PROVO For the fourth game this season, BYU's offensive line allowed no sacks on quarterback Max Hall. No one laid a hand on Hall in BYU's 44-0 win over Wyoming.
A year ago at Laramie, Wyoming defensive end John Fletcher sacked Hall with a ferocious hit, and Hall suffered a grade-three shoulder separation.
Not on Saturday. This time, it wasn't even close.
"It looks that way," said BYU center Dallas Reynolds.
"They do have aggressive down linemen and linebackers who are very physical, so that is a challenge," he added. "But coach always stresses to stay within ourselves, do our thing, stay with our techniques, and things will work out and we're just trying to focus on that."
Reynolds said every once in a while during the game, he'd look up at the giant screen to see a replay and soak in what happened. "I didn't see anything."
Coach Bronco Mendenhall, who praised BYU's offensive line this past week, said Wyoming elected to abandon some of its pressure Saturday and go with two deep safeties to cover BYU's passing game.
"Normally, they like to blitz and bring five or more," said Mendenhall. "But they elected not to blitz that much, and they altered some of what they're used to doing."
This is where BYU's diversified offense took control of the game in the second quarter. Where the Cougars had converted just 1-of-3 third downs in the first quarter and Hall was just 3-of-8 for 19 yards, once BYU adjusted and gave the ball to Harvey Unga, the Cougars started marching down the field on the Cowboys.
At the half, Unga had two carries for 12 yards and Fui Vakapuna had two for 14, but BYU's nation-leading third-down conversion rate (78 percent before kickoff) had moved to 5 of 7. At the end of the game, the Cougars' third-down conversion rate finished at 6 of 15. But when the first-team players were in the game right before the end of the third quarter, the figure was 5 of 9.
FLAG BEARERS: Former Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer and the widows (Stacey May and M'Lissa Griffths) of two of his teammates, Bryan May and Kent Griffiths, both offensive linemen, carried the alumni flag onto the field, a ritual that leads the Cougar team onto the field before kickoff. Detmer conducted a fund-raiser over the weekend to help the May and Griffith families.
HALL EFFICIENCY: Hall did not pass over the 200-yard mark for the first time this season. ... His pass efficiency rating against the Cowboys, in just more than 2 1/2 quarters, was 154.73.
COWBOY SCORING: In the past three outings against Wyoming, BYU has outscored the Cowboys 134-17.TURNOVERS: Before Saturday, BYU ranked fourth in the MWC in turnover margin (even) behind Air Force, TCU and UNLV. On Saturday, the Cougars got three interceptions and three fumble recoveries for plus-six. BYU has now recovered eight fumbles this season. Freshmen Daniel Sorensen and Jordan Pendleton and linebacker David Nixon had interceptions against Wyoming, the first time BYU has had three picks since 2007 (Eastern Washington).
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