PROVO — Thanks to a stunning sequence that lasted less than 30 seconds, BYU defeated visiting Utah State, 6-3, Friday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Trailing 3-0, the Cougars took possession at their own 39-yard line with 28 seconds left in the second quarter. But BYU caught lightning in a bottle: Three consecutive completions from Taysom Hill to Cody Hoffman quickly pushed the Cougars deep into Utah State territory.
Following a timeout Hill punctuated the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver JD Falslev near the left pylon. BYU kicker Riley Stephenson missed the ensuing PAT, however, so the Cougars headed into the locker room at halftime with only a 6-3 lead.
With 7:47 left in the fourth quarter the Aggies had a chance to tie the game. However, Utah State kick Josh Thompson could not connect on a 38-yard field goal attempt.
Although BYU outgained the Aggies, 384 yards to 243, the Cougars failed to score more points in large part because of a poor outing from Sorensen. The junior kicker had a 34-yard field goal attempt blocked with roughly five minutes left in the second quarter. And by the time the third quarter rolled around, BYU coaches had so little confidence in Sorensen that they opted for a fake field goal instead of letting him attempt a kick from 25 yards — and the trick play failed.
In the first quarter, Thompson booted a 26-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Utah State started the series at its own 43-yard line; its methodical drive covered 13 plays and 49 yards.
Hill finished the night 24-of-36 for 235 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception; he also gained 80 rushing yards on 19 carries. His top targets included Hoffman (eight catches, 114 yards) and Kaneakua Friel (five receptions, 53 yards).
Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed 22-of-38 passes for 202 yards, but his longest throw covered only 16 yards. Matt Austin hauled in seven catches and 72 receiving yards for the Aggies.
Ezekiel Ansah recorded two sacks for BYU.
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.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company