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12.29.89 San Diego, Calif. (61,113)

No. 19 BYU39
Penn State50

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.

Passing Yards576215
Penn StateTasari 30-yard FG
BYUChaffetz 20-yard FG
Penn StateSmith 24-yard pass from Sacca (kick failed)
BYUDetmer 1-yard run (kick)
Penn StateTasari 36-yard FG
BYUChaffetz 22-yard FG
Penn StateTasari 51-yard FG
Penn StateThompson 16-yard run (kick)
BYUDetmer 1-yard run (kick failed)
Penn StateThompson 14-yard run (kick)
BYUBoyce 12-yard pass from Detmer (kick)
Penn StateThomas 7-yard run (2 pt. failed)
Penn StateDaniels 52-yard pass from Sacca (2 pt. failed)
BYUWhittingham 10-yard run (kick)
BYUNyberg 3-yard pass from Detmer (2 pt. failed)
Penn StateCollins 2-point conversion interception return
Penn StateBrown 53-yard fumble return (kick) 
No. 19 BYU310131339
Penn State39172150