Saturday, September 20, 2008
BYU rolls past Cowboys
BYU photo by Mark Philbrick
BYU defensive back Brandon Bradley breaks up a pass against Wyoming on Saturday.
PROVO, Utah -- Max Hall overcame somewhat of a slow start and threw three touchdown passes and No. 11 BYU extended the nation's longest winning streak with a second straight shutout, beating Wyoming 44-0 Saturday.
The Cougars have won 14 straight games, matching their longest winning streak of the decade and got back-to-back shutouts for the first time in 23 years. BYU last held two straight opponents scoreless in 1985, beating Wyoming 59-0 and Utah State 44-0 -- identical scores to the 2008 shutouts.
“I think the shutout is significant in terms of being back-to-back,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “The main emphasis of our program is how many points we can score and how many we can limit.”
The Cougars, who extended their Mountain West-record conference win streak to 17 games, have won their last two games by a combined score of 103-0, pitching back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1985 (same scores: 59-0 vs. Wyoming, 44-0 vs Utah State).
BYU was coming off a 59-0 win over UCLA last week and forced the Cowboys (2-2, 0-2) into six turnovers, returning two of them for scores. Scott Johnson ran a fumble back 64 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and David Nixon had a 19-yard interception return for a TD in the third.
"They're a real good football team and took advantage of all of our mistakes," Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said.
Hall finished 16-for-27 for 189 yards with no interceptions and Austin Collie had two catches for touchdowns. Harvey Unga ran for one score and caught a pass for another for the Cougars.
Devin Moore ran 14 times for 97 yards and quarterback Dax Crum was 15-for-28 for 119 yards for Wyoming, which hasn't won in Provo since 1987. The Cowboys fumbled four times, losing three, and had three passes intercepted in their first road game of the season. Wyoming finished with 273 yards of offense.
Hall has 15 touchdowns in four games and got to rest the entire fourth quarter for the second straight week. He could have taken off the third, too, after BYU broke open the game with three touchdowns in the second quarter.
Hall found Collie on a deep sideline route for a 62-yard touchdown that put BYU up 20-0 with 4:03 left in the quarter, then connected with Collie again on a slant in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left in the half. After gaining just 43 yardes in the first quarter, the Cougars had 192 in the second and scored three touchdowns, starting with a 1-yard run by Unga with 6:08 left in the period.
Wyoming drove to the BYU 36 on the opening possession, but gave the Cougars an easy score on a mental blunder.
Crum overthrew Greg Bolling in the flat, but the play didn't go forward and was a lateral instead of an incomplete pass. There was no whistle and the Cowboys didn't try to recover, leaving it free for Johnson to scoop and run 64 yards for a touchdown.
Nixon returned interception 19 yards for a touchdown with 8:25 left in the third. Brandon Bradley tipped the Karsten Sween pass and Nixon caught it and ran it back 19 years for the touchdown to make it 41-0.