ARLINGTON, Texas — What a homecoming it was for Dallas-area native McKay Jacobson.
Playing in his first game since returning home from a mission last January, the BYU wide receiver fumbled a punt early on, but he atoned for his crucial mistake and finished a hero by catching a game-winning, seven-yard touchdown pass from Max Hall with 3:03 left in the Cougars' 14-13 upset over No. 3 Oklahoma Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium.
Facing third-and-seven from the Sooner 7-yard line, Hall figured OU would be focusing on stopping BYU tight end Dennis Pitta. That left Jacobson alone in the back of the end zone.
"(Oklahoma's defense) sucked in on Dennis," Hall said, "and left McKay wide open."
"I was just trying to find a spot," Jacobson said of what will go down as one of the biggest touchdowns in BYU history. "The play kind of slowed down and I saw the ball slowly coming to me. It was kind of in slow motion."
Said coach Bronco Mendenhall, "It was not a broken play, it was one that took extra effort."
The night did not start auspiciously for Jacobson, however. After the Sooners were forced to punt on their second possession of the game, Jacobson tried to field a punt that was kicked away from him.
Jacobson mishandled the ball and OU's Brandon Caleb recovered at the BYU 35. The Sooners scored five plays later to take a 7-0 advantage with 4:56 left in the first quarter.
But in the end, Jacobson redeemed himself in a big way.
"No matter what happens, you can't get down," he said. "You've got to learn from it and fight back."
In the second quarter, Jacobson caught a 49-yard pass from Hall and finished with four catches for 69 yards.
DROUGHT OVER: With the win over Oklahoma, BYU won its first game over a ranked non-conference opponent since 1998, when the Cougars downed Arizona State at home, 26-6.
Saturday's victory halted a 12-game losing streak to ranked non-conference teams. Mendenhall now has a 2-6 mark against ranked opponents. The last time BYU beat a ranked team was in nearby Fort Worth, where the Cougars downed No. 15 TCU, 31-17, in 2006.
FACES IN THE CROWD: Standing on the BYU sidelines during Saturday's game were former Cougars Austin Collie, Bryan Kehl and Reno Mahe. Among those who attended Saturday's game — BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson, former Cougar quarterback Gifford Nielson, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose, Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson, former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer, Oklahoma basketball coach Jeff Capel.
Some BYU fans wore blue shirts that read, "Remember the Copper Bowl," a reference to BYU's 31-6 victory over Oklahoma in the 1994 Copper Bowl in Tucson, Ariz.
DOME SWEET DOME: The retractable roof at Cowboys Stadium was closed for Saturday's game. When the roof is closed, Cowboys Stadium is the largest domed structure in the world.9 comments on this story
Prior to Saturday, BYU has played only twice indoors in its history and both happened within one year — in the 1999 Motor City Bowl at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Mich., where the Cougars fell to Marshall, 21-3; and during the 2000 season in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., where BYU lost, 42-14.
But on Saturday, BYU claimed its first win in a domed stadium.
The Cougars will play in a domed stadium again next week when they visit the Superdome in New Orleans to take on Tulane.
FLAG BEARERS: Former BYU quarterback Robbie Bosco, who led the Cougars to the 1984 national championship, carried out the alumni flag prior to Saturday's game while Cougar senior defensive lineman Brett Denney carried the "Y" flag.