Eathyn Manumaleuna blocked a 28-yard field-goal attempt as time expired to give No. 19 BYU a 17-16 victory over UCLA last night in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Kai Forbath had kicked field goals of 22, 52 and 50 yards to keep the Bruins in it and UCLA drove almost the length of the field in the final 2 minutes to line up Forbath for the potential winner. But Manumaleuna got his hand on the kick and the Cougars got their first win over the Bruins since Steve Young was the quarterback.
Max Hall threw for two touchdowns and the Cougars (11-2) closed the season with their 10th straight win despite getting shut out in the second half and having their lowest offensive output of the year.
BYU managed just 265 yards against the Bruins (6-7), who were playing for interim coach and defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker. If it was Walker's only game as UCLA's coach, it was a memorable one.
The Bruins forced two turnovers, pressured Hall all game and nearly pulled off the upset with their fourth-string quarterback.
Walk-on McLeod Bethel-Thompson drove the Bruins from their own 2 in the final 2 minutes, completing a 36-yard pass to Logan Paulsen on a third-and-8 play with 30 seconds left to give UCLA a chance at finishing with a winning record.
It didn't quite happen. Forbath's kick was low enough for Manumaleuna to get a piece of it and keep the ball from getting through the uprights.
Cincinnati 31, Southern Mississippi 21 -
Ben Mauk passed for 334 yards and four touchdowns and DeAngelo Smith intercepted three passes, leading the No. 20 Bearcats (10-3) over the Golden Eagles (7-6) and their outgoing coach, Jeff Bower, in Birmingham, Ala.
Mauk completed 30 of 52 passes and overcame three interceptions to become only the third Bearcats player to have a 3,000-yard passing season. It was a nice finish for the former Wake Forest starter and for first-year Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, but a difficult one for Southern Miss and Bower.
New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico 23, Nevada 0 -
Paul Baker ran for 167 yards in his first start, and Donovan Porterie threw for a career-high 354 yards and two touchdowns to help the Lobos (9-4) beat the Wolf Pack (6-7) in Alburquerque, N.M.
New Mexico ended a 46-year skid without a postseason victory and gave 10th-year coach Rocky Long his first bowl win in five tries.
New Mexico's defense also delivered just the second shutout loss for Nevada's Hall of Fame coach, Chris Ault.
Nevada had not gone scoreless since losing, 10-0, to Weber State on Sept. 27, 1980, a span of 329 games - the longest current streak in college football and the second longest in history.
Boise State might be a little disappointed about not returning to college football's big stage. The Broncos sure aren't showing it.
"I tell you what, if you're not going to be in a BCS game, I don't know if there's a better place in the country to be," second-year Broncos coach Chris Petersen said. "I think half our team is on surfboards right now and hopefully staying safe."
A year after their spectacular 43-42 overtime victory against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, the 24th-ranked Broncos (10-2) face East Carolina (7-5) in the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu today. While Boise State captivated the nation with its win last Jan. 1, this time it will play in Aloha Stadium and there could be more empty seats than fans.
"It's really a privilege and an honor to be able to go to a BCS game. No matter who you are, it takes a lot of things to line up the right way and that doesn't happen every year," Petersen said. "We're honored to be here, in this game and play East Carolina. We'll be excited to play without question."
Third-year East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said he wants to build a program like Boise State.
"We're not there yet, but that's where we aspire to be," he said.