As former BYU legend and Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer enters the College Football Hall of Fame, we take a look back at the 10 best performances of his Cougar career.
This was Ty Detmer's coming-out party. After a lackluster first-half performance from starting quarterback Sean Covey, the freshman Detmer was inserted into the lineup and completed 11 of 19 passes for 129 yards. Trailing 17-14 in the fourth quarter, Detmer marched the team into position for two field goals to win. Detmer would be the starting quarterback for the next three years.
This was the final regular-season game of Detmer's career, and he went out with a bang. His 378 yards seem almost run-of-the-mill for him, but he tallied five touchdown passes (including a 97-yard play to Eric Drage) in just 18 completions on 29 attempts. Detmer also ran for a touchdown, and he left the game early in the fourth quarter to a standing ovation from the Cougar faithful.
BYU's comeback attempt fell just short against their Pac-10 Cougar counterparts, but that shouldn't overshadow another amazing game by Detmer. He completed 34 of 53 passes for 528 yards and four touchdowns, three of which were to star receiver Matt Bellini. But Detmer's three interceptions also proved costly.
Whenever Detmer's Cougars and the Aztecs got together, you could be sure to expect fireworks. In this battle, Ty only needed 26 completions on 38 attempts to get 514 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that, he didn't throw a single interception. The win put the 1990 Cougar team in the WAC driver's seat.
Detmer never lost to the Cougars' in-state neighbors, and this was the best of his three games against them. He only needed 32 completions to get 560 yards and five touchdowns. Perhaps even more impressive was the way he spread the ball around; those five touchdowns were to five different Cougar receivers.
BYU had lost to Utah the year before, but this game would be all Cougars. BYU jumped out to a 49-0 lead, and Detmer completed 18 of 22 passes for 358 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. That still stands as the most efficient performance ever by a BYU quarterback, and the 70 points is a rivalry record for most points by one team.
Although BYU lost this Holiday Bowl matchup, it was one of Detmer's finest statistical performances as a Cougar. He notched 576 yards on 42-of-59 passing with two touchdowns, but he made two critical mistakes down the stretch -- an interception during a two-point conversion (returned for two points) and a fumble on what could have been the game-winning drive.
One of two games in Detmer's final season to end in a tie, the Cougars and Aztecs battled to a standstill, but not before each team's quarterback broke the 500-yard barrier. In fact, Ty almost hit 600 yards, ending up with 31 completions on 54 attempts for 599 yards and six touchdowns. He led the Cougars back from a 28-point deficit for the tie, snatching a Holiday Bowl berth away from the Aztecs.
In only the fourth meeting between the two schools, BYU overcame a three-touchdown deficit and scored 24 points in the fourth quarter. Detmer threw the game-winning pass to Jeff Frandsen with 1:01 left in the game to seal the win for the Cougars. Detmer finished with 470 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Ty may have had better numbers on other days, but there's no question this was his finest moment. Top-ranked Miami came to Provo as defending national champions and huge favorites, but Detmer was ready for the challenge. He completed 38 of 54 passes for 406 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Mike Salido.