Questionable play call in final minutes proves costly in BYU’s 38-34 loss in Hawaii Bowl
DeseretHONOLULU — How else was one of the most topsy-turvy, up-and-down BYU football seasons in recent memory supposed to end?
With controversy, of course. And a highly questionable play call, a call that could easily go down as one of the worst in school history.
In a game that featured a little bit of everything, like those old games between the former WAC rivals in days gone by, Hawaii made one more big play than BYU and took a 38-34 victory over the shell-shocked Cougars at Aloha Stadium.
Hawaii junior quarterback Cole McDonald threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Nick Mardner with one minute, 17 seconds remaining and the Warriors shut down BYU’s final possession with an interception by Khoury Bethley, his second of the game.
That McDonald and Hawaii even had the ball in the final minutes will be rued by BYU fans from here to eternity.
All because of an incomplete pass. Here’s the setup: BYU was looking at a third-and-2 from its 26-yard line with 2:17 left, a 34-31 lead, and Hawaii out of timeouts. After looking at how the Warriors were set up defensively, BYU took a timeout, its first of the second half.
Then the Cougars ran a pass play — after they had been pounding the ball down Hawaii’s throat with bruising running back Tyler Allgeier, the game’s leading rusher with 77 yards on just eight carries.
Zach Wilson’s throw to Micah Simon was short, and Simon couldn’t come up with the catch.
With the clock stopped due to the incompletion, BYU had to give the ball up to a UH offense that was unstoppable in the first half, lost four yards in the third quarter and somehow hadn’t scored in the fourth quarter, a 40-yard field having sailed wide right.