ARLINGTON, Texas — Every team playing BYU knows who the Cougars are going to go to in critical situations.
The Cougars bread-and-butter combination is quarterback Max Hall throwing to one of his tight ends — either Dennis Pitta or Andrew George. That's where their experience lies, and that's where their game is seasoned.
"If you have to throw it to anyone, I think Andrew George and Dennis Pitta are two of the best BYU has had," Cougar coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "And that's usually determined by making critical plays at critical times."
So when the Cougars began their game-winning fourth-quarter drive in Saturday's 14-13 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma, nobody in Dallas Cowboys Stadium was surprised at who got most of the work done. George had one reception in the drive, and Pitta had four.
"We got a lot more confident as the game was going, and you never know coming out of the gate what's going to happen," Pitta said.
On a third-and-10 from BYU's 33, Hall hit Pitta for 22 yards that put the Cougars into Oklahoma territory. A 10-yard completion to Pitta two plays later resulted in another first down. The biggest catch, however, came on a fourth-and-four from the 29-yard line. Hall found Pitta over the middle, who after grabbing the pass rambled through Sooner defenders all the way down to Oklahoma's 6-yard line.
"That's what we do," Pitta said. "I think that's the best part of our offense in those kind of situations, and we were able to move the football. Not much needs to be said in those situations because we're always on the same page."
Even when Pitta and George were not catching the ball, they still affected how Oklahoma defended BYU. Facing a third-and-goal from the 7-yard line, Hall knew the Sooners expected another pass underneath to Pitta. So once he drew the defensive backs in with a quick look to Pitta, he threw behind the defenders to a wide-open McKay Jacobson in the back of the end zone for the score.