Defense keys BYU squeaker over Utah State
Provo, UT, United States (4E Sports) – After displaying its offensive firepower in a 47-0 rout of Hawaii last week, Brigham Young proved it can also play defense in a close 6-3 win over Utah State Friday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The Cougars delivered the team’s quickest touchdown-scoring drive of the season in the second quarter to take a 6-3 margin before the defense buckled down, protecting the slim lead until the final whistle to clinch their fourth win in six games.
Freshman quarterback Tayson Hill led the Cougars’ 25-second scoring drive for the game’s only touchdown, completing three straight passes to junior wideout Cody Hoffman for gains of eight, 28 and 22 yards.
Hill then found wide receiver JD Falslev at the end zone for a three-yard scoring toss to complete the four-play, 61-yard scoring drive. Josh Thompson missed the extra point but the lead was enough to hand the Aggies their second loss in six outings.
“Utah State matched us down in and down out the entire game all the way to the end,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “They performed during some crucial plays up until the very end. It was a fantastic game and an excellent rivalry game. We are lucky, and I’m glad that we won. I’m fortunate to coach this team.”
For the 12th time, the Cougars’ No. 5 defense held an opponent below 300 yards as they limited the Aggies to just 243 total yards. In its last game, BYU held Hawaii to 149 total yards en route to a 47-0 triumph.
The Aggies failed to deliver on third downs, converting just four of 14 tries against a tough BYU defense, led by linebackers Brandon Ogletree and Ezekiel Ansah and defensive back Preston Hadley.
Ogletree had seven tackles and one pass breakup, Ansah finished with five total tackles and two sacks while Hadley came up with six tackles and an interception in front of the goal line to save a touchdown.
“Ziggy (Ansah) is a remarkable story,” Mendenhall added. “For this season to go by without a knowledge that he didn’t know how to put on his pads three years ago is something else. You could make a movie about this at this point.”
Hill completed 24 of 36 attempts for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The playmaker added 80 yards on the ground on 19 carries.
Hoffman extended his streak to 25 games with a reception, catching eight passes for 114 yards while freshman Jamaal Williams rushed for 71 yards on 17 attempts.
Williams delivered two rushes of 11 yards and 13 yards in the final minute of the game to keep the Aggies offense off the field until the final whistle.
Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed 22 of 38 passes for 202 yards and no touchdown. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 23 yards on 10 carries.