THE 1980 HOLIDAY BOWL
BYU (11-1) vs. SMU (8-3)
BYU, trailing 45-25 with less than 4 minutes to go in the game, cut the deficit when quarterback Jim McMahon hit wide receiver Matt Braga with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 2:33 remaining. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and it was 45-31. BYU recovered an onside kick at midfield and McMahon completed two passes to the 1-yard line before running back Scott Phillips ran it in with 1:58 remaining. McMahon passed to Phillips for the two-point conversion to make it 45-39.
BYU tried another onside kick, but it was recovered by SMU at the Cougars’ 47-yard line. The Mustangs’ drive stalled and a fourth down punt was blocked by BYU’s Bill Schoepflin. The Cougars were 41 yards from the endzone with 13 seconds remaining. McMahon threw two incomplete passes before arching a Hail Mary pass towards the endzone on the game’s final play.
The ball came down in the hands of Clay Brown, who made the catch despite being surrounded by three SMU defenders. Kurt Gunther’s extra point gave BYU its first bowl victory in five tries.