BYU football: Offenses struggle, defenses shine, mistakes make difference as Cougars lose to Boise State
"When you come up with a stand like that, let me put it this way — I'll never forget the guys that were on the field during those four plays," Hadley said. "That sticks with you forever."
In the first half, the two teams battled to a scoreless tie, and BYU had just 68 yards of total offense and 19 yards passing.
While BYU's defense shined, Cougar punter Riley Stephenson proved to be the biggest weapon on the field. His first two punts of the game traveled 57 and 56 yards, respectively, and two of his first three pinned Boise State inside its own 20-yard line. By flipping the field, Stephenson gave the Cougars a shot to win the game.
BYU's defense rose to the occasion time and time again, such as Ansah stopping a fake punt attempt at the BSU 22-yard line in the first half.
But the Cougars continually stumbled. On third-and-1 from the Boise State 2-yard line, offensive lineman Ryker Mathews was whistled for a chop block, pushing BYU back to the 16-yard line. One play later, Jamar Taylor picked off Nelson.
That was as close as the Cougars came to the end zone in the first half.
The Broncos weren't much better. After a missed 33-yard field goal on its second drive, Boise State's offense stalled. Twice the Broncos opted to go for it on fourth down deep inside BYU territory, but failed to convert.
Meanwhile, on the Cougars' second possession of the second quarter, Nelson was hit from behind by Taylor and fumbled the ball, and BSU's Demarcus Lawrence recovered.
BYU hosts Hawaii next Friday (6 p.m., MDT, ESPN).
EXTRA POINTS: BYU's initial first down of the game came late in the first quarter on a keeper by Hill. Boise State is now 76-3 at home since 2000. Boise State allowed its first sack of the season in the second quarter when Ansah got to Southwick for a five-yard loss. The Broncos now lead the all-time series against BYU, 3-0, including victories in 2003 and 2004.
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