Are you ready for some football? BYU’s 10 top wins in program history

Aug 15, 2021, 6:37 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm
BYU North Alabama...
BYU running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs the ball for a first down past North Alabama cornerback Will Singleton, bottom, defensive end Tyler Antkowiak (41) and linebacker Christon Taylor (25) in the second quarter during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger, Pool)
(AP Photo/Jeff Swinger, Pool)

PROVO, Utah — The BYU Cougars are less than three weeks away from opening the 2021 football season, with a matchup against the Arizona Wildcats in Las Vegas.

BYU has had its good years, and its down years in recent times. Make no mistake about it, though, there are games that will live on forever in the hearts of Cougar fans everywhere.

Here is a list of BYU’s top 10 wins in program history.

10. Byu 20, No. 3 Pittsburgh 14 (Sept. 1, 1984)

This was the game that started the Cougars’ run to a perfect 13-0 season. This is a game that over years seems to have been forgotten about by a lot of fans. The Panthers were No. 3 in the country. Without that win, BYU doesn’t go on to win its only national championship.

9. BYU 33, Nebraska 28 (Sept. 5, 2015)

It’s not too often you see a football game decided on the final play of the game. When it does happen, it’s one you don’t forget. BYU’s Tanner Mangum threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Mathews as time expired. It gave the Cougars a 33-28 win, and left the Cornhuskers stunned.

8. BYU 41, No. 12 Texas A&M 37 (Aug. 24, 1996)

The 1996 team is considered by many to be the greatest team ever assembled at BYU. I think there is a good case for that. The Cougars’ thrilling win over nationally-ranked Texas A&M was cemented by a 46-yard touchdown pass from Steve Sarkisian to K.O. Kealaluhi with just over a minute to play.

7. BYU 26, Utah 23, OT (Nov. 28, 2009)

This is game is significant for one reason, and one reason alone. It’s the last time BYU beat Utah in the Holy War. Max Hall hit Andrew George on a 25-yard touchdown pass in overtime to give the Cougars a dramatic win over the Utes.

6. BYU 14, No. 3 Oklahoma 13 (Sept. 5, 2009)

The Cougars went into “Jerry’s World” in Arlington, Texas and pulled off a one-point win. BYU got a touchdown pass from Max Hall to McKay Jacobson with three 3 minutes remaining to secure the one-point win.

5. BYU 21, No. 17 Notre Dame 14 (Oct. 15, 1994)

I’m not sure anyone expected BYU to pull this one off. But a 2-yard touchdown run by Jamal Willis early in the fourth quarter gave the Cougars the lead for good. At the end of the game, the BYU players put then-head coach LaVell Edwards up on their shoulders.

4. BYU 46, SMU 45 (Dec. 19, 1980)

BYU’s Jim McMahon threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Clay Brown on the final play of the game. The score capped a 20-point rally by BYU with just under 4 minutes to play. This is another game that probably doesn’t as much run as it should.

3. BYU 33, Utah 31 (Nov. 25, 2006)

John Beck’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jonny Harline with no time left gave the Cougars the win. The play is probably the most iconic play in program history. Beck rolled out to his right before throwing back to his left to find Harline alone in the end zone.

2. BYU 28, No. 1 Miami (Sept. 8, 1990)

Many will argue this is the greatest game in Cougar history. Ty Detmer shredded the Miami defense and began his march to the to winning the Heisman Trophy.

1. BYU 24, Michigan 17 (Dec. 21, 1984)

The 1984 Holiday Bowl gets my vote as the greatest game in BYU history. The Cougars (12-0) at the time went into the game knowing very well a loss would knock them out of the National Championship conversation. I just think with everything riding in this game, it has to be the greatest.

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Are you ready for some football? BYU’s 10 top wins in program history