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It Was A BYUtiful Opener
Rick Reilly
September 09, 1985
Robbie Bosco had a Heisman of a game in BYU's 25th straight win
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September 09, 1985

It Was A Byutiful Opener

Robbie Bosco had a Heisman of a game in BYU's 25th straight win

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Ruth, the budding priest, put the fear of God in Bosco more than once. Three sacks were mean, but one seemed to be a Bosco offering to Ruth's eminence. As Ruth steamed into Bosco's line of vision, the BYU quarterback tried to juke but fell flat when Ruth reached out with a paw and tapped him going by. Said one Eagle coach, "Looked to me like he fainted." When left Ruthless, however, Bosco was all but unstoppable.

The win was Bosco's 20th straight. He still hasn't lost at BYU in games in which he has played. "It's got to happen sometime," he says, "doesn't it?"

If it doesn't, Bosco will have a lock on the Heisman, now that BYU has a schedule everybody approves of. Next up are UCLA and Washington. Consider that when Jim McMahon finished third in the 1981 Heisman voting, his showcase game was Colorado. When Steve Young came in second in '83, the only name schools he faced were UCLA and Baylor. More voters may already have seen Bosco than both of them combined.

Last year Bosco finished third to the Eagles' Doug Flutie, who, for a guy 5'10", can still throw a long shadow. Most of it darkened the path of new Boston College quarterback Shawn Halloran. Flutie had promised to stay off the sideline, much as he wanted to be there, to keep cameras off him and on his successor. "It's Shawn's day," he said. So how come TV showed Flutie and his bride of three weeks, Laurie, watching from the BC sideline? Worse for the star-crossed Halloran, ABC announced earlier in the day that Flutie would be joining the network as a college football analyst. Shawn who?

As for the rest of the night's ignominy, Halloran provided that himself. Halloran, who occasionally borrows his roommate's ambulance on dates, is in danger of showing up DOA unless he develops soon. "Shawn needed to get his feet wet," said Eagle coach Jack Bicknell. This, of course, did not mean Halloran should drown. While completing 18 of 37 passes for 165 yards, he was impatient, flighty, reluctant to audible and patently mortal. The 6'4" Halloran also runs like Herman Munster in snowshoes. "I'm not down on Shawn," Bicknell said. "He's going to be all right. I just hope the media leave him alone so he can relax."

Even then, it will be some time before BC fans are ready to readjust to reality, no matter who's filling Flutie's pixie shoes. In his career, Flutie won six games on the final drive. No wonder nobody expects more miracles than a BC fan.

"People come up to me on the street and they say, 'Yeah, BC's not gonna be the same without Flutie,' " says Halloran. "You know, I just feel like hitting them. But you can't do that. So you just try not to think about it. "

Of course, quarterback is just one of the frights at The Heights now. The Eagles' defensive backs were marionettes in Bosco's hands, especially cornerback Rorery Perryman, a converted quarterback. In his first-ever game on defense, he had the misfortune to face college's state-of-the-art passing attack. Perryman was positively combustible, giving up two touchdowns, a two-point conversion and nearly 200 yards in receptions to Kozlowski and Bellini. Koz, in particular, is a wizard at deception. Twice, on receptions of 40 and 51 yards, he duped Perryman into rushing past him on fly patterns and then fell back and caught the ball behind Perryman. Both grabs set up touchdowns, the second of which put Brigham Young up for good in the third quarter, 21-14.

The Cougars may have bivouacked across the Hudson, but Edwards let them take a big bite of the Apple: dinner at Mamma Leone's, a Yankee game and tickets to 42nd Street. Nonetheless, the dancingest feet belonged to Brigham Young, finally fulfilled. "Maybe we won some respect," said Koz. "But even if we didn't, it's all right. We'll just go right on winning games."

Perhaps some people will watch them do it, too. Don't look now, but ABC, like a long-lost uncle of a Lotto winner, is interested in the Washington game in Provo on Sept. 14. News of that brought a wry grin to the face of Glen Tuckett, the Cougars' A.D. "ABC?" he said. "I don't think they've ever been here. Guess we better draw 'em a map."

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