The Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego Wednesday featured one of the more unusual tip-drill touchdowns you’ll ever see.
This all started in the third quarter, with BYU’s Tanner Mangum evading pressure and throwing a lob pass. The pass went off the hands of Tanner Balderree, the Cougars’ junior tight end. It then bounced off Wyoming DB Antonio Hull’s hands, and back into the hands of Balderee, who caught it for a TD shortly after he initially missed it:
That’s a remarkable one, all right, and it shows great presence of mind from Balderree to stay focused and stay after the ball even after he missed the initial catch. The rainy conditions in San Diego help explain why we saw the ball bouncing around like this, but this is still highly irregular. Also, it’s notable that Hull went for the interception instead of knocking the ball down; yes, this was only third down, so BYU could have come away with a field goal if he’d just forced the incompletion, but going for it all here led to them giving up a major.
This was just one of many miscues by the Cowboys on the day, as they also turned the ball over on both a poor punt snap and a botched field goal attempt. They were still in it in the fourth quarter, only trailing by 10 at one point, but plays like this helped contribute to that deficit. The Cougars didn’t playing all that well either, and this certainly wasn’t a tremendous pass from Mangum, but it wound up working out for them thanks to Balderree’s awareness and perseverance after muffing the initial catch. It’s breaks like that that can swing the tide of a game, and this one certainly appeared to do so Wednesday night. BYU wound up winning 24-21, so this touchdown was rather consequential.
[Matt Clapp on Clippit]