1 of 53
Ravell Call, Deseret News
Joe Sampson (1) of the Brigham Young Cougars upends D.J. Harper (7) of the Boise State Broncos during NCAA football in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.

BOISE, Idaho — BYU lost its second heartbreaker in a row, falling to Boise State 7-6 Thursday night.

It was a game marked by an amazing defensive effort but complete offensive futility through three quarters of play. All in all it was remarkable that Boise State only managed seven points considering the five turnovers BYU coughed up. Time and again the Cougar defense would turn Bronco scoring bids away, including a goal-line stand in the third quarter when Boise was set up with first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Boise State's lone touchdown came on an interception return for a touchdown by Mike Atkinson early in the third quarter. The Broncos gained just 261 yards of total offense on the night.

The BYU offense was rendered futile with an ailing Riley Nelson under center. The BYU starting quarterback threw for just 19 yards on 4-9 passing and threw three interceptions.

Taysom Hill entered the game midway through the third quarter with the Cougar offense showing some life for the first time on the night. Hill marched the Cougars 95 yards for a score with just 3:37 remaining — running it in from 4 yards out to put BYU an extra point away from tying the contest.

Cougar coaches opted to go for two and the potential win, but it was for naught as Hill's attempted pass to Cody Hoffman was knocked away in the back of the endzone.

Hill finished with 4-10 passing for 42 yards and 12 rushes for 72 yards. BYU drops to 2-2 with the loss and will next take on Hawaii at home.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney