PROVO, UTAH, SEPT. 8 -- Brigham Young quarterback Ty Detmer passed for 406 yards and three touchdowns today, leading the No. 16 Cougars to a 28-21 upset of No. 1 Miami today, only the Hurricanes' third loss in their last 55 regular season games.
"This has to be one of the biggest victories we ever had," said BYU Coach LaVell Edwards. "We did a lot of good things. If anyone had told me before the game that we would turn the ball over five times and win, I would have asked for a saliva test."
The Cougars shut out Miami in the fourth quarter largely on plays by defensive back Ervin Lee, who grabbed an alley-oop pass in the end zone and later knocked down the last desperation pass from Craig Erickson with 1:49 left.
"BYU is a class act and they just came out and outplayed us," said Miami Coach Dennis Erickson. "BYU played extremely well on defense and controlled the game. Ty Detmer to me is unbelievable. He made some plays and throws with pressure in his face. Obviously, he's a great, great quarterback and he showed it."
Detmer, who had not converted a third-down play in the second half, hit on a third-and-10 spiral to Andy Boyce and then ran out the clock.
Detmer hit on 38 of 54 passes; Erickson was 28 of 52, one interception, for 299 yards.
Another bright spot for BYU was Earl Kauffman, who punted four times for a 53.8 yard average and pinned Miami deep in its territory often.
BYU's offense gave away more field position than its defense with four fumbles and one interception.
Miami almost, but never quite, caught up. The Hurricanes gambled on fourth down twice in dangerous territory and made good on one, but the second was foiled by Lee.
The clinching touchdown came late in the third quarter when the BYU defense stopped Stephen McGuire at the 43 and took over.
Detmer hit five passes in the following drive, the last one to Mike Salido from the 7. A two-point conversion pass to Boyce made it 28-21.
Just before that Detmer took the Cougars to another Kauffman field goal, this one from 25 yards, by throwing three passes and three incompletions under pressure.
The game started interestingly enough, highlighted by Detmer's forumula of pass, scramble, pass, sometimes both on the same play and Erickson sticking mostly to the ground.
Miami scored first after Salido fumbled on the Miami 25. Alex Johnson zoomed up the middle, cut left then right, while fleeing for 40 yards. McGuire ran three times before the score and Carlos Huerta made the extra point.
BYU evened the count as Detmer hit on four passes to Miami's 41 then handed off to Matt Bellini, who also caught 10 passes for 111 yards. Detmer emerged from a crowd to hit Bellini 13 yards away in the end zone. Kauffman was perfect for the extra point.
A couple of exchanges later, Detmer got a pass off to Boyce for 29 yards, hit Chris Smith for 18 but had to settle for a 10-7 lead on Kauffman's field goal. Miami got the ball on its 10-yard line when Detmer's next drive was cut short when Maurice Crum intercepted and returned the ball to midfield.