Ravell Call, Deseret News
Daniel Sorensen is congratulated by Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson after returning an interception for a score.

PROVO — There were very few intriguing storylines going into Saturday's BYU-Idaho State game.

The most prominent of those was this: At what point will backup quarterback Jake Heaps play?

Because the Cougars were expected to win easily — and they did, 56-3 — it figured that Heaps would take some snaps for the first time since the third quarter of the Utah State game, and for the first time since the month of October.

Fans cheered Heaps when he entered the game Saturday at the 7:13 mark of the third quarter, with the Cougars leading, 42-3. On that first series, Heaps threw an interception. Later, in the fourth quarter, he led a seven-play, 64-yard touchdown drive.

On the day, Heaps completed 8-of-10 passes for 67 yards, and handed off the ball numerous times.

"I was glad we had an opportunity to give him some playing time," said coach Bronco Mendenhall. "As always, he throws the ball very well. He's aggressive with the football. He had a chance to lead our team. It was fun to see him smiling. That's a good thing."

On Sept. 30, in the third quarter of the Utah State game, Heaps was benched in favor of Riley Nelson. Nelson rallied BYU to a dramatic victory over the Aggies and has started ever since.

Wide receiver Ross Apo was glad to see Heaps back on the field.

"I was excited," he said. "I talk to Jake every day. He was expecting to go in (Saturday). I was happy for him."

"It's always good to see a guy like that get in the game," said linebacker Kyle Van Noy. "He deserves it, just like anybody else. He did pretty well."

INJURY UPDATE: Defensive linemen Hebron "Loni" Fangupo (ankle) and Romney Fuga (knee sprain), who both were injured last week at Oregon State, were held out of action Saturday.

SCORING PRODUCTION: Since scoring just 10 points against Utah on Sept. 17, BYU has increased its scoring production in each successive week. The Cougars scored 24 against Central Florida, 27 against Utah State, 29 against San Jose State, 38 against Oregon State and 56 against Idaho State.

BYU VS. FCS: The Cougars improved to 5-0 all-time against teams in the Football Championship Subdivision. BYU has outscored FCS opponents by a margin of 227-46 in those five games.

FLAG-BEARERS: Former running back Fahu Tahi (1999-2005) carried out the alumni flag. Senior linebacker Jadon Wagner carried out the team flag while junior cornerback Preston Hadley carried out the special teams flag.

EXTRA POINTS: Announced attendance was 60,043. … The 2011-12 BYU men's basketball team was introduced to the crowd at halftime. Junior forward Brandon Davies, who was suspended late last season for an honor code violation before rejoining the team in August, received the loudest cheer from fans. … The Cougars have rushed for 200 or more yards in four straight games. BYU ran for 290 yards Saturday. … In the first quarter, ISU led the time of possession battle, 13:09-1:51, but trailed 14-3.

email: jeffc@desnews.com