BYU, Utah State: Instant analysis of low scoring game powered by defense
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
With the BYU offense demonstrating lessons in futility, it was the defense the Cougars relied upon to preserve a three-point lead and hold on for a 6-3 victory Friday night.
The Aggies of Utah State came in search of revenge but only found Ezekial "Ziggy" Ansah, Kyle Van Noy and their wrecking crew of a defense. The defense racked up nine tackles for loss, three sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception in a contest that was much more exciting than the final scoreboard may indicate.
While futile, the offense was not unproductive. Taysom Hill finished 24-36 with 235 yards, tossing one touchdown and one interception. Hill also racked up 80 yards on the ground and accumulated 315 of the Cougars' 380 yards of offense on his own.
With Riley Nelson still sidelined with a back injury and Michael Alisa out with shoulder issues, BYU looked to Hill and freshman running back Jamaal Williams to fill the void once again. Williams added 71 yards rushing and picked up 21 more through the air.
No player was more relieved the Cougars came out on top than kicker Justin Sorensen. A combination of bad blocking and a bad kick resulted in a blocked kick as the Aggies came straight up the middle on a second-quarter attempt. And just before the half, after a touchdown with three seconds remaining, Sorensen's PAT went wide left to leave the Cougars only up by a field goal, 6-3.
Aside from the block and the missed PAT, BYU went for it on fourth-and-short after starting a drive in great field position and attempted and failed on a fake field-goal attempt. Sorensen's 16-30 career mark and the Cougars' season-long kicking woes played a part in leaving a possible 10 points on the field.
With the win, BYU improves to 4-2 on the season and will retain the Wagon Wheel for at least one more season.
- Brad Rock: When it comes to rioting, Miami...
- After year layoff, BYU's Kurtz happy to be...
- Jazz grind out impressive 93-82 win in Memphis
- Discipline a focus of spring ball for BYU; 10...
- Morning links: Jazz's sudden rise; SI breaks...
- 1A boys basketball tournament: Live streams...
- It was historic weekend for BYU basketball...
- Monarchs announce new stadium proposal in...
- BYU shocks No. 3 Gonzaga 73-70 110
- Utes come up short in Pac-12 battle... 83
- Discipline a focus of spring ball for... 73
- Holmoe assesses the state of the... 51
- Mike Sorensen: How about a Utah-BYU... 44
- About Utah: Replace the prison with the... 42
- Brad Rock: When it comes to rioting,... 41
- Morning links: Is BYU now in the... 40