December 22, 2007
Posted by Gordon Smith

We were screaming in the Smith household when BYU defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna got a hand on a field goal by UCLA as time expired. (Game recap.) The so-called experts were predicting a BYU blowout, but I assumed that UCLA would play inspired football for their interim coach DeWayne Walker. And they did. It looks like UCLA is intent on hiring Rick Neuheisel as its new head coach, but Walker did an impressive job of putting his team into a position to win this game. He should get a shot at the top spot somewhere.

Given the religious orientation of BYU, close wins in big games often receive some sort of nickname that implies Divine intervention. My first exposure to this phenomenon was in my freshman year at BYU, when Jim McMahon engineered an amazing comeback against SMU in the Holiday Bowl. That game has since become known as The Miracle Bowl. Lavell Edward's last game, a win against Utah, has been called One Last Miracle for Lavell. Last year's last-second victory over Utah has been dubbed The Answered Prayer. There are others, but you get the idea.

So the race is on to name this game. Some people have suggested "The Hand of God," but that's already taken. Given that Eathyn Manumaleuna's nickname is "Manu," it seems to me that "The Hand of Manu" is the obvious choice. By the way, Manu is a true freshman, and in about one month, he will enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo to begin preparations for two years in Oklahoma.

UPDATE: Here's a photo ...


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ยป Congrats to BYU from Punditry ...
"My friend Gordon Smith is deservedly pleased that BYU squeaked past a UCLA team fielding its fourth ..." [more] (Tracked on December 23, 2007 @ 0:18)
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