1981 Holiday Bowl
|1981 Holiday Bowl|
|Date||December 18, 1981|
|Stadium||Jack Murphy Stadium|
|Location||San Diego, California|
|MVP||Offensive: Jim McMahon (BYU)
Defensive: Kyle Whittingham (BYU)
|Halftime show||Marching bands|
|Payout||US$286,179 per team|
|United States TV coverage|
The 1981 Holiday Bowl was a college football bowl game played December 18, 1981, in San Diego, California. It was part of the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. It featured the 14th ranked BYU Cougars, and the 20th ranked Washington State Cougars.
BYU took a 7–0 lead following a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jim McMahon to Dan Plater, to cap the only scoring of the 1st quarter. He threw a 7-yard pass to Gordon Hudson to increase BYU's lead to 14–0. Washington State got on the board after Ricky Turner scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. BYU's Kurt Gunther kicked a 20-yard field goal before halftime to put BYU on top 17–7. Hamilton scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, and BYU took a 24–7 halftime lead.
BYU cornerback Tom Holmoe intercepted a Washington State pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown, as BYU made it 31–7, early in the third quarter. Washington State running back Matt LaBonne scored on an 18-yard touchdown run pulling WSU to within 31–14. Williams scored on a 5-yard run making it a 31–21 game. Ricky Turner scored on a 13-yard touchdown run making it 31–28 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Jim McMahon fired an 11-yard touchdown pass to Scott Pettis to make it 38–28. Mike Martin scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, and Ricky Turner added a 2-point conversion to make it 38–36 with 5 minutes remaining. Late in the game, McMahon fumbled a third-down snap but picked up the ball and ran for a first down that helped to clinch the victory for BYU. 
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