BYU football: Ranking the best touchdown tandems in school history

Published: June 3, 2018

BYU has been known for wonderful play from its signal callers over the years, but without some special receivers and tight ends, great quarterbacks wouldn’t matter too much.

Most of those quarterbacks had favorite targets, the receivers and tight ends they could count on the most to make big plays. This list ranks the best of those combos, the quarterback – receiver/tight end pairs that produced the most touchdowns in BYU history.

Statistical information from BYUCougars.com and Sports-reference.com

T-10. Gifford Nielsen/John VanderWouden (1975-77)

John VanderWouden was one of the big playmakers for Gifford Nielsen during their three years together in Provo. The two connected on 13 touchdowns as the Cougars tied for two WAC titles.

T-10. Gifford Nielsen/Mike Chronister (1976-77)

Mike Chronister was a dangerous deep threat for BYU, and many of those throws came from Nielsen. In fact, 13 of Chronister’s 21 receiving scores came on passes from Neilsen as the Cougars shared two conference championships.

T-10. Virgil Carter/Phil Odle (1965-66)

Odle and Carter were a huge part of the offense that led the Cougars to their first WAC championship in 1965. During that season, the pair led the conference in 13 different categories, including 20 touchdown passes for Carter and 11 touchdowns receptions for Odle.

In their two seasons together, the two combined for 13 scores.

9. Robbie Bosco/Glen Kozlowski (1984-85)

Kozlowski caught 23 touchdowns during his in Provo, and 14 came off the arm of Robbie Bosco. Their best season together came in 1984, when the two connected for 11 scores as the Cougars secured their only national title on the gridiron.

T-7. Riley Nelson/Cody Hoffman (2010-13)

The most productive receiver in school history caught 15 of his school-record 33 touchdowns on throws from Riley Nelson. Their best season together came in 2011 when nine of Hoffman’s 10 receiving scores were delivered on passes from Nelson. Their best performance together came in the 24-21 Armed Forces Bowl win over Tulsa when the two connected for all three BYU touchdowns.

T-7. John Beck/Todd Watkins (2004-05)

Watkins and Beck were one of the best deep ball combos BYU fans have ever seen. They connected for 15 scores during their two years together, including eight touchdowns of at least 25 yards and five of more than 65 yards.

T-5. Ty Detmer/Andy Boyce (1989-90)

Andy Boyce scored 16 touchdowns during his last two seasons as a Cougar, and all of them came on throws from Ty Detmer. The two were at their best together in 1990 when they linked up for 13 touchdowns, highlighted by games against San Diego State and Air Force where the duo linked up for six scores.

T-5. John Beck/Jonny Harline (2005-06)

Beck had two go-to guys during his time in Provo, Watkins and Jonny Harline. After the two managed five scores together during their junior seasons, the pair really did some damage in 2006 as the Cougars swept through the Mountain West Conference on the way to 11 wins. That season, Beck found Harline for 11 touchdowns, including three crucial scores as BYU knocked off Utah, 33-31.

4. Robbie Bosco/Mark Bellini (1984-85)

Robbie Bosco really spread the ball around during his senior season as four Cougars caught more than 45 passes, but nearly 50 percent of his touchdown throws went to Mark Bellini. In fact, Bellini took 14 Bosco passes to the end zone in 1985 to push their career total together to 17 touchdowns.

3. Jim McMahon/Clay Brown (1978, 1980)

Clay Brown and Jim McMahon were a dynamic duo for the Cougars who did most of their damage together during an unforgettable 1980 season where they won 12 games and produced one of the biggest comebacks in bowl history. That season, the two teamed up for 18 scores, including three in the 46-45 win over SMU in the Holiday Bowl.

2. Max Hall/Dennis Pitta (2007-09)

Max Hall and Dennis Pitta had three amazing seasons together as they registered the most touchdowns by a quarterback/tight end combo in school history. The two connected for 19 scores, including eight in 2009 as Pitta took home Consensus All-American recognition.

1. Max Hall/Austin Collie (2007-08)

Hall and Austin Collie rewrote the record books as a combo despite the fact that they played just two years together. The duo combined for an astounding 22 touchdowns, highlighted by 15 scores during the 2008 season when Collie led the country in receiving yards and finished fourth in receiving touchdowns.

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9 comments

    1. Another great qb/receiver duo was Gary Sheide to Jay Miller. Miller led the nation in receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,181) in 1973, and had eight touchdowns, leading the team in scoring. In a November 1973 game against New Mexico, he set an NCAA single game record with 22 receptions.

      Liked by 1 person

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