Unlucky – Tulsa goes off with bombs
After starting off the season 1-1, the Cougars were hoping to get an easy win against C-USA member Tulsa. The Cougars would have likely won except that Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith decided to be the most accurate deep ball thrower to ever play in college football. During the game, Smith completed passes of 43, 49, 75 and 51 yards and a total of 454 yards. To give perspective, on the season Smith was a great QB averaging 357 yards per game, but most of that was against C-USA competition.
Looking back at BYU’s defense during 2007, the Cougars only gave up an average of 15.8 points per game outside of the game against Tulsa where they gave up 55 points. So while Smith was a really good quarterback, it is still safe to say that BYU was unlucky to play against him during his best career game.
Lucky – A fingertip away from a loss
In the 1983 Holiday Bowl BYU needed a late touchdown to knock off Missouri to finish out a near perfect 11-1. In a play that was the Philly Special before it was made famous in the Super Bowl, Young gave a handoff to Eddie Stinnett. Stinnett then turned around and passed it back to Young, who caught it and ran in for a touchdown, giving BYU a 21–17 lead with 23 seconds remaining.
But it was almost a game winning play for Missouri as well. If you watch the play again, a Missouri defender was actually there to make the play and if the ball was not thrown with such a honestly terribly high arc, the ball would have been intercepted and likely returned 80 yards for a game winning touchdown the other way. The ball was thrown high though and soared over the defenders fingertips and Young ran the ball into the endzone to give the Cougars the win.