BYU quarterback and Eagle High graduate Tanner Mangum’s second pass Saturday followed the same pattern as his Hail Mary a week earlier that made him an instant part of Cougar lore.
On his first drive against his hometown Boise State Broncos, Mangum rolled to his right — just like he did at Nebraska — and launched a ball downfield to Mitchell Juergens, who slipped behind the defense. Juergens raced to an 84-yard TD on the third-and-19 play, giving Mangum two wild touchdown passes in his first eight career completions. It was the fifth-longest pass in school history and longest since 1996.
And again, Mangum won the game with a prayer of a pass into the end zone on a fourth-and-7, connecting with Juergens for a 35-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left and a 28-24 lead in the 35-24 win.
“I didn’t see it because I was on the ground, but I heard the crowd roar,” Mangum said.
But there were also plays that showed he was still a freshman in his first start, getting intercepted twice in the first half by Boise State senior cornerback Donte Deayon.
Midway through the third quarter, Mangum scrambled to his right on third-and-19 — you can guess what happens next — and completed a deep ball to Devon Blackmon behind the defense for 70 yards to the Boise State 23-yard line.
In the game’s first 45 minutes, Mangum was 12-of-20 for 254 yards with a touchdown and the two interceptions —154 of his yards came on the pair of third-and-19 plays. He was sacked three times and not aided by a running game that had 3 total yards on its first 25 rushing attempts.
Mangum earned the start after replacing injured starter Taysom Hill last week. He became only the second BYU true freshman quarterback to win his first start, joining Hill, who did it in 2012.
“We have so much faith in Tanner Mangum,” running back Adam Hine said.