BYU football: Cougar offense rebounds from rough first half as BYU earns win at Nevada
“It was a huge boost,” safety Daniel Sorensen said of Daniel’s interception. “I was very excited for Rob. He made a play when we needed it.”
“Rob’s pick in the end zone really changed the way we were feeling about ourselves,” Van Noy said.
Neither team could generate much offense the rest of the half.
Falslev was grateful that the defense kept the game close.
“That’s how our defense does things. They’ve done it time and time again,” he said. “It’s frustrating to put that much pressure on them, but they continue to make big plays for us until the offense gets going. It’s nice having a defense like that.”
BYU’s offense was facing a Nevada defense that had surrendered an average of 35 points and 500 yards per game, but the Cougars sputtered and stumbled.
“Their defense had struggled, so that was the biggest surprise that we weren’t moving the ball as well,” Mendenhall said. “However, in the second half, we actually chose to play and try the way I know that they’re capable of. That’s what I’m taking away from it.”
“That showed a lot of character,” Hill said of his team’s second-half performance. “Not a lot needed to be said because that’s who we are. We’re not going to come down and lay an egg. We’re going to come out and battle. I wasn’t ever worried. I always knew we were going to win that football game.”
BYU was whistled for 14 penalties for 142 yards. That was one of the obstacles the Cougars had to overcome, just a week after a disappointing loss at Notre Dame and needing to make adjustments in schedules due to Thanksgiving.
“Then the team having to choose and battle and respond to win the game, which is what they did in the second half,” Mendenhall said. “I’m proud of them for that. A completely different team, not only in terms of effort, but emotion and execution.”
Van Noy was happy that his team came out on top in his final regular-season game as a Cougar in his hometown, although he said he wasn’t sure why his team started so flat.
“It was weird. I can’t describe what happened,” said Van Noy, who intercepted Nevada's two-point conversion attempt after it scored a touchdown with 2:42 remaining. “But it wasn’t acceptable, and we needed to fix it. We did in the second half.”
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