Wasn't it pop artist Andy Warhol who said that everyone is entitled to 15 minutes of fame? And didn't Brigham Young University quarterback Paul Shoemaker get double that in his 30-minute, first-half debut in the Cougars' season-opening loss to Washington?
After getting pulled in favor of Kevin Feterik, all Feterik did was solidify himself as the Y. starter for the next two-plus games?So, who should reappear with the Cougars in Friday night's in-state battle before a Cougar Stadium crowd of 65,754 but Shoemaker, who led 24th-ranked BYU to a 42-35 victory over Utah State. The Cougars improve to 3-1 overall; Utah State drops to 2-3 - all losses coming against upper-tier WAC opponents - as the Aggies remain winless in Provo since 1978.
Just your typical in-state contest - two quarterbacks knocked out, a blocked punt for a safety, a fake punt, plenty of turnovers, broken tackles, long-distance plays, a total of 77 points scored and a game still in doubt until the final minutes. Even a collective mass of fans on the field after the game and a halfhearted attempt to tear down the goalposts.
And preceding the game was a week-long grieving and healing for JC transfer cornerback Terrence Harvey, who died Monday in a late-night rollover on I-15.
All that - and what could be the latest round of Cougar Quarterback Controversy 1997.
Feterik completed 29-of-45 passes for 345 yards and 1 TD before leaving the game with a sore ankle. Shoemaker's relief effort was 3-of-4 passing for 91 yards and 1 TD, but he led the Cougars on their final two scoring drives of the night.
The first go-ahead TD came in the fourth quarter - a four-play, 93-yard drive keyed by a 65-yard toss to Dustin Johnson and a 19-yard bootleg flip to the tight-end-returned-to-fullback. Owen Pochman's PAT gave BYU a 35-32 lead with 11:33 to play.
Utah State threatened to regain the advantage on its own 81-yard drive, but the BYU defense held three times from the 1-, 2- and 3-yard lines and Brad Bohn kicked a 20-yard field goal to tie it at 35-all with 7:33 left.
BYU took the lead for good on the next Shoemaker-led possession, with tailbacks Brian McKenzie and Wil Snowden picking up most of the yardage. McKenzie suffered a neck injury on a 15-yard facemask penalty. Snowden scored the game-winning TD on a deep-left pitch from Shoemaker from 2 yards out, and Pochman's PAT at 3:39 put BYU up for good at 42-35.
The Aggies failed on two final drives - USU was forced to punt after the first. And on the second, backup quarterback Brian Benza - who came in for an injured Matt Sauk midway in the fourth - found Demario Brown on a 44-yard screen to the BYU 17 in the final two minutes. But the Aggies finished their last gasp with four straight incompletions, allowing the Cougars to run out the clock.
Trailing by two touchdowns in the second quarter and by a 24-20 margin at halftime, the Cougars rallied on their first drive of the second half, with much of an 80-yard possession being picked up on passes to fullbacks Aaron Cupp and Dustin Johnson (moved back to fullback in place of the injured Kalani Fifita Sitake). Feterik ran the bootleg, sidestepped an Aggie defender and tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rj Anderson. Pochman's point-after put BYU up 27-24.
Later in the third, Feterik was sacked by USU lineman Lindsay Hassell and limped off with a severely sprained ankle. On the next play, BYU punter J.D. Hartsfield had trouble with a high snap and his punt was blocked out of the end zone by Utah State's Johndale Carty for a safety.
After a free kick, USU used a fourth-down, fake-punt pass from Darrol Young to Blake Eagal to maintain possession before Sauk scored on a 50-yard scamper to put the Aggies ahead 32-27. A two-point PAT pass failed.
Feterik returned for one more possession, which started at the USU 30 following a 70-yard kickoff return by Jaron Dabney. Throwing out of the shotgun because of his sore ankle, Feterik misfired twice before being intercepted for the second time in the game by Garmon.
BYU opened the game's scoring on its first possession of the game, with the Cougars passing, pitching and trapping their way down to the USU 3-yard line. Two penalties later - including a holding call on a would-be Feterik TD pass to Johnson - BYU covered the final 16 yards for a touchdown as Feterik stepped out of the pocket and scampered for the left end zone, getting a goal-line screen from wide-out Ben Cahoon.
Utah State countered on its next possession, covering 85 yards in just five plays and 68 seconds, with Sauk connecting with Adrion Pierson for the latter's first career touchdown catch - a 27-yarder with 8:14 left in the opening quarter.
With BYU dropping the ball on the next offensive play on a fumbled exchange between Feterik and McKenzie, Utah State took over on the Y. 16 and needed another five plays to score, with Brown picking up the final three yards on a cut-spin-and-back-in run. Bohn's second PAT made it USU 14-7 with 5:51 to play in the quarter.
BYU next drive stalled at the Aggie 26, and Pochman kicked a 44-yard field goal. Utah State answered with a Bohn 25-yarder early in the second quarter for a 17-10 lead.
The Cougars coughed up the ball for a second time - Snowden fumbling after a reception at the Aggie 25. USU scored on the next play on one of the prettiest frozen-rope passes seen in Cougar Stadium in recent memory. Sauk zipped a 25-yard dart to Jenkins, who had a step on Cougar corner Omarr Morgan and snagged the pass in stride for a 75-yard TD and 24-10 Aggie lead.
On its next series, BYU had an apparent 48-yard scoring strike from Feterik to Cahoon negated by penalties on both the Cougars and Ags. No problem, as the two paired up for a 47-yard completion down the left sideline, with Cahoon leaping past an interfering defender for the catch. McKenzie dove for the 1-yard score, and Pochman's PAT drew BYU within 24-10 midway in the second.
The Cougars not only stopped the Aggies on their next drive, but they swarmed USU punter Brandon Reeser for a 17-yard loss on fourth down when Reeser mishandled the snap. Despite getting the ball at the USU 16, BYU could manage only negative yardage and a 40-yard Pochman kick to pull within 24-20 with 5:18 before halftime.
The Aggie offense did little the rest of the way, while BYU had one chance for a score when the Cougars got the ball at their own 45 with a minute to play. A questionable pass interference call on the Aggies afforded BYU the ball at the USU 13 with :08 remaining. Rather than try a field goal, the Cougars opted for one more try and the end zone - and Feterik's toss to Aaron Roderick was snared by USU corner Vashon Garmon for a touchback.
Johnson caught eight passes for 111 yards, while Aggie counterpart Jenkins hauled in eight for 194 yards. USU's Sauk completed 14 of 31 passes for 297 yards before being sidelined. Brown was held to 77 yards on 17 e carries, while McKenzie rushed for a BYU-high 64 yards.