PROVO — BYU scorched Idaho, 52-13, amid freezing temperatures Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman (nine catches, 108 yards, three touchdowns) and running back Jamaal Williams (10 rushes, 104 yards, two touchdowns) spearheaded the Cougar attack. Quarterback Riley Nelson efficiently orchestrated the BYU blitzkrieg, throwing for 236 yards and running for another 49.
The trio inflicted the bulk of its damage before halftime, as the Cougars (6-4) sat their skill-position starters midway through the third quarter with a commanding 42-10 lead already in hand.
On BYU’s first possession of the game, Williams set the tone for the Cougars’ quick-strike offense with a streaking 49-yard run down the right sideline. On the next play, Nelson hit Hoffman for a 9-yard touchdown pass and 7-0 lead.
BYU’s next two drives both ended with touchdown runs by Williams.
Over the course of their first three drives, the Cougars needed less than six combined minutes of possession to amass 181 yards and run up a 21-0 lead.
Down three scores, the Vandals (1-9) temporarily seized some momentum late in the first quarter. Idaho covered 70 yards on six plays during its fourth possession, which Vandal receiver Mike Scott capped with a 33-yard touchdown grab to cut the deficit to 21-7.
Idaho forced a BYU punt after the ensuing kickoff, and the Vandals appeared to be riding high. The surge, however, proved to be short-lived.
Operating out of the pistol formation, Idaho quarterback Logan Bushnell fumbled a shotgun snap near his own goal line on the first play following the Cougars’ punt. BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley scooped up the loose ball in stride for a 2-yard touchdown return and 28-7 advantage.
Hoffman caught two short touchdown passes in the second quarter.
The Cougars led at intermission, 42-7. Most of the fans in attendance exited the stadium during halftime.
BYU backup quarterback James Lark — who received the loudest cheers of the second half when he entered the game in the third quarter — threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Cody Raymond with 12 minutes left in the game.
Cougar kicker Justin Sorensen booted a 31-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining to make it 52-10.
Idaho kicker Trey Farquhar connected on a 35-yard field goal on the last play of the game for the final 52-13 score.
The teams played the entire game in sub-freezing weather. However, winds remained mild throughout the night and no significant snowfall occurred until late in the fourth quarter.
Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at email@example.com or 801-236-6051.