Max Hall threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta with 1:46 left today to give Brigham Young a 42-35 Mountain West Conference victory over UNLV in Provo, Utah.
It was Hall’s fourth TD pass of the game.
UNLV (3-5, 0-4) led 35-34, but the touchdown and two-point conversion put the Cougars (7-1, 3-1) ahead by seven and UNLV could not answer the score.
The Rebels came close, but Omar Clayton was sacked on a second-and-10 play at BYU’s 13-yard line with 14 seconds remaining, then was intercepted on what was essentially a Hail Mary pass attempt on the final play.
Hall was 24-of-30 for 245 yards, but Omar Clayton was nearly as good, completing 26 of 40 attempts for 323 yards and a touchdown.
Clayton had to miss time on three different possessions with a jaw injury, and backup Mike Clausen ran for two scores. Frank Summers also ran for a pair of touchdowns for UNLV.
HERE THEY GO, AGAIN
Saturday’s game marked the fourth time in the past five games that the UNLV defense has been asked to protect a lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Of course, BYU went right down the field for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:46 to play.
The two-point conversion came even easier.
Iowa State went 98 yards in 90 seconds with no timeouts to force overtime in a game the Rebels eventually won.
Colorado State ate up almost the entire clock before scoring the game-winning touchdown with less than 10 seconds remaining in a loss at Fort Collins.
Then last week, Air Force went down the field and kicked a game-winning field goal with less than three minutes to play.
A poor defense can be excused if it just comes up with that one key stop in a game. This unit shows no ability to be able to do that.
UNLV punter Dack Ishii is actually a converted quarterback.
Observers have been waiting all season for the team to give him an opportunity to throw the ball on a fake punt.
He got the chance early in the fourth quarter, but nobody was fooled.
Ishii’s throw was broken up, but the receiver was never open.
The other problem with the fake attempt was that Ishii didn’t line up far enough back to make it look like an actual punt. He was only about 7 yards off the line of scrimmage, so it looked more like a deep shotgun snap.
Having a quarterback as your punter is conducive to trying a fake punt, but if you’re going to go for it on fourth-and-1, why not just line up and run a play?
The color-commentator on the television broadcast of the game is Todd Christensen.
He is a BYU graduate and obvious supporter of the program.
So far today, he has toned down the Cougar hype that has plagued much of his tenure as an analyst for The Mtn.
That doesn’t mean his jokes are any better.
When BYU’s Bryan Kariya, who wears No. 28, leveled UNLV’s No. 28 Michael Johnson on a kick return early in the fourth quarter, Christensen thought up a gem.
“That’s where you tell him, ‘I’ve really got your number,’” he quipped.
He then laughed at his own knee-slapper.
The interception on the game’s final play sealed UNLV’s fate.
It also marked the first time this season the Rebels had failed to score in the red zone.
UNLV had scored on all 25 trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line this season, including five times earlier in the game Saturday.