BYU football: Cougars honor Bosco, Wilson, Staley with jersey retirements

All wore No. 6 in their days in Provo

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars fans watch during the game at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday Saturday, September 16, 2017. Wisconsin Badgers defeated Brigham Young Cougars 40-6.

Provo • Marc Wilson and Luke Staley said their favorite moments playing at LaVell Edwards Stadium came during wins over the rival University of Utah, while Robbie Bosco’s best memory was his first home game of the national championship season, a 47-13 win over Baylor.

BYU retired the No. 6 jerseys worn by Wilson, Staley and Bosco at halftime of Saturday’s game against Wisconsin.

“It is an amazing honor, an absolutely phenomenal honor,” said Wilson, who was 22-4 as a starting quarterback at BYU. He broke nine NCAA records and tied two others and was BYU’s first consensus All-American.

Wilson threw for an NCAA-record 571 yards in a 38-8 win over Utah in 1977, and he called that the moment he remembers most fondly.

Bosco quarterbacked BYU to the 1984 national championship, leading the Cougars to a 13-0 record. He was 24-3 as a starter and broke nine NCAA records. BYU downed Pitt 20-14 on the road in Bosco’s first career start, but he said the following game, a victory over Baylor at what was then known as Cougar Stadium, “let us know we were going to be pretty good offensively,” he said.

The Doak Walker Award winner at the conclusion of the 2001 season, Staley talked in a pregame news conference about his two favorite memories. One was the first time he ran out of the tunnel at the stadium, and marveling how fortunate he was to realize a lifelong dream of playing for BYU.

The other was the final carry of his career, a touchdown run down the sidelines that gave BYU a 24-21 win over Utah in 2001.

All three former players said the honor was as much for the teams they played on as it was for them individually.

“It is unfortunate that just one name goes up there, when in reality it was a team effort,” Staley said, expressing the thoughts of the other two.

Wilson and Bosco were randomly assigned the No. 6 by then-BYU equipment manager Floyd Johnson, while Staley was first assigned No. 26 as a freshman. He switched to No. 6, his high school number, his sophomore season.

The three players performed the traditional lighting of the Y before the game.

Air Force impersonation?

After redshirt sophomore Beau Hoge’s first pass of his first start was picked off by Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards, the Cougars defense stiffened and UW had to settle for a 23-yard field goal.

When the BYU offense took the field again, it ran the ball 13 straight times and finished the first quarter with 79 rushing yards.


Former running back Brian McDonald and former receivers Ross Apo, Austin Collie and Cody Hoffman carried out the alumni flags before the game. Running back Squally Canada, snapper Matt Foley and defensive end Corbin Kaufusi carried out the team flags. … BYU and Wisconsin are scheduled to play again next year (Sept. 15, 2018) in Madison. … BYU was a 17-point underdog against Wisconsin. The only other time since 1980 that BYU has been an underdog of more than 17 points was in 2004 against USC. The Trojans won that game, 42-10. … The Cougars wore white jersey tops and white pants as part of a white-out promotion. … Junior starting free safety Zayne Anderson was held out of the game with an undisclosed injury.

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