Video of Jaren Hall’s long TD run against Utah last year circulated again on Twitter recently, and it got me thinking, what are the best games in BYU history that didn’t count? I like to think I have a pretty good memory when it comes to things like this, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few, especially older ones.
Fans have experienced what feels like far too many ups and downs with explosive plays in big moments that led to results that, for one reason or another, were immediately brought back. So there you go, my top 5 plays that didn’t count.
Just missed the cut: 85-yard kickoff return by Nate Meikle against Wyoming
I left this one out because BYU won at 48 and it’s been ages. I mean the game was on CSTV, the network that shared shows with the Mtn. Meikle’s return is sort of overshadowed by McKay Jacobson returning a punt for a touchdown later in the game, but it’s still mentioned because kickoff returns for a six are rare and this one actually should have counted. It was decided that he would fold while reaching for the pylon, but since it was early in the game there wasn’t much point in contesting the decision. But I guess if Bronco knew they were going to win at 48, he probably would have.
5. 2013: 101-yard kickoff return TD by Adam Hine against Utah
The 2013 Utah game had a few controversial calls, but only one directly resulted in points. Towards the end of the first quarter, when he was 3-0 down, Adam Hine stepped back all the way, only to be called back by a phantom hold call on Alani Fua. BYU lost the game 20-13.
4. 2020: 91-yard TD catch on first play of scrimmage for Neil Pau’u against Coastal Carolina
I think that’s probably what hurts the most. Even if BYU had won that game, I’m pretty confident that the CFP committee would still have kept an undefeated BYU out of the NY6. I understand the schedule sucked but they just knocked down everyone they played. BYU’s two toughest games leading up to the CCU game also took place, in Houston and in Boise State. The Cougars picked up speed early in both games, scoring in the first game of scrimmage in Houston and the second game of scrimmage in Boise. They nearly finished the trifecta when Pau’u caught a short pass from Zach Wilson in the first game and chopped 78 yards for a 91-yard TD. However, Isaac Rex was marked for hold, and instead of BYU starting the game with a 7-0 lead, they found themselves in a 1St and 15 from within his own five. The game ended with BYU rushing for 89 yards when they needed 91 and losing 22-17 when Dax Milne was tackled just short of the end zone. Pains.
3. 2021: Jaren Hall’s 66-yard TD vs. Utah
Perhaps the most exciting part of the 2022 season is Hall’s return to QB. Hall played without light last year when he was healthy and displayed a speed we haven’t seen from a quarterback since Taysom’s peak. BYU had controlled the game up to this point, but Utah had just hit a TD to take the score to six at 23-17. 8 minutes before the end on an important 3approx and 1 from just inside the BYU 35, Hall (with three broken ribs) pulled the ball to a read option and took the other sideline down. Hall first burned past starting safety Vonte Davis and then continued to pass starting cornerback Jatravis Broughton. It was wonderful. LES rocked. But the distant official said he folded at the 48 and took away the points. The Cougs milked another five minutes by the clock before Jake Oldroyd sealed the game with a 21-yard FG.
2. 2014: Taysom Hill’s 66-yard TD against Texas
We all know what Taysom did against Texas. A year after running for 259 and three points at Provo, including a 68-yard TD, Taysom did it again, scoring on a 66-yard streak. The play was recalled to stop Jordan Leslie, although FS1 announcers admitted they hadn’t seen anything from Leslie that they would consider a hold. In the end, it didn’t matter as BYU defeated Texas again, 41-7.
1. 2015: Devon Blackmon one-handed TD catch against Boise State
Blackmon finished his BYU career with 56 catches for 800 yards but never saw the end zone. His closest came during the 2015 Boise State game when he pulled an incredible one-handed hook over childhood friend Donte Deayon in the corner of the end zone. There was quite a bit of hand-to-hand combat, but I’m not sure if it gave one player an advantage over the other. Honestly, if they had to blame anyone, it probably should have been called out against Deayon. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so Blackmon deserves the top spot on this list.