1984 Holiday Bowl

1984 Holiday Bowl

Name=1984 Holiday Bowl

Date=December 21, 1984
Visitor School=University of Michigan
Visitor Name Short=Michigan
Visitor Nickname=Wolverines
Visitor Record=6-5

Visitor Coaches=
Visitor Coach=Bo Schembechler
Visitor Total=17
Home School= Brigham Young University
Home Name Short=BYU
Home Nickname=Cougars
Home Record=12-0

Home Coaches=
Home Coach=Lavell Edwards
Home Total=24
Stadium=Jack Murphy Stadium
City=San Diego, California
US Network=
US Announcers=

First Quarter

BYU’s first drive ended when Robbie Bosco threw an interception. On the second drive, Bosco was carried off the field after a roughing the passer penalty led to a knee ligament strain, this injury would plague him throughout his short Pro career. He was replaced by Blaine Fowler, who came in with the game still scoreless. Fowler’s first pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage. On his second play, Fowler threw a short pass for a first down on 3rd and 2. The Cougars eventually punted.

econd Quarter

Robbie Bosco returned on BYU’s next possession. Bosco led the Cougars to their first touchdown of the game, a TD run by Kelly Smith with 8:33 remaining in the second quarter. Besides throwing several passes, Bosco also made a gutsy scrabble for a first down.

Michigan’s next possession ended in an attempted punt. The BYU defenders however penetrated too quickly and the punter had no time to punt and tackled out of bounds on the 5 yard line. On the ensuing possession, Bosco fumbled the ball into the endzone on 3rd and goal from the 3 and Michigan recovered for a touchback.

Michigan responded by driving down for a touchdown. They were aided by an unsportsmanlike conduct call against BYU, and later a running into the kicker penalty after Michigan had kicked a field goal. Rodgers scored for Michigan on a 5 yard run to tie the game at 7-7. BYU took the ball deep in their own territory, ran the 2 minute drill, and kicked a field goal with 4 seconds left in the half to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.

Third Quarter

On BYU’s Opening Possession of the second half. Rosco’s pass went of the fingertips of Lakei Hemilu and caused Michigan’s Mike Mallory to intercept it. After a Michigan punt, BYU committed another turnover when Rosco was stripped by Jim Scarcelli. Michigan recovered the fumble.

With 3:20 to play in the third, a field goal attempt by Lee Johnson was blocked. After the block, Michigan drove down and scored on a TD pass from Chris Zurrburgg to Bob Perryman, giving them a 14-10 lead. The ensuing kickoff was bobbled by Via Sikahema who was then tackled on the 5 yard line. BYU then fumbled again a few plays later and Michigan recovered with 6 seconds remaining in the third quarter. This was BYU’s fifth turnover of the game.

Fourth Quarter

BYU’s Defense held, forcing Michigan to settle for a field goal despite advancing the ball to the 10 yard line. This gave the Wolverines a 17-10 lead and thus setting up another BYU epic Holiday Bowl comeback as in the 1980 and 1983 comebacks.

BYU drove the length of the field and scored with 10:51 remaining on a 7 yard Bosco to Glenn Kozlowski TD pass to tie the game 17-17.

After a Michigan punt, BYU took possession but another Bosco pass was intercepted after it went off the hand of Glenn Kozlowski and into the hands of Jim Scarcelli. BYU then force yet another Michigan punt. Finally, BYU drove the length of the field and scored on a pass from Bosco to Kelly Smith with 1:23 remaining. Marv Allen, who also played in the very first Holiday Bowl as a redshirt freshman in 1978, sealed the victory with an interception.

Questionable calls

In the first quarter the play was blown dead as BYU’s Leon White stripped Michigan’s running back and returned it for a would-have-been touchdown. In the second quarter, the referees ruled that a Michigan fumble recovered by Kyle Morrell was out of bounds. TV cameras showed that the ball was still in bounds when it was recovered. Upset BYU players were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and Michigan went on to score a touchdown.In the third quarter, Bosco threw a twenty yard pass to David Mills that was ruled incomplete for touching the ground. However, replay seemed to clearly show it was a catch. BYU was forced to attempt a long field goal which was then blocked.

Additional notes:
Robert Anae celebrated his 26th birthday on this day.The attendance of 61,248 was a record for Jack Murphy Stadium at that time.


BYU overcame 6 turnovers to win the game and the National Championship. There was a lot of talk about BYU not deserving the #1 ranking despite goind 13-0 because they played a weaker schedule compared to the major conference schedules. This game and BYU’s success in general throughout the 1980’s, is often considered to be instrumental in the larger conferences strengthening bowl ties in order to keep the other conferences from gaining notoriety and big bowl pay-outs. This game was the first and only time the national championship was determined in a December bowl game.

Notable Players


Robbie Bosco
Lakei Hemilu
Robert Anae
Luis Wong
Via Sikahema
Lee Johnson
Kyle Morrell
Leon White
Glenn Kowzlowski


Vince Bean

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