Bears to renew rivalry with future Big 12 member BYU at #BaylorHomecoming
A trivia question for you, as Baylor football prepares to host BYU for Homecoming 2021 (and, in a couple of years, to welcome the Cougars into the Big 12):
Who was BYU’s Heisman-finalist starting quarterback the last time the Bears and Cougars met?
Longtime Baylor fans may recall that BYU and Baylor previously squared off on the football field back in the 1980s. In 1983, the two teams opened the season against one another — and the game was a classic. BYU led 14-7 at halftime, but Baylor scored three third-quarter touchdowns to take a 26-21 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, future Super Bowl MVP and Football Hall of Famer Steve Young scored on a 3-yard run and connected with Casey Tiumalu on a 2-point conversion to give the Cougars a 29-26 lead. Baylor reclaimed the lead with a 3-yard touchdown run from Ralph Stockemer (BSEd ’86), but Wayne Hamilton’s 2-yard touchdown run put BYU back in the lead, 36-33. Baylor Athletics Hall of Famer Alfred Anderson (BS ’88) then leapt over the line from 1 yard out with 49 seconds remaining to give Baylor the game’s final lead at 40-36. Despite being met by three BYU defenders at the goal line, Anderson easily broke the plane. He raised “No. 1” with his right hand and clutched the ball in his left hand as he fell to the ground in the end zone.
The victory was the beginning of a 7-4-1 season for Baylor that concluded in the Bluebonnet Bowl on New Year’s Eve. However, the game sparked BYU to something far more impressive — a 25-game winning streak that would stretch into 1985. The Cougars finished the 1983 season 11-1, ranked No. 9 nationally, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Young — the Heisman runner-up — with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft. After two seasons in the USFL, he would go to 15 years with the Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers, winning three Super Bowls and two MVP awards.
But Young is not the answer to our trivia question… That would be two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Robbie Bosco, who threw for 363 yards and six touchdowns in a 47-13 win in 1984. BYU would finish that season 13-0, ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press and Coaches’ polls and thereby claiming the program’s first and only national title.
Several Bears who played in the 1983 and/or 1984 games against BYU enjoyed professional football careers. Anderson was a third-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 1984 and would play eight years in the NFL. Dr. Mark Adickes (BBA ’84) played with Young in the USFL before playing six years in the NFL (and then becoming a renowned orthopedic surgeon). Gerald “The Ice Cube” McNeil (BA ’85) was a Pro Bowl receiver for the Cleveland Browns, and Bruce Davis (BA ’94), a six-time Baylor track all-American who also played receiver for the Browns.
So far, those two games make up the complete history of the Baylor-BYU series — but the rivalry is sure to grow as the Cougars prepare to join the Big 12, starting with this weekend’s game. What new memories will come from this match-up in future years? We’ll find out, starting Saturday at McLane Stadium!
Sic ’em, Bears!