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Eager for BYU football to return? Here’s a cornucopia of classic Cougar games to watch now — thanks to BYUtv

During the pandemic, sports-starved BYU fans can relive epic Cougar football moments, and many more, thanks to BYUtv.org and the BYUtv app.

SHARE Eager for BYU football to return? Here’s a cornucopia of classic Cougar games to watch now — thanks to BYUtv

BYU Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) runs away from Texas Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond (33) BYU and Texas play Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. BYU won 40-21.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

PROVO — The Miracle Bowl. An unforgettable upset of No. 1 Miami. A win for LaVell in his final game. Beck to Harline. Hall to George. A Cotton Bowl victory. Taysom running rampant over Texas. Kyle Van Noy beating San Diego State with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

During the pandemic, sports-starved BYU fans can relive those epic Cougar football moments, and many more, thanks to BYUtv.org and the BYUtv app.

Due to the nature of broadcasting contracts, BYUtv doesn’t own the rights to all of the unforgettable contests over the years. But there are still plenty of entertaining games available for fans to watch on demand.

There are also some underrated and overlooked contests that are included on this list.

These games — dating back as far as 40 years and as recent as last season — can provide hours of entertainment, especially during this time of self-isolation. Take your pick.

Bowl games

BYU vs. Southern Methodist, 1980 Holiday Bowl

This game, known as the “Miracle Bowl” also produces “The Catch” as the Cougars rally from a 45-25 deficit with four minutes remaining. Jim McMahon brings BYU back, heaving a last-second Hail Mary to Clay Brown in a stunning 46-45 victory, capping a comeback for the ages. 

BYU vs. Missouri, 1983 Holiday Bowl

Steve Young catches the game-winning touchdown pass on a trick play with 23 seconds remaining in a 21-17 victory.  


BYU’s Robbie Bosco takes a snap as BYU plays Michigan in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 23, 1984.

Mark Philbrick, BYU

BYU vs. Michigan, 1984 Holiday Bowl

The Cougars complete a perfect season and clinch the national championship with a 24-17 win. (Steve Young provides color analysis on the broadcast.)

BYU vs. Colorado, 1988 Freedom Bowl

Redshirt freshman Ty Detmer comes off the bench to earn MVP honors as the Cougars upset the Buffaloes, 20-17.

BYU vs. Oklahoma, 1994 Copper Bowl

The Cougars pummel the Sooners 31-6 in John Walsh’s final game.

BYU vs. Kansas State, 1997 Cotton Bowl

In its first, and only, New Year’s Day bowl appearance, the No. 5 Cougars hold on for a victory over a Big 12 opponent, 19-15.

BYU vs. Oregon, 2006 Las Vegas Bowl

John Beck and the Cougars crush the Ducks, 38-8.  

BYU vs. UCLA, 2007 Las Vegas Bowl

A last-second blocked field goal attempt by Eathyn Manumaleuna preserves a dramatic 17-16 victory over the Bruins.

BYU vs. Oregon State, 2009 Las Vegas Bowl

The Cougars cap the season with a 44-20 blowout of the Beavers on a windy night in Las Vegas. 

BYU vs. UTEP, 2010 New Mexico Bowl

Freshman Jake Heaps shines in the Cougars’ 52-24 win, the most points BYU has ever scored in a bowl game. 

BYU vs. Tulsa, 2011 Armed Forces Bowl

This game features a helmet-less block by Matt Reynolds and a trick play from Riley Nelson to Cody Hoffman for the game-winning touchdown.

BYU vs. San Diego State, 2012 Poinsettia Bowl

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy scores two touchdowns — a strip-sack fumble and a pick six — in the fourth quarter in a 23-6 Cougar victory.

BYU vs. Utah, 2015 Las Vegas Bowl

In Bronco Mendenhall’s final game, the Cougars fall behind 35-0 in the first quarter before mounting a comeback that falls short in a 35-28 setback.

BYU vs. Western Michigan, 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Freshman Zach Wilson completes a perfect 18 of 18 passes in the Cougars’ 49-18 win.


BYU vs. Air Force, 1985

The Cougars rally from a two-touchdown deficit early in the second half to defeat the No. 4 Falcons in Provo, 28-21.

BYU vs. Miami, 1990

The Cougars shock the No. 1-ranked defending national champions 28-21 and jump-start Ty Detmer’s Heisman Trophy campaign. 

BYU vs. Texas A&M, 1996

In the college football season opener, the Cougars knock off No. 13 Texas A&M with a late-game KO, with Steve Sarkisian finding K.O. Kealaluhi on a 46-yard TD pass in the final minute for a 41-37 win. 

BYU vs. Arizona State, 1998

Ronney Jenkins runs for a career-best 171 yards as the Cougars upset No. 14 Arizona State, 26-6, for a second consecutive season.


BYU’s #6 McKay Jacobson celebrates the game-tying TD with teammates as BYU and Oklahoma play at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas. Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

BYU vs. Oklahoma, 2009

The Cougars knock quarterback Sam Bradford out of the game and upset No. 3 Oklahoma 14-13 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in the ‘09 season-opener and the first college game played at that venue.

BYU vs. Texas, 2013

The Cougars rush for a school-record 550 yards and BYU overwhelms No. 15 Texas, 40-21, whose defense offered a whole new meaning to the term “burnt orange.” Taysom Hill runs for 259 yards all by himself. 

BYU vs. USC, 2019

The Cougars upset the No. 24 Trojans in overtime, 30-27. 

BYU vs. Boise State, 2019

Mired in a three-game losing streak, the Cougars, led by freshman Baylor Romney, beat No. 14 Boise State 28-25 in Romney’s first career start. 

Rivalry games

BYU vs. Utah, 1984

A hard-fought 24-14 road victory preserves the Cougars’ perfect season and days later, BYU is ranked No. 1 for the first time ever. 

BYU vs. Utah, 1989

The Cougars avenge a humbling loss to the Utes the previous season by taking a 49-0 halftime lead and finishing with a 70-31 win. 

BYU vs. Utah, 1996

The Cougars run over and through the Utes to the tune of 366 yards on 63 carries in a 37-17 decision. 

BYU vs. Utah, 1998

The Cougars hold on for a 26-24 win after the Utes’ field goal attempt clangs off the upright as time expires.


Ron McBride of the University of Utah congratulates LaVell Edwards of BYU after Edwards last game coaching football on Nov. 24, 2000.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

BYU vs. Utah, 2000

In legendary coach LaVell Edwards’ final game, the Cougars rally with miraculous final drive in a 34-27 win.

BYU vs. Utah, 2001

The Cougars, undefeated and ranked in the top 10, pull out a late comeback to defeat the Utes, 24-21. 

BYU vs. Utah, 2006

Answered prayer. Beck to Harline. An iconic play. Cougars 33, Utes 31. 

BYU vs. Utah, 2007

The Cougars come from behind yet again to edge the Utes, 17-10. 

BYU vs. Utah, 2009

Max Hall finds Andrew George with the game-winning touchdown pass over the middle in overtime — the Cougars’ most recent win over the Utes. 


BYU vs. UCLA, 1983

In the first meeting between the two schools, the Cougars nip the Bruins 37-35 at the Rose Bowl.

BYU vs. Wyoming, 1984

The Cougars escape with a 41-38 win in Provo to keep their perfect season alive. 

BYU vs. San Diego State, 1991

Ty Detmer leads a furious second-half rally that sees the Cougars battle back from a 45-17 deficit to record a 52-52 tie, the highest-scoring tie in NCAA history.

BYU vs. Hawaii, 1993

In a wild one in Provo, the Cougars hold off the Rainbow Warriors 41-38.


BYU’s Ethan Pochman kicks the game-winning field goal against Wyoming in 1996.

Mark Philbrick/BYU

BYU vs. Wyoming, 1996

The Cougars edge the Cowboys in overtime in the first Western Athletic Championship game in Las Vegas, 28-25.

BYU vs. Virginia, 2000

After trailing 21-0 at halftime, the Cougars roar back to beat the Cavaliers 38-35 in overtime in Charlottesville. 

BYU vs. Mississippi State, 2001

The Cougars venture into Southeastern Conference country with a top-10 ranking and undefeated record and they leave with a game-winning field goal for a 41-38 win as time expires. 

BYU vs. Utah State, 2011

USU transfer Riley Nelson comes off the bench to lead the Cougars to a come-from-behind 27-24 win, which includes a 96-yard drive and game-winning TD with 11 seconds remaining. 

BYU vs. Boise State, 2015

A week after Tanner Mangum led a miraculous win at Nebraska, the freshman, making his first collegiate start, guides the Cougars to a 35-24 victory with another fourth-quarter Hail Mary against the No. 20 Broncos. 

BYU vs. Toledo, 2016

Jamaal Williams rushes for a school-record 286 yards and five touchdown and Rhett Almond kicks the game-winning field goal as time expires in a 55-53 win. 

BYU vs. Mississippi State, 2016

The Cougars seize their first lead of the game in the second overtime as Taysom Hill leads BYU to a 28-21 win and Jamaal Williams becomes the school’s all-time leading rusher. 

Other notable games

BYU vs. San Diego State, 1979

Al Michaels calls this game on ABC in the Cougars’ 63-14 stomping of the Aztecs.

BYU vs. Long Beach State, 1981

Watch Jim McMahon dismantle LBSU in the ’81 season-opener, 31-8.

BYU vs. Utah State, 1981

In his first career start, replacing an injured Jim McMahon, Steve Young leads the Cougars to a 32-26 triumph.

BYU vs. Hawaii, 1981

The Cougars win a 13-3 defensive battle in the islands to clinch the WAC title. 

BYU vs. Washington, 1985

The Cougars won the 1984 national championship, and the Huskies finished No. 2 in the national polls. Months later, the two teams meet in Provo. BYU blasts Washington, 31-3.

BYU vs. SDSU, 1992

Future NFL star Marshall Faulk leads the Aztecs to a 45-38 shootout victory in Provo. 


BYU’s LaVell Edwards, left, and Penn State’s Joe Paterno laugh together following the Cougars’ 31-17 win over the Nittany Lions in 1992.

Mark Philbrick/BYU

BYU vs. Penn State, 1992

The Cougars, led by quarterback Ryan Hancock, defeat the Nittany Lions and Joe Paterno 31-17 in Provo — on Halloween.

BYU vs. Fresno State, 1995

Steve Sarkisian sets a school record that still stands for completion percentage (31 of 34, 91%) in a 45-28 win against the Bulldogs in the season finale, setting the stage for a big 1996 campaign for BYU.

BYU vs. Utah State, 1997

The Cougars beat the Aggies 42-35 in an emotional game, just days after BYU cornerback Terrance Harvey dies in a car accident.

BYU vs. Alabama, 1998

The Cougars hang tough on a humid night in Tuscaloosa but fall 38-31 to the Crimson Tide.

BYU vs. New Mexico, 2000

In the first game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in the legendary coach’s final home game, the Cougars wallop the Lobos 37-13. It also marks Brandon Doman’s first start.

BYU vs. Syracuse, 2002

The Cougars open the season with a big 42-21 victory against the Orangemen, avenging a 42-12 loss in 2000.

BYU vs. Notre Dame, 2004

In the 2004 season opener, and Austin Collie’s first game as a Cougars, Collie scores the game-winning touchdown in BYU’s 20-17 win.

BYU vs. USC, 2004

Against the top-ranked Trojans, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, the Cougars lose 42-10 to the eventual national champions.

BYU vs. Boston College, 2006

Traveling to Boston, the Cougars fall in overtime to the Eagles and future NFL star Matt Ryan, 30-23.

BYU vs. SDSU, 2009

Max Hall directs a 38-28 win in San Diego. 

BYU vs. San Diego State, 2010

This game features a controversial call — a third-quarter fumble by running back JJ Di Luigi is recovered by the Aztecs but the officials rule Di Luigi’s knee is down and it’s upheld by replay officials. The Cougars go on to score on the possession in a 24-21 win, snapping a four-game losing streak. 

BYU vs. Oregon State, 2011

At Corvallis, the Cougars earn a 38-28 win highlighted by some spectacular catches by Cody Hoffman.

BYU vs. Hawaii, 2012

In Taysom Hill’s first career start, he runs for 143 yards, including a 68-yard TD, in a 47-0 rout.

BYU vs. Oregon State, 2012

The Cougars wear all-black uniforms for the first time ever. But the No. 10 Beavers pull away in the fourth quarter in a 42-24 win.


BYU Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) tries to evade Boise State Broncos linebacker Tanner Vallejo (20) on a run in the second half of a game at Lavell Edwards Stadium on Friday, October 25, 2013.

Deseret News, Deseret News

BYU vs. Boise State, 2013

BYU earns its first-ever win over Boise State, 37-20.

BYU vs. Houston, 2014

In a Thursday night game commemorating 9/11 — featuring the American flag incorporated into the Y. logo on BYU’s helmets — BYU defeats Houston 33-25. 

BYU vs. Memphis, 2014

In a wildly entertaining game at the Miami Beach Bowl, the Tigers beat the Cougars 55-48 in double overtime. But this one will always be remembered for the brawl that ensues after it ends. 

BYU vs. Hawaii, 2018

Zach Wilson becomes the youngest Cougar to start a game at quarterback and leads BYU to a dominating 49-23 win.