Cougars to punt on BYU's second drive, but the Cougar defense forced a punt as well. BYU began its third drive of the game on its own 37-yard line.
After a Fui Vakapuna rush was stopped for no gain, the Cougars got only their second first down of the game thanks to a defensive pass interference call on a throw to Collie. The very next play, Collie caught a ball for a gain of 31 yards. Freshman kicker Mitch Payne tied the game at 3-3 with a 29-yard field goal with little more than a minute remaining in the first quarter.
At the 10:39 mark in the second quarter, UCLA sophomore Terrence Austin fumbled a punt return. Sophomore Matt Bauman recovered the ball, and in one play BYU took its first lead of the game. Hall hit Collie on a 14-yard fade to the right side of the end zone for the 10-3 lead.
Forbath made it a 10-6 game with a Las Vegas Bowl record 52-yard field goal with 4:44 remaining in the half. Forbath's boot capped a seven-play, 32-yard drive for the Bruins. His field goal was also the longest the Cougars have allowed this season.
BYU equaled its point total from its earlier match-up against UCLA this season when Hall led the Cougars 55-yards up the field on a seven-play drive. Junior Michael Reed topped it off with a 13-yard touchdown reception.
With 19 seconds remaining in the half, BYU got the ball back on its own four-yard line. Rather than take a knee, the Cougars handed off to freshman Harvey Unga. Bruin freshman Brian Price forced Unga to fumble, and UCLA's ensuing possession resulted in a touchdown pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson to Brandon Breazell as time expired. BYU took a 17-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Box Score (Final)
UCLA vs Brigham Young (Dec 22, 2007 at Las Vegas, Nev.)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
UCLA................ 3 10 0 3 - 16 Record: (6-7)
Brigham Young....... 3 14 0 0 - 17 Record: (11-2)
1st 08:12 UCLA - Forbath,Kai 22 yd field goal, 11-38 5:48, UCLA 3 - BY 0
01:06 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 29 yd field goal, 6-51 2:26, UCLA 3 - BY 3
2nd 10:32 BY - COLLIE, Austin 14 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick),
1-14 0:07, UCLA 3 - BY 10
04:44 UCLA - Forbath,Kai 52 yd field goal, 7-32 3:13, UCLA 6 - BY 10
01:03 BY - REED, Michael 13 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick),
7-55 3:31, UCLA 6 - BY 17
00:00 UCLA - Breazell,Brand 4 yd pass from Bethel-Thompson (Forbath,Kai
kick), 2-4 0:12, UCLA 13 - BY 17
4th 06:24 UCLA - Forbath,Kai 50 yd field goal, 7-14 3:50, UCLA 16 - BY 17
FIRST DOWNS................... 18 17
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 47-162 28-34
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 154 231
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 29-11-1 35-21-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 76-316 63-265
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 1-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 2--2 2-4
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-58 4-99
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-2
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 8-36.9 8-32.0
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 2-2
Penalties-Yards............... 5-46 2-20
Possession Time............... 33:13 26:47
Third-Down Conversions........ 6 of 17 5 of 14
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-3 3-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 3-18 3-21
RUSHING: UCLA-Markey,Chris 27-117; Ramirez,Christi 4-26; Rasshan,Osaar 4-17;
Moline,Chane 4-14; Cowan,Joe 1-2; Breazell,Brand 1-minus 5; Bethel-Thompson
6-minus 9. Brigham Young-TONGA, Manase 3-21; UNGA, Harvey 17-16; VAKAPUNA,
Fui 3-4; HALL, Max 5-minus 7.
PASSING: UCLA-Bethel-Thompson 11-27-1-154; Breazell,Brand 0-1-0-0;
Rasshan,Osaar 0-1-0-0. Brigham Young-HALL, Max 21-35-0-231.
RECEIVING: UCLA-Breazell,Brand 4-44; Austin,Terrence 3-34; Paulsen,Loga 2-43;
Cowan,Joe 1-28; Markey,Chris 1-5. Brigham Young-COLLIE, Austin 6-107; PITTA,
Dennis 5-38; UNGA, Harvey 3-26; REED, Michael 2-19; SEMANOFF, Joe 2-17;
GEORGE, Andrew 2-12; ALLEN, Matt 1-12.
INTERCEPTIONS: UCLA-None. Brigham Young-HODGKISS, Corby 1-2.
FUMBLES: UCLA-Verner,Al 1-0; Austin,Terrence 1-1. Brigham Young-UNGA, Harvey
1-1; HALL, Max 1-1.
SACKS (UA-A): UCLA-Davis,Bruce 2-1; Bosworth,Kyle 0-1. Brigham Young-
JORGENSEN, Jan 2-0; NIXON, David 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): UCLA-Bosworth,Kyle 6-6; Keyes,Dennis 5-4; Horton,Chris 5-2;
Davis,Bruce 4-3; Carter,Reggie 4-2; Taylor,Christia 2-4; Brown,Trey 3-2;
Martin,Travis 4-0; Verner,Al 2-2; Whittington,Aa 1-1; Blake,Tom 1-0;
Snead,William 1-0; Rotstein,Jimmy 1-0; Brown,Kevin 0-1; Van,Rodney 0-1.
Brigham Young-POPPINGA, Kelly 4-9; FOWLER, Kellen 6-2; HODGKISS, Corby 5-2;
KEHL, Bryan 4-3; NIXON, David 3-2; BUCHANAN, Kayle 4-0; JORGENSEN, Jan 4-0;
CRIDDLE, Ben 3-1; DENNEY, Brett 1-3; DULAN, Ian 2-1; DOMAN, Shaun 2-1;
BAUMAN, Matt 2-0; BOLDEN, Chris 1-1; NELSON, Grant 1-1; MANUMALEUNA,Eth 1-1;
SAULSBERRY, And 1-0; FOKETI, Mosese 0-1.