DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 30: Hebron Fangupo #91 of the Brigham Young Cougars lifts the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl trophy after a 24-21 win against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
In a pulse-pounding finish, the BYU Cougars scored with just 11 seconds remaining in regulation to defeat the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and secure an Armed Forces Bowl victory.
As we mentioned in our 3 Keys to a BYU win, the Cougars were going to have to stop the run game. Boy did Bronco Mendenhall's defense to just that. Tulsa average 40 rushing attempts and 204 yards in the regular season. The Golden Hurricane managed just 27 carries and 37 yards on Friday afternoon. The BYU front seven dominated the line of scrimmage all game long.
Cody Hoffman is a star. For the second straight bowl game, the California wide receiver was named the games MVP. Boy did he earn it. Hoffman made every big play imaginable, whether bailing out yet another errant Riley Nelson heave, or using extra effort to secure a touchdown. With Hoffman's 2011 performance, and 2012 and 2013 in the distance, it is not without merit to consider than he may very well compete with Austin Collie for the title of BYU's Best Receiver of All-Time.
What Riley Nelson lacks in talent he makes up in moxie. After missing open receiver after open receiver, proving ineffective in the running game, and taking more than his fair share of bad sacks, the hair-flowing, ab-rocking legend rose up when it mattered. His tough 4th-and-9 scamper was all heart, as it seemed that Nelson was simply a step slow today. (Was he sick?) After moving the sticks, Nelson pulled a Dan Marino out of his hat and delivered yet another moment in BYU lore. The Fake Spike will go down with 4th-and-18, The Hand of Manumaleuna, George Is Still Running, Riley Beats Utah State, and Beck-to-Harline as epic moments of the recent BYU past.
Per our man @Spaffoo, Bronco Mendenhall has now won at least 10 games in five of his seven seasons as head coach. A truly remarkable sign of his consistency. This 10-win BYU is surely the weakest of the bunch during this era, but 10-wins is nothing to scoff at. Ever. And Bronco, unlike Lavell Edwards, has also found a recipe for bowl success. With a slew of young players returning, the BYU football program remains in good hands.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.