30 Years Ago Today: BYU Defeats #3 Pitt to start National Championship run


“I remember we were warming up and I looked up in the sky, and I see the Goodyear Blimp, and I looked over to one of my teammates and said this is big time.”

That was the words of former BYU quarterback, Robbie Bosco (9:09 mark of video), as he prepared for his first collegiate start at BYU against the third-ranked Pitt Panthers in the classic Pitt Stadium, 30 years ago today.

On September 1st, 1984, BYU shocked the college football world. The Cougars defeated east coast power, Pitt, in a game that would set the tone for BYU’s 1984 national championship run, and forever change the sport of college football.

Entering that 1984 season, BYU was in a rare predicament. After seven consecutive WAC championships, the Cougars were not picked to win the league in the pre-season heading into that season. There were many question marks surrounding Bosco. Many felt that BYU’s incredible run of great quarterbacks was likely coming to an end. After BYU’s first two offensive possessions against Pitt, those concerns were becoming a reality as Bosco was clearly rattled by the national stage of being on the first live ESPN College Football broadcast.

As you well know, BYU had a come from behind victory late in the fourth quarter on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Bosco to wide receiver, Adam Haysbert –white facemask and all- to give BYU the 20-14 win.

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BYU entered that game against Pitt unranked. After the win, the Cougars vaulted all the way up to #12 in the coaches polls, and eventually ended the season #1 in the country.

BYU’s national championship is arguably the most impactful title in the history of the sport. When you consider the advent of the Bowl Alliance, the BCS, and now the College Football Playoff, all of these systems tie back to this underdog BYU team shocking the college football powers and winning the title.

Will we ever see BYU win a national championship again? The odds and the powers of college football are stacked against them, but when have the odds ever been in BYU’s favor?

What are your memories from the 1984 season?  Share them with us in the comments section or send us a tweet @LawlessRepublic.