LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Freshman backup Tanner Mangum heaved a 42-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Mathews on the final play of the game and, after a goal line scrum and a video review, BYU stunned Nebraska 33-28 in Cornhuskers coach Mike Riley's debut on Saturday.
Mangum entered the game in the fourth quarter after Taysom Hill went out with a fractured leg, and will miss the rest of the season.
Mathews pulled down the winning pass in front of Nebraska safety Nate Gerry and several other defenders just inside the goal line, and the play stood after officials reviewed the play.
"It came out a little wobbly," Mangum said. "I saw him catch it. I was scared it will fall short."
Trevor Samson's 35-yard field goal pulled BYU within 28-27 with 7:57 left, and after Drew Brown missed a 41-yard field goal for Nebraska, the Cougars started their final drive from their own 35. There were 48 seconds to play.
Mangum drove BYU to the Nebraska 42 before launching his winning pass against a three-man rush on fourth-and-3.
As BYU celebrated, a pained Riley raised clenched fists over his head and looked down as his headset slipped backward.
The Huskers lost their season opener for the first time since 1985, ending the nation's longest streak.
Hill, who drew notice as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate before fracturing a leg in the middle of last season, threw for 268 yards and a touchdown and ran for 72 yards and another score.
Hill missed a couple snaps in the first half after running for a 21-yard touchdown and got hurt again early in the fourth quarter with his team trailing 28-24.
Mangum, a celebrated recruit out of Idaho, finished 7 of 11 for 111 yards.
Nebraska's Tommy Armstrong Jr. passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns, his last one going 9 yards to Trey Foster for a 28-24 lead.
This opener was long anticipated by both teams. Riley, who spent the last 12 years at Oregon State, was athletic director Shawn Eichorst's surprise hire last December after Bo Pelini was fired.
BYU, meanwhile, came in looking to continue raising its profile as an independent and was coming off three wins last year against opponents from Power Five conferences. The Cougars play Boise State at home next week, then play back-to-back road games against UCLA and Michigan.
Each team was without players who were suspended for disciplinary reasons. Among the five missing Huskers were linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey, cornerback Jonathan Rose and tight end Cethan Carter. Among the suspended BYU players were defensive lineman Tomasi Laulile, free safety Kai Nacua, linebacker Sione Takitaki and wide receiver Trey Dye.