Bowl MVP Max Hall holds up the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Trophy with BYU head Coach Bronco Mendenhall after defeating No. 18 Oregon State 44-20.
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LAS -- A season that started with a win over No. 3 Oklahoma in Dallas ended with an impressive victory over No. 18 Oregon State in Las Vegas as the No. 14 BYU Cougars defeated the Pac-10 second-place Beavers 44-20 at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Tuesday. BYU finished the season with an 11-2 record, including a 3-1 resume against ranked opponents.
In the first-ever MAACO Bowl Las Vegas matchup pitting two top-20 teams, the Mountain West Conference runner-up dominated the scoreboard to earn its third 11-win season in the last four years. Only three schools—Boise State, Florida and Texas—have won more games over the last four years while BYU has achieved a 43-9 record.
BYU’s senior class anchored the win as quarterback Max Hall earned himself Most Valuable Player honors after completing 19-of-30 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Manase Tonga contributed two touchdowns, while senior tight ends Andrew George and Dennis Pitta led all receivers with 46 and 45 yards, respectively.
Defensively, senior linebacker Matt Bauman recovered a key fumble, returning it for 34 yards and the touchdown. The score marked the first fumble recovery for a touchdown in BYU bowl history. Fellow team captain Scott Johnson intercepted an Oregon State pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 56 yards to set up BYU's final touchdown of the game.
Collectively the defensive seniors accounted for 28 tackles, four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception and four pass breakups.
BYU and Oregon State met for the first time in a bowl game and for the first contest since BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall played for the Beavers in 1986.
Both teams had to learn to deal with not only each other but also a cold 43 miles-per-hour wind flowing through the north end of Sam Boyd Stadium. Wind gusts of 55 mph created some havoc for the passing and kicking games.
To contrast, Oregon State’s opening kickoff easily sailed out of the end zone with the wind at its back, while BYU’s first-quarter kickoffs facing the wind at best reached the 20-yard line. Punting provided similar anxieties for coaches and players.
BYU punter Riley Stephenson was the first to face the wind and he quickly learned what his approach would be. After having his first attempt held up in the wind, he was given a new opportunity because of an OSU penalty on the play. This time, he kicked a low line drive that covered a relatively long 27 yards. He later kicked a 60-yard low liner with the wind that was the longest kick of his career and tied a BYU bowl record. In the second quarter, OSU punter Johnny Hekker instead put both of his punts up into the wind and got the same result—six yards on each attempt.
Facing the wind to open the game, the Cougars failed to get first downs on their first two possessions with a more limited passing game. Oregon State scored on its second possession to take a 7-0 lead with quarterback Sean Canfield sneaking in from the 1-yard line.
Despite the challenges of the wind, the momentum of the game started to change BYU’s way in the opening quarter thanks to an impressive 14-play, 84-yard drive. Taking almost six minutes off the clock, BYU marched nearly the entire field to even the score on a Unga 1-yard carry.
The momentum took a definite turn on the next possession when Cougar linebacker Bauman made the first big play of the night, scooping up a Jacquizz Rodgers fumble and rumbling 34 yards for his first career touchdown. The play gave BYU a 14-7 lead with 1:41 to go in the first quarter. Rogers, who mishandled a pass thrown as a lateral, suffered the first fumble of his career on the play when linebacker Jordan Pendleton was in position to apply the hit.
BYU’s fortunes continued to improve as the quarter ended. After the Beavers were forced to punt, BYU fumbled with OSU returning the ball inside the 5-yard line. However, a Beaver holding penalty negated the play and forced another punt. BYU took the ball and went 69 yards in 11 plays with Mitch Payne giving BYU a 17-7 lead with a 28-yard field goal.
Luke Ashworth caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Hall with 6:22 remaining in the half to increase the lead to 23-7 after the Beavers blocked the point-after attempt. OSU marched into field goal range on the next possession but opted to go for it on fourth down at the 22-yard line instead of trying to kick into the wind. Canfield’s pass fell incomplete and the Cougars took over the ball on downs.
BYU scored the only touchdown of the third quarter to go up 30-7. Consensus All-American tight end Pitta hauled in a 17-yard pass from Hall for the score. The Cougars again got on the board in the early going of the fourth quarter with Tonga this time getting the honors on a 15-yard pass from Hall.
Oregon State got on the scoreboard again to make it a 37-13 game. Following Johnson’s interception with less than three minutes remaining in the game, Tonga found the endzone for the second time on an 18-yard run, extending the Cougar lead to 31 points.
The Beavers put one last score on the board late in the fourth quarter for the final tally of 44-20. Oregon State falls to 8-5 with the loss, dropping four games to nationally ranked teams. The loss also ended OSU's streak of five straight bowl victories.
Box Score (Final)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Oregon State........ 7 0 0 13 - 20 Record: (8-5,6-3)
BYU................. 14 9 7 14 - 44 Record: (11-2,7-1)
1st 08:46 OSU - Canfield, Sean 1 yd run (Kahut, Justin kick), 4-37 1:42, OSU 7 - BY 0
02:47 BY - UNGA, Harvey 1 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 14-84 5:50, OSU 7 - BY 7
01:41 BY - BAUMAN, Matt 34 yd fumble recovery (PAYNE, Mitch kick), , OSU 7 - BY 14
2nd 09:21 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 28 yd field goal, 11-69 5:39, OSU 7 - BY 17
06:22 BY - ASHWORTH, Luke 25 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick blockd), 4-41 1:26, OSU 7 - BY 23
3rd 08:51 BY - PITTA, Dennis 17 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 9-32 4:31, OSU 7 - BY 30
4th 12:51 BY - TONGA, Manase 15 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 1-15 0:08, OSU 7 - BY 37
09:00 OSU - Rodgers, Jacq. 1 yd run (Kahut, Justin kick failed), 10-54 3:45, OSU 13 - BY 37
03:22 BY - TONGA, Manase 18 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-21 1:08, OSU 13 - BY 44
02:35 OSU - Adeniji, Damola 31 yd pass from Katz, Ryan (Kahut, Justin kick), 4-46 0:39, OSU 20 - BY 44
FIRST DOWNS................... 17 18
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 27-88 34-123
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 217 192
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 47-22-1 30-19-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 74-305 64-315
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 1-34
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-5 1-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 7-106 2-16
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-56
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-26.0 4-37.5
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-2 2-2
Penalties-Yards............... 11-96 9-80
Possession Time............... 29:57 30:03
Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 16 8 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 6 1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-2 5-5
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-5 0-0
RUSHING: Oregon State-Rodgers, Jacq. 18-63; Rodgers, James 4-14; Katz,
Ryan 2-9; Stevenson, J. 1-1; Canfield, Sean 2-1. BYU-UNGA, Harvey 24-71; TONGA,
Manase 5-42; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-6; HALL, Max 4-4.
PASSING: Oregon State-Canfield, Sean 19-40-1-168; Katz, Ryan 2-6-0-46;
Hekker, Johnny 1-1-0-3. BYU-HALL, Max 19-30-0-192.
RECEIVING: Oregon State-Adeniji, Damola 7-102; Rodgers, James 4-30;
Rodgers, Jacq. 4-13; Bishop, Jordan 2-21; Kjos, Casey 1-20; Wheaton, Markus
1-12; Halahuni, Joe 1-12; Parker, Keynan 1-4; Mitchell, Lance 1-3. BYU-PITTA,
Dennis 5-45; GEORGE, Andrew 4-46; UNGA, Harvey 3-15; JACOBSON, McKay 2-27;
TONGA, Manase 2-19; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-25; DI LUIGI, JJ 1-9; CHAMBERS, O'Nei 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Oregon State-None. BYU-JOHNSON, Scott 1-56.
FUMBLES: Oregon State-Rodgers, Jacq. 1-1; Rodgers, James 1-1. BYU-TONGA,
Manase 1-1; UNGA, Harvey 1-1.
SACKS (UA-A): Oregon State-Miller, Gabe 1-0. BYU-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): Oregon State-Pa'aluhi, David 1-8; Kristick, K. 4-4;
Mitchell, Lance 5-1; Pankey, Keith 5-1; Collins, C. 3-3; Olander, B. 4-1;
Roberson, D. 2-3; Miller, Gabe 1-2; Paea, Stephen 2-0; Nau, Sioeli 2-0; LaGrone,
Matt 2-0; Tuimaunei, S. 1-1; Moala, Latu 0-2; Dockery, James 1-0; Hardin,
Brandon 1-0; Camat, Keo 0-1; Watkins, A. 0-1; 'Unga, Devin 0-1; Poyer, Jordan
0-1. BYU-BAUMAN, Matt 5-4; JOHNSON, Scott 6-1; DOMAN, Shawn 2-5; RICH, Andrew
2-3; AGUIRRE, Lee 4-0; BRADLEY, Brando 3-0; PENDLETON, Jord 2-1; CLAWSON, Coleby
2-1; BILLS, Craig 2-0; FUGA, Romney 2-0; MARSHALL, Matt 2-0; MORGAN, Blake 2-0;
LOGAN, Brian 2-0; TIALAVEA, Russe 1-1; DENNEY, Brett 1-0; VAN SWEDEN, Dan 1-0;
HUNTER, Shane 1-0.