PROVO — It wasn't as dramatic as the 42-yard Hail Mary a week ago as time expired at Nebraska, but BYU freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum did it again Saturday night.

Mangum, making his first collegiate start, completed another improbable touchdown pass to lift BYU to a 35-24 victory over No. 20 Boise State Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium before a sellout crowd of 63,470.

“We fought to the end," Mangum said. "The guys around me made plays and made it happen.”

On fourth-and-7 with 45 seconds remaining, Mangum connected with wide receiver Mitchell Juergens for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Cougars (2-0) a 28-24 lead. Mangum threw the ball into the end zone and Juergens caught the ball falling backward for the score.

“I really liked the resiliency of Tanner Mangum," said coach Bronco Mendenhall. "In his first start, to beat that team in front of the home crowd after the series a week ago, and a Hail Mary, I don’t know where you go from there in terms of starting. I’m very proud of him.”

Last week in Lincoln, Mangum threw a 42-yard TD pass to Mitch Mathews on the game's final play as BYU won 33-28.

The Cougars' final drive started at the BYU 36-yard line with 3:33 left and took seven plays. The Cougars outscored the Broncos 28-7 to finish the game.

BYU safety Kai Nacua recorded his third interception of the night and returned it for a 50-yard touchdown to seal the victory with 30 seconds remaining.

“It was great to have Kai Nacua back. He changed the game," Mendenhall said of Nacua, who sat out the season-opener due to a suspension. "The range that he covers and the plays that he made — that’s who he is. I’m really excited for him.”

The Cougars scored 14 points in the last 15 seconds and when the game ended, white-clad BYU fans spilled onto the field to celebrate. Boise State (1-1) suffered its first loss of the season. It also snapped the Broncos' 10-game winning streak.

Mangum completed 17 of 28 passes for 309 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Juergens caught four passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Devon Blackmon had six catches for 105 yards. Running back Adam Hine ran for 93 yards and a touchdown, with 80 of those yards coming in the second half.

“In the second half, our ability to run the football really helped," Mendenhall said. "It got some balance into our offense and took some pressure off Tanner. Our receivers continue to make critical plays when they need to and have to.”

Meanwhile, the Cougar defense turned in several big stops throughout the game.

“I was impressed with our defense for the majority of the game — in the first half especially with the short fields and holding the points down,” Mendenhall said.

BYU jumped out to an electrifying start on its first series. On third-and-19, Mangum scrambled out of the pocket and completed an 84-yard pass to Juergens for a touchdown just 51 seconds into the game.

But that was one of the few Cougar offensive highlights of the first half.

Starting with its third possession, BYU’s offense started its next six drives on its own 8, 25, 1, 9, 9 and 20-yard lines, and stalled each time as it was unable to establish a running game.

On one drive midway through the second quarter that started on the Cougar 9, Mangum connected with Juergens for 41 yards. But that was followed up by an incompletion, a fumbled snap for minus-11 yards, then another fumble with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on offensive lineman Ului Lapuaho. That forced punter Jonny Linehan to punt from the end zone on fourth-and-51.

Boise State scored its first touchdown on a three-yard run with 2:38 left in the first quarter. Despite having favorable field position throughout the half, the Broncos didn’t score again until the end of the half on a 31-yard field goal by Tyler Rausa.

BYU's defense was constantly put in tough situations but kept the Cougars in the game. Boise State started a drive at its own 44, its own 48, its own 48, the BYU 32, the BYU 45, and its own 41.

At halftime, the Cougars had rushed for minus-14 yards rushing while the Broncos had 36 yards. Mangum threw a pair of interceptions in the first half, both to Boise State cornerback Donte Deayon. Juergens’ three catches accounted for 139 of BYU’s 155 yards of total offense in the first half.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Broncos drove 75 yards for a touchdown. The Cougar defense had Boise State in a third-and-16 situation, but a roughing the passer penalty on Sione Takitaki gave the Broncos new life. Four plays later, Jeremy McNichols scored on a three-yard run to give Boise State a 17-7 advantage.

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The Cougars responded on the ensuing series highlighted by a 70-yard completion from Mangum to Devon Blackmon and capped by a 21-yard run by Hine. That cut BYU’s deficit to 17-14 with 4:32 left in the second quarter.

Boise State quickly built a 10-point lead again with an 86-yard drive. McNichols caught a 29-yard touchdown pass for the score.

The second-half scoring barrage continued after a Linehan punt to the BSU 2-yard line. Nacua intercepted his second pass of the night and returned it to the Bronco 12-yard line. Mangum threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Devon Blackmon, who made a spectacular one-handed catch. However, it was nullified by an offensive pass interference call on Blackmon. Mangum ended up scoring from the 1-yard line to make it Boise State 24, BYU 21 with 10:22 remaining.

BYU visits UCLA next Saturday.

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