This Day In Utah Sports History: BYU Football Stuns Utah State In Final Seconds

Sep 30, 2023, 9:00 AM

Quarterback Riley Nelson of BYU looks to pass during the second half of an college football game ag...

Quarterback Riley Nelson of BYU looks to pass during the second half of an college football game against Washington State on August 30, 2012 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. BYU beat Washington State 30-6. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – On this day 12 years ago, BYU Football put together a remarkable fourth-quarter comeback to beat Utah State in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Aggies led 24-13 over the Cougars in the fourth quarter.

Utah State Jumps In Front, BYU Football Finishes Strong

The Aggies had just about the best start imaginable when RB Robert Turbin took his first carry for 80 yards and found the end zone.

RELATED: Former Utah State Aggie and NFL RB Robert Turbin Joins NFL Network As Analyst

The Cougars responded with back-to-back scoring drives. QB Jake Heaps capped off a 10-play drive with a short rushing TD that gave BYU a 10-7 lead at the end of the first.

Things went downhill for BYU, and specifically Heaps, over the next two quarters. Heaps only led BYU on one more scoring drive (a second-quarter field goal) before being benched in the fourth quarter for former Utah State Aggie Riley Nelson.

Heaps finished the game with 11 completions on 25 attempts and a 21.4 quarterback rating.

Eric Moats caught a 13-yard TD pass in the second quarter and Turbin added to USU’s lead with a TD reception of his own in the third.

BYU’s offense found new life in the fourth quarter with Nelson at the helm.

The Cougars rattled off two scoring drives and took less than three minutes to score each time.

The first was a 24-yard dot to Cody Hoffman that made the score 24-20.

Then, with just 11 seconds on the clock, Mathews caught a tipped ball in the end zone to give BYU their first lead since the second quarter.

About The 2011 BYU Cougars Football Team

The 2011 BYU Cougars Football team went 10-3 in their first year as an independent school.

At their peak, they snuck into the coach’s rankings at No. 25.

They made it all the way to the Armed Forces Bowl where they defeated Tulsa, 24-21.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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This Day In Utah Sports History: BYU Football Stuns Utah State In Final Seconds