Cougars roll past Boise State

(Photo by BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – Cody Hoffman became the all-time career touchdown receptions leader to lead BYU to a 37-20 victory against Boise State Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Hoffman recorded his 31st touchdown reception in the second quarter to pass All-American Austin Collie for first place in BYU history. He finished the game with four receptions and 57 yards receiving to go along with the touchdown grab.

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BYU (6-2) became bowl eligible for the ninth straight year under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars handed Boise State (5-3, 3-1 MW) its first loss in October since 2001 when the Broncos fell to Rice.

Taysom Hill was 27 for 41 for 339 yards and three touchdowns, with 69 yards rushing on 18 carries and a rushing touchdown. Jamaal Williams ran for 107 yards on 21 carries for his sixth career 100-yard rushing game.

Uani ‘ Unga recorded 15 tackles for his fifth game with 10 or more tackles this season. Alani Fua added a career-high 13 tackles, and Spencer Hadley tied a career high with 12 tackles. Remington Peck had a career-high two fumble recoveries in the game. The defense forced four turnovers and held the Broncos to two-for-five on fourth down attempts.

BYU stopped the Boise State for the sixth-straight time (including the game last season) on fourth down on Boise State’s opening drive of the game to get the ball. BYU drove the length of the field before a missed 37-yard field goal kept the score tied at 0-0.

A three-and-out by the Cougar defense gave the ball back to BYU. Both Kyle Van Noy and Fua had pass breakups to keep the Broncos from moving more than two yards.

The Cougar offense took over on its own 16-yard line, and Hill scampered in from 20 yards out for his 12th rushing touchdown of his career to put BYU up 7-0 with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter. On the drive, Hill hit JD Falslev twice for 25 yards and Kaneakua Friel once for 22 yards to put the Cougars deep into Boise State territory and set up the TD run by Hill.

After a second three-and-out in the first quarter by Boise State, Justin Sorensen nailed a 28-yard field goal as the first play of the second quarter to put BYU up 10-0.

Two drives later, Boise State scored its first point of the game on a 33-yard field goal to bring the score to 10-3 with just under five minutes left in the second quarter.

Four plays later, BYU increased its lead to 17-3 when Hill hit Ross Apo for a 37-yard scoring strike. A play earlier, Hill hit Hoffman for a 35-yard pass on 3rd-and-5 to move the ball into Boise State territory.

The Cougar defense responded the same way as the offense did, recording a big stop four plays later as junior safety Craig Bills forced a fumble that Peck jumped on to give BYU the ball on the Boise State 47-yard line.

It only took six plays for the offense to capitalize on the turnover. Hill hit Hoffman in the back corner of the end zone to put BYU up 24-3. On the play, Hoffman ripped the ball away from the corner for his 31st career touchdown reception to become the all-time TD reception leader at BYU.

Boise State used a 61-yard run on its first drive of the second half to the BYU 19-yard line and threatened to score. A big third-down stop by Bill behind the line of scrimmage forced the Broncos to settle for a 34-yard field goal.

BYU responded with another six-play scoring drive. Jamaal Williams and Paul Lasike combined for two first downs catching and running the ball. Three plays later, Hill hit Mitch Mathews in stride for a 40-yard bomb to put the Cougars up 31-6 with just under nine minutes left in the third quarter.

Before the end of the third quarter, Boise State scored a touchdown on a five-yard rush and Sorensen added his second field goal of the game to put the score at 34-13 going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Boise State added another touchdown, and Sorensen added his third field goal of the game for the final score of 37-20 for the game. 

BYU has a bye next week before traveling to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers on Nov. 9. 

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