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BYU’s two-minute nightmare at Boise State

Boise State Broncos cornerback Jalen Walker celebrates as the Boise State Broncos recover a BYU fumble during NCAA football in Boise on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

BYU was two yards and a two-minute drill away from beating Boise State on the blue turf. For the Cougars, the two-minute drill became a two-minute nightmare.

In this Rivals podcast, KSL’s Scott Mitchell, a former NFL quarterback, offers his view of what went wrong in the final minutes of the BYU-Boise State game.

With 2:05 left on the clock the fourth quarter, Boise State punted.

BYU had 83 yards to go.

There remained two minutes to score. There were two minutes to do what the team has never before done: Beat Boise State on the Bronco’s own field.

The Cougars reached the two-yard line with seven seconds left on the clock.

Somehow, the offense was unable to push the final two yards to the end zone.

“I cringed. I cringed when I saw what was going on,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell recognized that BYU gave away the victory by failing to properly handle the game clock.

More than Boise State’s stifling defense or ground-pounding offense, time was the enemy on one autumn night in Boise, Idaho.

A lack of time management lost the game for BYU,” Mitchell opined.

It was a do or die situation on the Boise State’s two-yard line.

And BYU dug its own grave six feet down when it was six feet away from football glory.

Mitchell reaches into his own twelve-year career to analyze what BYU needed to do.

First, Mitchell says the Cougars needed to protect the quarterback from sacks.

The Cougars allowed the sack on freshman Zach Wilson.

Second, they needed to keep the play calling as simple as possible.

When Mitchell was with the Miami dolphins he watched Dan Marino use the same play three times to score a touchdown. Mitchell says in 1997 he used five plays to score a touchdown and score the winning touchdown when he played for the Detroit Lions.

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