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BYU Football: Nelson rallies Cougars to 24-21 win over Tulsa

Published December 30, 2011 6:56 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dallas • BYU quarterback Riley Nelson was hot and cold all day, but he came through in the end of the Cougars' 24-21 victory over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl at Ford Stadium.

Nelson threw three touchdown passes (all to Cody Hoffman), mixed with two interceptions, and he saved his best work for last. A 2-yard TD pass to Hoffman with 11 seconds remaining gave the Cougars a 10-3 record for 2011 and improved coach Bronco Mendenhall's bowl record to 5-2.

The Cougars started their last drive at the Tulsa 48, following a nice punt return by JD Falslev. Nelson scrambled for 14 yards on a fourth-and-9 play to keep the drive alive. Nelson also ran for 8 yards to give the Cougars a first down at the Tulsa 8. A pass to Marcus Mathews moved the ball to the 2, before Nelson delivered the game winner to Hoffman, who also caught three touchdown passes in last December's Armed Forces Bowl.

Hoffman faked a fade route, then came back to the front-right corner of the end zone and Nelson delivered a perfect pass.

Hoffman was named BYU's most outstanding player of the game; Tulsa safety Dexter McCoil, who intercepted two passes, was honored for the Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa finished 8-5 in a defeat that was bitterly disappointing for defensive coordinator Brent Guy, the former Utah State coach. Guy's defense bottled up Nelson most of the day, but could not stop him on the key plays of the final drive.






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