Holiday Bowl
Two unusual plays late in the game kept BYU from downing Penn State and offset 576 yards passing by Ty Detmer—the highest total ever in a bowl game. For his effort, and thanks to blocking from Outland Trophy winner Mohammed Elewonibi, Detmer had the rare privilege of sharing MVP honors despite playing on the losing team. BYU, which trailed 41-26 with nine and a half minutes remaining, scored twice to cut the lead to 41-39 with 2:30 to play. The Cougars went for a two-point conversion to tie the game, but Detmer’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Penn State linebacker Andre Collins and returned 102 yards for two points. Down 43-39, the Cougars, led by Bob Davis, forced the Lions to punt , giving BYU the ball on its own 12 with two minutes left. Passes to Brent Nyberg, Matt Bellini, Chris Smith and Andy Boyce moved the ball to the Penn State 38 with a minute left to play. Then, what appeared to be a sack by Penn State safety Gary Brown turned into a score for the Nittany Lions. Brown stripped the ball from Detmer at the Penn State 47 and raced 53 yards for the touchdown. Penn State finished the season ranked 14th by UPI and 15th by AP and CNN/USA Today. BYU was 18th in the UPI poll and 22nd in the others