Found December 30, 2011 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
DALLAS Tulsa, which has one of the worst defenses against the pass in the country, was able to mask that deficiency throughout most of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Friday afternoon.
For more than 59 minutes, the Golden Hurricane was able to keep the pass-happy BYU Cougars in check and was clinging to a 21-17 lead.
Tulsa couldn't make it for 60 minutes though thanks to a little trickery from BYU junior quarterback Riley Nelson.
Nelson's 2-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman with 11 seconds remaining capped the BYU rally and gave the Cougars a 24-21 victory at SMU's Ford Stadium.
Tulsa (8-5) came into the contest No. 118 in the country out of 120 FBS teams, allowing 289.3 yards a game through the air. That didn't seem like it was going to matter though as G.J. Kinne's 30-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Burnham with just over 10 minutes to go looked to be the game winner.
But BYU (10-3) wasn't going to be denied, taking over for the final time with 4:18. Nelson kept the drive alive early, converting on fourth down with a 14-yard run.
Nelson wasn't done making plays though, as he made the key move on the game-winning pass. The BYU coaches called for Nelson to spike the ball after a short pass to Marcus Matthews got the ball down to the 2 with no timeouts remaining. Nelson instead faked the spike and took a short drop back. That move froze the Tulsa defenders long enough for him to zip his third touchdown of the game to Hoffman, who beat Milton Howell for the winning score.
The game capped a breakthrough season for Nelson, who took over the starting job in October but was slowed by a partially collapsed lung and broken rib last month. He set a career high for passing yards in a 41-20 victory over Hawaii earlier this month before delivering in the clutch Friday.
He threw for 250 yards with the three touchdowns to Hoffman. While he was intercepted twice in the game, he didn't let that slow him as he rallied the Cougars from a 14-3 deficit.
Nelson's late-game heroics denied Conference USA a chance to open its bowl slate with a 3-0 mark. Tulsa was hoping to follow up victories by Southern Miss and Marshall, but BYU didn't cooperate.
BYU was able to keep Kinne in check for most of the game. He threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns, but was also forced to scramble throughout the game and got no help from the rushing game.
The Cougars limited Tulsa to just 37 yards on 27 carries. Tulsa came into the game averaging more than 200 yards a game.
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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.
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For those of you who didn't get to see the ending to the Tulsa/BYU Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, you missed a dozy.
Nearing the end of the game with BYU driving, quarterback Riley Nelson threw a touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman with 11 seconds left to pull out the victory.
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If there was any doubt that Riley Nelson was the right person to quarterback BYU, he answered those queries Friday on BYU's final play of the Armed Forces Bowl.
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Riley Nelson threw three touchdown passes to Cody Hoffman, the last with 11 seconds left, and BYU beat Tulsa 24-21 Friday in the Armed Forces Bowl for another 10-win season. With no timeouts and the ball at the 2, the Cougars hurried up to the line. Nelson then faked a spike that would have stopped the clock and instead stood up and threw to Hoffman in the end zone.
BYU quarterback Riley Nelson was thinking about Dan Marino when he ignored the play called by his coach.
Instead of spiking the ball to stop the clock, Nelson faked that move and then threw his third touchdown pass, a 2-yarder to Cody Hoffman with 11 seconds left to give the Cougars a 24-21 victory over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl on Friday.
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