The Cougars get a big win in Charlottesville over Virginia (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The BYU football team had a return to offensive glory in the second half of its 38-35 overtime victory over Virginia Saturday.
After falling behind to the Cavaliers 21-0 at halftime, sophomore quarterback Bret Engemann passed for 318 second-half yards and led BYU to an impressive come-from-behind overtime win that was capped off with a 26-yard field goal by senior Owen Pochman.
"We drove the ball well in the first half, but we couldn't finish a drive," Engemann said. "We cleaned things up in the second half and executed like we knew we could."
Engemann, who earned Chevrolet Player of the Game honors by throwing for 447 yards and two touchdowns, opened the second half by orchestrating an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a Brian McDonald six-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 21-7. The McDonald touchdown marked the first time BYU had entered the end zone since the fourth quarter of the Utah game on Nov. 20, 1999, in Provo.
The BYU defense responded by forcing a punt from Virginia in its opening series of the half. Engemann then proceeded to march the Cougars 80 yards down the field on 5-of-6 passing for 71 yards to set up another touchdown run by McDonald, a junior college transfer running back playing in just his second game for BYU.
"We got off to a sluggish start," BYU head coach LaVell Edwards said. "I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the two trips out east. It was like running in sand. Then, the defense really came back in the second half."
Just before the end of the third quarter, Virginia wide receiver Kevin Coffey scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Dan Ellis to bring increase the Cavalier lead to 28-14.
However, the Cougars answered with a 78-yard drive highlighted by a 70-yard reception by senior wide receiver Jonathan Pittman. Pittman's catch was the longest pass play for the Cougars since fellow-senior Margin Hooks' 77-yard reception last season against Utah.
Pittman's catch set up McDonald's third touchdown of the game -- a six-yard run to bring the Cougars within one touchdown.
After another touchdown by Virginia, BYU took control of the game. With 9:34 left in the game, BYU faced a fourth-and-one that was converted on a run up the middle by McDonald. The run set up a six-yard touchdown pass from Engemann to junior tight end Doug Jolley with 8:11 remaining in the game. The touchdown was the first of Engemann's career and made the score 35-28.
Virginia drove the ball to its own 49-yard line, but facing its own fourth-and-one situation Virginia coach George Welsh elected to go for the first down. The Cougar defense stopped the play for no gain.
The defensive stop put the Cougars in good position and Engemann capitalized. BYU drove to the Virginia six-yard line and with 50 seconds remaining in the game, Engemann found Hooks in the end zone to tie the score at 35-35.
Virginia responded to the Hooks' touchdown by driving the ball down the field and setting up a 48-yard field goal attempt with 10 seconds remaining which was missed by Virginia place-kicker David Greene.
BYU's Tyson Smith opened the overtime by intercepting an Ellis pass, stopping the Cavaliers and opened the door for Pochman's heroics.
Engemann ended the afternoon 34 of 41 for 447 yards passing. It marked the first time a Virginia team has given up 400 yards passing in a game since its 1995 meeting with Florida State. He finished the performance by completing his last 12 passes.
McDonald, who finished the game with 86 yards on 20 carries, rushed for three touchdowns, marking the first time a BYU player has rushed for three or more touchdowns in a game this season. The last Cougar to do that was Ronney Jenkins, who scored four rushing touchdowns against San Jose State on Oct. 24, 1998, in Provo.
The Cougar win marks the first time BYU has defeated Welsh. Welsh beat BYU once while head coach at Navy and was previously 2-0 against the Cougars as the head coach of Virginia. Despite his previous successes, Welsh was not surprised by the comeback.
"The last thing I said to the team this morning was no matter what happens in the first quarter and the first half, it's a 60-minute game," Welsh said. "BYU has always been a great second-half team. They've come from behind before."
BYU will open Mountain West Conference play next Saturday with a trip to the Air Force Academy. The game will start at 11 a.m.
Box Score (Final)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 OT Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 0 0 14 21 3 - 38 Record: (1-1)
Virginia............ 7 14 7 7 0 - 35 Record: (0-1)
1st 11:08 UVA - Harris, A. 28 yd run (Greene, D. kick), 8 plays, 80 yards,
TOP 3:52, BYU 0 - UVA 7
2nd 10:40 UVA - Womack, A. 4 yd run (Greene, D. kick), 10 plays, 95 yards,
TOP 4:13, BYU 0 - UVA 14
07:44 UVA - Foreman, T. 5 yd run (Greene, D. kick), 5 plays, 36 yards,
TOP 1:47, BYU 0 - UVA 21
3rd 12:26 BYU - McDonald, Brian 6 yd run (Pochman, O. kick), 7 plays, 80 yards,
TOP 2:34, BYU 7 - UVA 21
07:39 BYU - McDonald, Brian 1 yd run (Pochman, O. kick), 8 plays, 80 yards,
TOP 2:55, BYU 14 - UVA 21
00:29 UVA - Coffey, K. 28 yd pass from Ellis, D. (Greene, D. kick), 4 plays, 40 yards,
TOP 1:40, BYU 14 - UVA 28
4th 14:13 BYU - McDonald, Brian 6 yd run (Pochman, O. kick), 3 plays, 78 yards,
TOP 1:16, BYU 21 - UVA 28
12:13 UVA - Womack, A. 67 yd run (Greene, D. kick), 4 plays, 80 yards,
TOP 2:00, BYU 21 - UVA 35
08:11 BYU - Jolley, D. 6 yd pass from Engemann, B. (Pochman, O. kick), 9 plays, 69 yards,
TOP 4:02, BYU 28 - UVA 35
00:50 BYU - Hooks, M. 6 yd pass from Engemann, B. (Pochman, O. kick), 8 plays, 49 yards,
TOP 3:58, BYU 35 - UVA 35
OT 15:00 BYU - Pochman, O. 26 yd field goal, 3 plays, 16 yards,
TOP 0:00, BYU 38 - UVA 35
FIRST DOWNS................... 25 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 34-93 42-270
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 447 217
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 42-34-2 23-13-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 76-540 65-487
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 0-0 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-63 3-75
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-27 2-4
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 2-44.5 4-46.2
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards............... 6-45 2-15
Possession Time............... 32:09 27:51
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-6 5-29
RUSHING: Brigham Young-McDonald, Brian 20-86; Sitake, K. 2-19; Whalen, M.
3-18; Rigell, M. 1-6; TEAM 1-minus 2; Jolley, D. 1-minus 9; Engemann, B.
6-minus 25. Virginia-Womack, A. 15-160; Harris, A. 18-79; Foreman, T. 4-24;
Ellis, D. 5-7.
PASSING: Brigham Young-Engemann, B. 34-41-2-447; TEAM 0-1-0-0; Jolley, D.
0-0-0-0. Virginia-Ellis, D. 13-23-1-217.
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-Hooks, M. 7-76; Rigell, M. 7-53; Pittman, J. 6-161;
Jolley, D. 3-30; Sitake, K. 3-10; Halladay, S. 2-31; McDonald, Brian 2-31;
Ofahengaue, T. 1-32; Snowden, W. 1-12; Reid, G. 1-7; Whalen, M. 1-4.
Virginia-Dotson, D. 4-99; Coffey, K. 3-39; Johnson, J. 2-16; McMullen, B.
1-26; Harris, A. 1-17; Baber, B. 1-14; Luzar, C. 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-Smith, T. 1-27. Virginia-Spruill, T. 1-0;
Roberson, R. 1-4.
Stadium: Scott Stadium Attendance: 60435
Kickoff time: 3:35 PM End of Game: 6:58 PM Total elapsed time: 3:23
Officials: Referee: Gerald Wright; Umpire: Darrell Johnson;
Linesman: David Hettema; Line judge: Jack Lynch; Back judge: Perry Leyden;
Field judge: Andy Castagnola; Side judge: Karl Richins;
Temperature: 82 Deg Wind: 6 MPH Weather: 71% Humidity, Clouds
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-Kelley, I. 1-0. Virginia-Stamenich, L. 2-0;
Thweatt, B. 1-0; Isabelle, Y. 1-0; Simmons, L. 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-Ena, J. 6-8; Lee, J. 7-6; Kelley, I. 4-3;
Edwards, E. 2-4; Hoke, C. 2-3; Smith, T. 2-2; Joiner, I. 1-2; Staley, D.
1-2; Gali, S. 2-0; Wilson, D. 1-0; Bockwoldt, C. 1-0; Christensen, T. 1-0;
Ord, A. 0-1; Walkenhorst, P. 0-1; Phillips, D. 0-1; Keisel, B. 0-1; Lowe, J.
0-1; Denney, R. 0-1. Virginia-Evans, J. 5-8; Thweatt, B. 6-5; Crowell, A.
4-5; Newby, S. 5-2; Spruill, T. 1-5; Hawkins, A. 1-5; Isabelle, Y. 1-5;
Green, D. 1-5; Roberson, R. 4-0; Pope, M. 2-2; Stamenich, L. 2-2; Simmons,
D. 2-0; McWeeny, C. 0-2; Woodson, J. 1-0; Sanders, D. 1-0; Simmons, L. 1-0;
Mann, R. 0-1; Clark, W. 0-1.