Scores
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL AT LAS VEGAS NV

Final

UCLA 16

(6-7, 2-5 away)

(14) BYU 17

(11-2, 7-0 home)

8:00 PM ET, December 22, 2007

Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

1 2 3 4 T
UCLA 3 10 0 316
#14BYU 3 14 0 017

Top Performers

Passing: M. Hall (BYU) - 231 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: C. Markey (UCLA) - 27 CAR, 117 YDS

Receiving: A. Collie (BYU) - 6 REC, 107 YDS, 1 TD

Manumaleuna blocks UCLA's last-ditch FG to save No. 17 BYU's bowl win

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- After Brigham Young's defense allowed UCLA to drive 87 yards in the final two minutes, Eathyn Manumaleuna saved the Cougars with his fingertip.

Manumaleuna got his right hand on Kai Forbath's field goal attempt as time expired, giving the No. 17 Cougars (No. 19 AP) a 17-16 win over the Bruins in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday night.

"I don't know how I jumped. I don't really have a high vertical," said Manumaleuna, a 280-pound lineman who led the surge that kept UCLA from completing an amazing comeback.

The Bruins held BYU to a season-low 265 yards of offense and rallied behind their fourth-string quarterback and field goals by Forbath. Forbath had made kicks of 22, 52 and 50 yards to keep the Bruins close, but his 28-yarder at the end wasn't quite high enough to clear the defensive line.

BYU (11-2) won its 10th straight, getting another magic play at the end. The Cougars converted a fourth-and-18 on their winning drive against rival Utah on Nov. 24. This time it was the defense that came up with the improbable save.

"It was a fitting play that shows the resolve of this team," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

UCLA was playing for interim coach DeWayne Walker, the defensive coordinator who took over after Karl Dorrell was fired at the end of the regular season. If it was Walker's only game as UCLA's coach, it was a memorable one.

The Bruins' top two quarterbacks were on the sideline with injuries, but Walker's defense swarmed the Cougars all game and kept the BYU offense in check more than anyone else had this season.

"No coach was worried about jobs. Players, they didn't worry about the new head coach," Walker said. "All we wanted to do was just work and play a respectable game. We wanted to win the game. We fell a little short."

UCLA forced BYU to punt with about two minutes left and started the final drive on its own 2-yard line. Walk-on quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and running back Chris Markey led the Bruins with 87 yards, getting a 36-yard completion from Bethel-Thompson to Logan Paulsen on a third-and-8 play with 30 seconds left.

Paulsen caught the ball around the 45-yard line, then rumbled to the 13.

The Bruins ran one play, then called timeout with the ball at the 11 and only three seconds left. Forbath, who was 3-for-3, kicked it low enough for Manumaleuna to get a piece of it and keep the ball from getting through the uprights, although there was some confusion on who actually got the block.

In the end, Manumaleuna got the credit, which didn't matter a bit to the Cougars.

"What I saw was an incredible surge," Mendenhall said. "We sent all 11, which is a desperation block."

BYU improved to 2-7 against UCLA, beating the Bruins for the first time since 1983. The Cougars also avenged a 27-17 loss to UCLA in the second week of the season, one of just two losses this year for BYU.

The Bruins were just inches away from salvaging the season with a winning record.

"I don't think we could have gone out on a better play," said Hall, who completed 21 of 35 for 231 yards.

Hall was also sacked three times and fumbled on one of them, setting up Forbath's 22-yard field goal that put the Bruins up 3-0 in the first quarter.

Markey ran for 117 yards for UCLA, the first runner to break the 100-yard mark against BYU this season. UCLA needed the running game to stay in it with its top two quarterbacks on the sideline with knee injuries.

Osaar Rasshan started and failed to complete his lone pass. Bethel-Thompson replaced him in the second quarter and was solid enough to keep the Bruins close, especially with the way the defense was playing.

UCLA got a huge break at the end of the first half when the Cougars decided to run a play instead of running out the clock inside their own 10. Hall handed off to Harvey Unga and Brian Price stripped the ball, which the Bruins recovered at the 4.

UCLA scored on a pass from Bethel-Thompson to Brandon Breazell as the second quarter ended and the Bruins were only down 17-13 at halftime instead of 17-6.

It was karma for a UCLA blunder that led to an easy score for BYU. Terrence Austin dropped a punt and BYU recovered at the UCLA 14, where Hall lofted a pass on first down to the back corner of the end zone and Austin Collie caught it running at full speed.

Collie went tumbling into the padding outside the sideline, but came up with the ball and gave BYU a 10-3 lead with 10:32 left in the second quarter. BYU scored again with 1:03 left on a 13-yard pass from Hall to Michael Reed.

The Cougars won the Las Vegas Bowl for the second straight year. The last time BYU ended consecutive seasons with bowl wins was 1983 and 1984, when BYU won its only national title.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UCLA
BYU
1st Downs1817
Total Yards316265
Passing154231
Rushing16234
Penalties5-462-20
3rd Down Conversions6-175-14
4th Down Conversions0-00-1
Turnovers22
Possession33:1326:47

Passing Leaders

UCLAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bethel-Thompson11/271545.711
BYUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Hall21/352316.620

Rushing Leaders

UCLACARYDSAVGTDLG
Markey271174.3012
Ramirez4266.509
BYUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Tonga3217.0017
Unga17160.907

Receiving Leaders

UCLARECYDSAVGTDLG
Breazell44411.0125
Paulsen24321.5036
BYURECYDSAVGTDLG
Collie610717.8137
Pitta5387.6013

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUCLABYU
FG08:12Kai Forbath 22 Yd
Drive: 11 plays, 38 yds, 5:58
30
FG01:06Mitch Payne 29 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 51 yds, 2:26
33
SECOND QUARTERUCLABYU
TD10:32Austin Collie 14 Yd Pass From Max Hall (Mitch Payne Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 14 yds, :07
310
FG04:44Kai Forbath 52 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 32 yds, 3:13
610
TD01:03Michael Reed 13 Yd Pass From Max Hall (Mitch Payne Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 55 yds, 3:41
617
TD00:00Brandon Breazell 4 Yd Pass From Mcleod Bethel-Thompson (Kai Forbath Kick)
Drive: 2 plays, 4 yds, :12
1317
FOURTH QUARTERUCLABYU
FG06:24Kai Forbath 50 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 14 yds, 3:50
1617