UH-BYU 1989: By the Numbers
Has there been a University of Hawaii football victory sweeter than the Rainbow Warriors’ blowout of BYU in 1989? We’re guessing “No.”
UH Sports Circle of Honor inductee Jim Leahey called that game for KHNL.
“When I saw what was happening, and it started very early in the game, I said to myself, ‘This is something that no one has ever seen before,’” Leahey recalled. “Not against a team that had won a national championship. Every play was a phenomenal play. Catches over the middle. Catches in a crowd. Interceptions. Sacks in the backfield.”
“[That game] something so special, so tremendous, so historic in the history of University of Hawaii athletics. It will always be remembered. That came close (to perfection). You think about the times that they had lost. You think about the frustration after frustration after frustration – to the extent that people were telling me, ‘BYU beat us ten times in a row. They might just be the true religion.’ And they were arrogant as hell. They would walk around and go, ‘Well, you got a good little team over here.’
“That game was cathartic.”
Most UH football fans still remember the score: 56-14. But a closer examination of the game reveals even more telling numbers that show just how dominant the Rainbow Warriors were against their arch-rival. Take a look.
10 – The amount of consecutive losses Hawaii suffered at the hands of BYU entering the game.
4.5 – The number of points BYU was favored to win the game.
46,841 – The number of fans who attended the game (turnstile count).
156,898 – The number of fans who claim to have attended the game (writer estimate).
2 – The number of Hawaii broadcasters (Rick Blangiardi and Larry Beil) who accepted job offers on the mainland but stipulated that they had to be available to work the UH-BYU game.
440 – Total passing yards by UH QB Garrett Gabriel (a new UH record).
622 – Total offensive yards by UH (another new UH record)
158 – Receiving yards gained by Hawaii receiver Chris Roscoe (8 receptions).
-55 – BYU rushing yards the UH defense allowed. Yes, minus.
1 – Reception by UH running back Jamal Farmer. Unfortunately for BYU, that reception was an 83-yard touchdown.
2 – Interceptions by UH safety Walter Briggs.
3 – Number of future NFL players in Hawaii’s starting line-up. (Jason Elam, Larry Goeas and Jeff Sydner).
21 – Consecutive points UH scored before BYU got their first score.
35 – Consecutive points UH scored after BYU got their first score.
10 – The amount of times the Rainbow Warrior defense sacked Cougar QB Ty Detmer.
72 – Total points allowed by the Cougars in their four previous conference games.
5 – Number of times the UH men’s basketball (3) and baseball (2) teams beat BYU in 1989. It was a good year for Hawaii against the Cougars!
Story: Lance Tominaga
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