Armed Forces Bowl: BYU's Riley Nelson and Cody Hoffman Too Much for Tulsa

Carl StineCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2011

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 30:  Riley Nelson #13 of the Brigham Young Cougars throws against the Brigham Young Cougars during the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne has been getting all the props for being a better passer than BYU QB Riley Nelson.

While Kinne tossed three scores, completed over half of his passes and threw no interceptions, Nelson had the last laugh in Dallas. Nelson tossed a two-yard score with 0:11 on the clock that put the game away for the Cougars, who finished the season 10-3, in a 24-21 victory.

Both teams played solid defense, allowing only 616 yards of total offense, and a combined 131 yards rushing.

Nelson threw two interceptions but made up for it by scoring three times, and the Cougar defense was impressive, limiting Tulsa's rushing attack to only 37 yards. They average over 200 yards per contest.

For Tulsa, receiver Bryan Burnham was a bright spot, catching four passes for 113 yards, including a 30-yard scoring catch in the fourth quarter.

But it was Nelson and wide receiver Cody Hoffman who stole the show.

All three of Nelson's scores were caught by Hoffman, who also snagged five other passes for a total of 122 yards in the win.

Going forward, BYU will be in very good position to get to double-digit wins in the 2012 regular season, with plenty of experience returning and an excellent coach.

On the flip side, the loss of head coach Todd Graham to Pitt at the end of last season hurt Tulsa, and the departure of Kinne is going to be tough to overcome.

The game, while not as entertaining as the record-breaking Alamo Bowl, was well-played, with only six penalties, but there were four combined turnovers from two picks thrown by BYU and two fumbles by the Golden Hurricanes.