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BYU Bowl Games


12.29.89 San Diego, Calif. (61,113)

No. 19 BYU 39
Penn State 50

Two unusual plays late in the game kept BYU from downing Penn State and offset 576 yards passing by Ty Detmer—the highest total ever in a bowl game. For his effort, and thanks to blocking from Outland Trophy winner Mohammed Elewonibi, Detmer had the rare privilege of sharing MVP honors despite playing on the losing team. BYU, which trailed 41-26 with nine and a half minutes remaining, scored twice to cut the lead to 41-39 with 2:30 to play. The Cougars went for a two-point conversion to tie the game, but Detmer’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Penn State linebacker Andre Collins and returned 102 yards for two points. Down 43-39, the Cougars, led by Bob Davis, forced the Lions to punt , giving BYU the ball on its own 12 with two minutes left. Passes to Brent Nyberg, Matt Bellini, Chris Smith and Andy Boyce moved the ball to the Penn State 38 with a minute left to play. Then, what appeared to be a sack by Penn State safety Gary Brown turned into a score for the Nittany Lions. Brown stripped the ball from Detmer at the Penn State 47 and raced 53 yards for the touchdown. Penn State finished the season ranked 14th by UPI and 15th by AP and CNN/USA Today. BYU was 18th in the UPI poll and 22nd in the others.

Rushes-Yards 23-75 54-249
Passing Yards 576 215
Passes 42-59-2 11-21-1
Penn State Tasari 30-yard FG
BYU Chaffetz 20-yard FG
Penn State Smith 24-yard pass from Sacca (kick failed)
BYU Detmer 1-yard run (kick)
Penn State Tasari 36-yard FG
BYU Chaffetz 22-yard FG
Penn State Tasari 51-yard FG
Penn State Thompson 16-yard run (kick)
BYU Detmer 1-yard run (kick failed)
Penn State Thompson 14-yard run (kick)
BYU Boyce 12-yard pass from Detmer (kick)
Penn State Thomas 7-yard run (2 pt. failed)
Penn State Daniels 52-yard pass from Sacca (2 pt. failed)
BYU Whittingham 10-yard run (kick)
BYU Nyberg 3-yard pass from Detmer (2 pt. failed)
Penn State Collins 2-point conversion interception return
Penn State Brown 53-yard fumble return (kick) 
No. 19 BYU 3 10 13 13 39
Penn State 3 9 17 21 50