Following an impressive 9-3 season behind freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum, BYU entered its Las Vegas Bowl matchup against Utah with a lot to be excited about. Not only would it be big to finish off the season with a bowl victory, but the victory would come over their biggest rivals in the renewal of “The Holy War” after a one-year hiatus.
The game couldn’t have started any worse for the Cougars as the Utes scored on their opening possession to take a quick 7-0 lead. That score would be the first of five touchdowns in the first 10:22 of the game to put BYU in a 35-0, hole. It was certainly a shocking beginning and it sparked broadcaster Brent Musburger to poke a little fun at the mostly Mormon fans.
“I really feel sorry for my Mormon friends at BYU,” Musburger said during Saturday’s broadcast. “They don’t drink. This game would drive you to it.”
Instead of throwing in the towel, the Cougars decided to fight back and almost ended up winning the game. The defense didn’t allow another point the rest of the game and Mangum led the offense to four touchdowns as they cut the lead to 35-28 with 3:23 left in the game.
As shocking as the early deficit was, the comeback was almost as impressive, especially with it being head coach Bronco Mendenhall‘s last game at the university.