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SALT LAKE CITY - Before the 1984 college football season began, no one outside the BYU locker room gave the Cougars any chance of winning a national championship. In fact, they weren't even picked to win the WAC. With the departures of Steve Young and Gordon Hudson the Cougars began the season unranked. But that would change after a trip to Pittsburgh in the season opener.
The 1st half was a defensive struggle for both teams. Placekicker Lee Johnson gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead on a 37 yard field goal which turned out to be the only scoring in the half. The Panthers were in position to score with just seconds left before halftime but the Cougar defense came up with an impressive goal line stand.
In the third quarter, BYU surrendered two interceptions which led to back-to-back Panther TD's including a 78-yard score by safety Bill Callahan.
In his first career start, junior quarterback Robbie Bosco bounced back after teammate Mark Allen intercepted his second Pitt pass.
Following a 12-yard TD run by BYU's Lakei Heimuli, Bosco connected to Adam Haysbert for a 50-yard strike with 1:30 remaining to take the lead. The Cougar defense then stopped Pitt's final drive when Jim Herrmann and Leon White dropped the reserve Panther QB on a fourth dowr at the BYU 30.
The Cougars won the game 20-14.
LaVell Edwards made, what turned out to be, a prophetic statement to KSL's Paul James later that week. "There just seemed to be something that happened - magic - over that Pittsburgh game and maybe that will carry through (the season). You never know."
Following this game, which was televised live on ESPN, BYU moved into the wire service rankings for the first time: 12th in UPI and 11th in AP.