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12.30.11 Dallas, Texas (Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Att. 30,258) 


BYU won its fifth bowl game in six years with a 24-21 comeback victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars struggled for much of the game on offense but gritted out the last-second victory. Quarterback Riley Nelson led BYU with 4:18 on the clock, trailing 21-17 to a game-winning drive. Facing a 4th-and-9 situation, Nelson scampered for 14 yards to give the Cougars a new set of downs at the Tulsa 33-yard line. After getting BYU to the 2-yard line, Nelson faked a clock-stopping ball spike and instead threw to an open Cody Hoffman standing past the goalline for the winning score with :11 seconds left on the clock. The play became known as "Red Alert." The Cougars fell behind 14-3 in the second quarter but received a big special teams play to get themselves back in the game. Deep snapper Reed Hornung was the first player down the field on a punt with :25 seconds left until halftime and helped cause Tulsa's returner to fumble and BYU recovered at the Tulsa 17-yard line. Offensive lineman Matt Reynolds became the next hero, springing Nelson with a huge block, all with no helmet on. Nelson was able to scramble just long enough with Reynolds' block to find Hoffman for a 17-yard score to cut Tulsa's lead to 14-10 just before the half. The Cougars took the lead at 17-14 with under two minutes left in the third quarter but surrendered it back in the fourth quarter. Punt returner JD Falslev returned a punt 22-yards to set up BYU's game-winning drive at the Tulsa 48-yard line. Special teams played a huge part in the victory with Falslev's returns, Hornung's strip and forced fumble and punter Riley Stephenson had a career day. The junior had eight punts for 335 yards, including seven inside the 20 and two of 50 or more yards. Stephenson was named to ESPN's All-Bowl team with the performance.

Complete Box Score

Team Stat Comparison
    BYU   TLS
1st Downs1815
Passing 1st Downs1110
Rushing 1st Downs72
1st Downs from Penalties03
3rd Down Efficiency8-216-16
4th Down Efficiency2-20-0
Total Yards344272
Average per attempt6.37.3
Average per completion14.713.1
Rush Attempts4027
Yards per attempt2.41.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-32-3
Fumbles lost02
Interceptions Thrown20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
PAT Kicks3-33-3
Field Goals1-10-1


Scoring Summary
First QuarterBYUTLS
TD09:51JOHNSON,R. 8 Yd Pass From KINNE,G.J. (FITZPATRICK,K. Kick)07
FG00:17Justin Sorensen 35 Yd37
Second QuarterBYUTLS
TD08:45SEARS,Clay 14 Yd Pass From KINNE,G.J. (FITZPATRICK,K. Kick)314
TD00:12Cody Hoffman 17 Yd Pass From Riley Nelson (Justin Sorensen Kick)1014
Third QuarterBYUTLS
TD01:41Cody Hoffman 30 Yd Pass From Riley Nelson (Justin Sorensen Kick)1714
Fourth QuarterBYUTLS
TD10:42BURNHAM,B. 30 Yd Pass From KINNE,G.J. (FITZPATRICK,K. Kick)1721
TD00:11Cody Hoffman 2 Yd Pass From Riley Nelson (Justin Sorensen Kick)2421