This Day In Sports: The Broncos vs. the Hail Mangum

September 12, 2015: Eagle High graduate Tanner Mangum stuns his boyhood hometown team, throwing a scrambling 35-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Juergens on fourth-and-seven with 45 seconds left. No. 20 Boise State, one week after beating Washington 16-13 in Chris Petersen’s return to the blue turf, was one stop away from going 2-0 and building huge momentum for the season. Mangum’s miraculous throw at sold-out LaVell Edwards Stadium gave BYU a 28-24 lead over the Broncos (the final was 35-24 after a pick-six by the Cougars on the next snap).

Four of Mangum’s completions that night covered an astronomical 231 yards—57.7 yards per attempt—including game-winner to Juergens. The Boise State defense did a good job on Mangum’s other 24 pass attempts on the night. On those, he averaged just 3.3 yards per attempt. But inexplicably, Broncos defenders got lost on three of Mangum’s four bombs. On the other side of the ball, Boise State was sluggish behind quarterback Ryan Finley, but senior Shane Williams-Rhodes made 11 grabs for 107 yards.

Mangum’s moment was reminiscent of the Hail Mary he had thrown just a week earlier to beat Nebraska on the final play of the game in Lincoln. Mangum, a true freshman, had taken over for star senior quarterback Taysom Hill, whose BYU career was halted by a season-ending injury against the Cornhuskers. The 2015 campaign ended up being the best of Mangum’s career, with 3,377 yards and 23 TDs against 10 interceptions. From there, he was plagued by injuries.

By mid-October of Mangum’s senior year in 2018, Zach Wilson had taken over as BYU’s starter. Mangum’s career ended on the blue turf when he came on in relief of Wilson in a 49-18 blowout of Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. After Wilson went 18-for-18, Mangum completed his only pass for 41 yards to Dylan Collie, missing a touchdown by a yard. “All I know is that I gave it my all,” Mangum told KSL.com after the game. “Throughout my time here at BYU, I gave it my whole heart and soul. And I’m happy for that.”

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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