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MAACO-Las-Vegas-Bowl
A season that started with a win over No. 3 Oklahoma in Dallas ended with an impressive victory over No. 16 Oregon State in Las Vegas as the No. 14 BYU Cougars defeated the Pac-10 second-place Beavers 44-20 at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. BYU finished the season with an 11-2 record, including a 3-1 resume against ranked opponents. In the first-ever MAACO Bowl Las Vegas matchup pitting two top-20 teams, the Mountain West Conference runner-up dominated the scoreboard to earn its third 11-win season in the last four years. Only three schools—Boise State, Florida and Texas—have won more games over the last four years while BYU has achieved a 43-9 record. BYU’s senior class anchored the win as quarterback Max Hall earned Most Valuable Player honors after completing 19-of-30 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Manase Tonga contributed two touchdowns, while senior tight ends Andrew George and Dennis Pitta led all receivers with 46 and 45 yards, respectively.

Defensively, senior linebacker Matt Bauman recovered a key fumble, returning it 34 yards for a touchdown. The score marked the first fumble recovery for a touchdown in BYU bowl history. Fellow team captain Scott Johnson intercepted an Oregon State pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 56 yards to set up BYU’s final touchdown of the game. Collectively the defensive seniors accounted for 28 tackles, four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception and four pass breakups. BYU and Oregon State met for the first time in a bowl game and for the first contest since BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall played for the Beavers in 1986. Both teams had to learn to deal with not only each other but also a cold 43-miles-per-hour wind flowing through the north end of Sam Boyd Stadium. Wind gusts of 55 mph created some havoc for the passing and kicking games. BYU punter kicked a 60-yard low liner with the wind that was the longest kick of his career and tied a BYU bowl record. Oregon State fell to 8-5 with the loss, ending a streak of five-straight bowl victories by the Beavers.

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