And plenty of swagger.
Led by Kyle Van Noy sacks, sophomore corner Jordan Johnson lived up to billing. Johnson picked off Jeff Tuel and returned it 64 yards to set up a BYU field goal and 27-3 advantage in the third quarter. Earlier, safety Daniel Sorensen tipped a pass that Uona Kaveinga intercepted in the first half.
The minus-5 rushing yards allowed were the fewest a team coached by Bronco Mendenhall has ever allowed.
Leach's Air Raid attack, albeit newly installed with a senior quarterback, didn't get in the end zone — even with a Pac-12 officiating crew doing some serious nylon whipping of Mendenhall's defense (10 penalties for 112 yards).
BYU corners covered and tackled. The Cougars executed a nice nickel coverage, sending Joe Sampson as a designated playmaker. The Cougar front seven looked good as advertised — fast and experienced.
This is a game BYU was favored by 13 points. It was a contest against a Pac-12 foe that BYU absolutely had to win in a home opener on ESPN with several national pundits on hand to cover the return of WSU coach Leach.
With 29 seniors on his squad, Bronco Mendenhall needed this win and had to look decent out of the chute.
- Local NFL watch: How Utah players fared in...
- BYU basketball: 3 players record...
- Utah Jazz: A few slices of holiday spirit...
- BYU's linebacker Kyle Van Noy engaged to Miss...
- Utah basketball: Runnin' Utes come up just...
- High school basketball: Tuesday's prep roundup
- Former Cougar star Jackson Emery shares...
- LDS general authorities make appearance at...
- Mike Sorensen: Despite disappointing... 189
- Utah basketball: Runnin' Utes come up... 90
- BYU football: Cougar offense rebounds... 84
- Utah football: Utes end season with... 76
- BYU, Utah State basketball: Second-half... 74
- Unbeaten Utes hit the road for the... 58
- College football re-rankings: Where do... 58
- Sources: Former BYU quarterback Steve... 50