BYU Bowl Games

1981 HOLIDAY BOWL

12.18.81 San Diego, Calif. (52,419) 

No. 14 BYU 38
No. 20 Washington State 36

The 1981 edition of the Holiday Bowl fit the mold of its predecessors. This time it was the Cougars of BYU versus the Cougars of Washington State, playing before a crowd of 52,419. BYU held a 24-7 lead at halftime, then pushed the score to 31-7 as Tom Holmoe intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards to give the WAC champions a comfortable edge. As the second half progressed, it appeared BYU would be the come-from-behind victim in this one. With only 59 seconds left in the third quarter, Washington State scored to make it 31-28. But Jim McMahon took over moving BYU 82 yards for a score to stretch the lead to 38-28. Statistically, it was a typical McMahon game, 27 of 43 with no interceptions and three touchdowns. Tight end Gordon Hudson had an excellent game, collecting seven catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. Dan Plater also caught a touchdown pass and Waymon Hamilton scored on the ground. Washington State quarterbacks Clete Casper and Ricky Turner completed only eight passes for 106 yards but Turner had 82 yards rushing while Don LaBomme had 79. Each team scored five touchdowns, so the difference actually came midway through the second quarter when Kurt Gunther connected on a 20-yard field goal after a BYU drive stalled on the Washington State three.

 TEAM STATS BYU WASHINGTON STATE
Rushes-Yards 32-69 53-245
Passing Yards 368 106
Passes 28-44-0 8-25-2
SCORING SUMMARY  
 TEAM  PLAY
BYU Plater 35-yard pass from McMahon (kick)
BYU Hudson 7-yard pass from McMahon (kick)
WSU Turner 2-yard run (kick)
BYU Gunther 20-yard FG
BYU Hamilton 1-yard run (kick)
BYU Holmoe 35-yard int. return (kick)
WSU Lavomme 18-yard run (2 pt.)
WSU Williams 5-yard run (2 pt. failed)
WSU  Turn 13-yard run (kick)
BYU Pettis 11-yard pass from McMahon (kick)
WSU Martin 1-yard run (2 pt.)
SCORING BY QUARTERS 1 2 3 4 FINAL
No. 14 BYU 7 17 7 7 38
No. 20 WSU 0 7 21 8 36