Quarterback Gary Sheide was among the nation’s leading passers, and the Cougar O would finish the day with 363 yards. Sheide completed 24 of 41 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, but that was largely overshadowed by his five interceptions. Two, of which, were returned for touchdowns. (BYU had 8 turnovers in the game.)
It was the BYU defense that won the game. The stout Cougar D allowed just 186 yards and one score, while forcing six turnovers. This defensive dominance kept BYU in the game (18-14) as the fourth quarter started.
The BYU defense held Arizona State scoreless over the final 15 minutes. The BYU offense was able to put together one more scoring drive. It culminated with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Sheide to Tim Mahoney (his second touchdown reception of the game).
Not only did that play give BYU the win, it ended Arizona State’s string of consecutive WAC championships at five.
BYU, unofficially, won its second WAC championship, and LaVell Edwards’ first, with this game. All that was left on the schedule was two games against teams from the bottom half of the conference standings.
BYU football would never be the same.