BOISE — A week after mistakes by BYU’s offensive line in scoring position in a 7-6 loss to Northern Illinois, the same thing hurt the Cougars in the first half at Boise State.
Where two back-to-back illegal motions hurt BYU at home, here on the road, it was two second-quarter holding calls and pass protection breakdowns against a three-man Boise State rush while in scoring position that weighed heavy on Jeff Grimes's offense.
Those holding penalties, on Tristen Hoge and Brady Christensen, came after Boise State had sacked freshman quarterback Zack Wilson four times for losses totally 30 yards in the first half. After trailing BSU 14-0, the Cougars managed a pair of Skyler Southam field goals to close 14-6 by intermission.20 comments on this story
Southam missed a 47-yarder in the first quarter but that futility by BYU’s offense in the red zone really cost BYU early in the game when it appeared the Cougars had momentum.
In a place BYU has never won, those kinds of mistakes for the Cougars — a slow-starting team — proved a big challenge. Add to that a kickoff fumble by freshman Sione Finau, a fumbled snap over the head of Wilson, and a bad decision to bring the opening kickoff out of the end zone by seldom-used returned Riley Burt kept the mistake theme going for BYU in the first two quarters.