BYU (5-5) has struggled mightily on fourth downs this season.

Coming into Saturday’s showdown against Boise State (6-3), BYU was 5-of-19 on fourth downs. After getting stopped at the goal line to end the second quarter — despite what appeared to be a touchdown for the Cougars — BYU fans couldn’t bare to watch as the team faced yet another fourth down situation near the goal line.

With less than two minutes to go, and with the ball on the 7-yard line, Jaren Hall took two steps back before throwing the ball up in the corner of the end zone for Puka Nacua.

With a defender draped all over him — and yet somehow pass interference was not called — it didn’t matter as Nacua was able to come down the acrobatic catch by the tip of his toe to give BYU a 31-28 victory at Albertsons Stadium.

BYU Football: Give The Ball To Jaren Hall

It was just the second win against Boise State on the blue turf for the Cougars and was also the second consecutive victory at Albertsons Stadium for the program — a place where the Broncos have lost just 13 home games since 2000.

Leading the way was Hall and Nacua who both had career nights.

Hall threw for 377 yards and also ran for 82 yards en route to 459 yards of total offense for the dual-threat quarterback. His four total touchdowns also tied a career best as well.

Hall’s favorite target was Nacua as the junior hauled in a career-high 14 receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Nacua’s 14 catches put him near the record books, finishing tied for No. 3 in school history for a single game.

BYU finished the game with 532 yards of total offense, compared to just 324 yards for Boise State. It looked as the defenses for both teams switched as the Cougars couldn’t be stopped on offense and the defense was playing very well too. Boise State came in ranked in the Top 15 of a bunch of defensive statistical categories, including total defense as the Broncos were giving up just 17.4 points per game.

Yet despite all of that, the Cougars should have blown out the Broncos. If it wasn’t for two interceptions in the red zone, combined with a blown call at the goal line to end the half, BYU would have coasted to victory — similar to what they did in 2020.

BYU is now 5-0 when allowing less than 400 yards and 0-5 when allowing 400+. The win was also a big one for the Cougars as they not only ended a 4-game losing streak, but they likely assured themselves of a bowl game with the win as the Cougars needed to win two of its last three games coming into tonight’s contest.

Here’s how the media, fans and players reacted after the win:

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