Sophomore quarterback John Beck threw for a career high 390 yards and two touchdowns against No. 21 Boise State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BOISE -- On a night when the BYU offense came alive, a missed field goal in the final minute sealed the 28-27 win for the Boise State Broncos Saturday and extended the Cougar losing streak to three.
"I thought our guys played with a lot of energy," BYU coach Gary Crowton said. "Our guys played hard and they were confident coming in. It's frustrating to lose on a field goal but in a lot of ways it's preparing us for the conference."
John Beck and Todd Watkins were the stars for the Cougar offense, which had season highs of 416 yards of total offense and 27 points. Beck completed 20 of 35 pass attempts for a career high 390 yards and two touchdowns. Watkins caught nine passes for 212 yards and one touchdown on a 79-yard catch in the third quarter. The offense also finished the game with zero turnovers.
"Beck played really well," Crowton said. "His shoulder is still sore but he is getting better. The combination of Beck and the receiving corps has the potential to get better and better as the season goes on."
Quarterback Jared Zabransky and receiver T.J. Acree led the Bronco offense. Zabransky was 20 of 28 for 299 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. Acree caught seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cougar defense played tough, limiting the No. 1 offensive team in the country that had average 55 points and 544 yards per game to 28 points and 398 yards of total offense. The defense also added a season high six sacks for 55 yards.
Down 28-27, BYU took possession of the ball with 3:33 left in the game. After an incomplete pass and a sack, the Broncos were called for a pass interference penalty to give the Cougars a first down. Beck then completed three straight passes to put BYU in field goal position on the Boise 29.
The Cougars then rushed three times to move the ball to the 20 to set up the attempt by Payne with 23 seconds remaining. The kicked went wide left, ending his streak of 28 consecutive field goals and giving the Broncos the win.
Just minutes before the miss, Boise had taken the lead back from the Cougars. Down 27-22, Zabransky and Acree hooked up for their second touchdown of the night on a 44-yard play. After a failed two-point conversion, the Broncos were ahead 28-27.
Boise State sprinted out to the early lead in the first quarter, taking advantage of good field position and a struggling BYU offense. The Cougars put the Broncos on the board with a safety when Beck, throwing out of the end zone, was called for intentional grounding.
Boise State's offense then took its turn, starting near midfield after the free kick by Payne. Three runs for 22 yards set up the scoring play as Zabransky found T.J. Acree on a screen pass that he took 20 yards for the touchdown putting the Broncos up 9-0.
The Cougars continued to struggle on their next drive, failing to gain a first down and punting the ball away again from deep in their own territory. Boise State, starting again from near midfield, moved the ball with ease, scoring on a five-yard run by Antwaun Carter to make the score 16-0.
The next possession was no better for BYU, going three and out and giving the ball back to the Broncos. A good punt return was negated by an illegal blocking penalty, putting the ball on the Boise State 15. On the second play of the drive, the Cougar's Brandon Heaney recovered a fumble by Lawrence Bady on the 22 to set up BYU's first score.
It took the Cougar's only four rushes to find the end zone, a seven yard run by Curtis Brown, two runs of six and seven by Beck, and a two yarder for the score by Brown, his first touchdown since the 2002 game against Utah State when he scored three. It was also only the second time this season BYU has scored off a turnover. That possession was a turning point for both teams in the first half.
"The defense kept its composure and made a big play," Crowton said. "The offense took care of it and helped get us some momentum."
Boise State's offense sputtered in the second quarter, finishing with three punts and a missed 45-yard field goal. BYU was able to put together two long drives that ended in Payne field goals.
The first field goal drive started with a 50-yard pass from Beck to Bryce Mahuika. After two short passes, Beck found Watkins on a 13-yard pass that put the ball on the one-yard line. Three unsuccessful plays and BYU was forced to settle with a 32-yard field goal, making the score 16-10.
The Cougar's made it 16-13 on a 42-yard Payne field goal one possession later. Watkins had three catches for 45 yards on the possession including a 30-yard catch that put BYU in Bronco territory.
Boise kicked off to the Cougars to start the third, giving BYU a chance to tie the game or take the lead. The offense again struggled, going three and out and forcing another punt from Payne.
The Bronco's Chris Carr returned the kick 22-yards, helping set up a 47-yard field goal by Tyler Jones.
With the score 19-13, the Cougar offense failed to move the ball once more and punted it away. Zabransky got the Bronco's moving when, facing third and six, he found Acree on a 39-yard passing play. Three short runs later and Jones hit his second field goal of the game, a 37-yarder, to put Boise up 22-13.
In danger of letting the game slip away, BYU's Beck and Watkins hooked up for a 79-yard touchdown pass on third and nine to make it 22-20, Boise. It was the longest scoring reception since 1999 when Margin Hooks caught a 77-yard pass from Kevin Feterik against Utah.
The Cougars were not done in the third, as the defense stepped up on Boise's next possession and Heaney picked off a Zabransky pass to give BYU the ball on its own 32. Facing fourth and one on their own 42, the Cougars converted to keep the drive alive. The risk paid off as BYU took its first lead of the game at 27-22 two plays later when Beck found Austin Collie on a 57-yard touchdown pass down the sideline.
The Cougars will open conference play next Saturday against Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Crowton feels both teams will come in hungry and ready after playing tough non-conference schedules.
"Colorado State has also played a tough schedule so it will be a tough game," Crowton said. "Hopefully we can get off to a good start in conference play with a win."
Box Score (Final)
Brigham Young vs #21 Boise State (Sep 24, 2004 at Boise, Idaho)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 7 6 14 0 - 27 Record: (1-3)
Boise State......... 16 0 6 6 - 28 Record: (4-0,1-0)
1st 10:57 BSU - Andy Avalos safety
09:17 BSU - T.J. Acree 20 yd pass from Zabransky (TJones kick), 4-42 1:34
04:09 BSU - Carter 5 yd run (Jones kick), 7-52 3:22
00:28 BYU - BROWN, C. 2 yd run (PAYNE kick), 4-22 1:46
2nd 07:29 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 32 yd field goal, 8-59 4:19
03:28 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 42 yd field goal, 9-47 2:31
3rd 10:07 BSU - Tyler Jones 47 yd field goal, 7-21 2:45
04:36 BSU - Tyler Jones 37 yd field goal, 8-53 3:12
03:41 BYU - WATKINS, 79 yd pass from BECK, J. (PAYNE, kick), 3-80 0:55
00:34 BYU - COLLIE, A. 57 yd pass from BECK, J. (PAYNE, kick), 6-68 1:43
4th 03:42 BSU - Acree 44 yd pass from Zabransky (Zabransky pass failed), 3-57 0:50
FIRST DOWNS................... 15 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 35-25 45-89
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 390 310
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 35-20-0 29-21-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 70-415 74-399
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-0 6-57
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-66 6-103
Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-0 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 7-44.0 5-42.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards............... 7-39 5-45
Possession Time............... 28:23 31:37
Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 17 5 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 1 0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 3-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 6-55 8-44
RUSHING: Brigham Young-BROWN, Curtis 9-26; TAHI, Naufahu 8-16; COLLIE,
Austin 1-6; BECK, John
17-minus 23. Boise State-Lee Marks 13-63; Antwaun Carter 7-21; Jeff
Carpenter 5-16; Quinton Jones
1-9; Mark Onibokun 1-4; Lawrence Bady 1-1; J. Helmandollar 1-0; TEAM 3-
minus 8; Jared Zabransky
PASSING: Brigham Young-BECK, John 20-35-0-390. Boise State-Jared
Zabransky 20-28-1-302; Mark
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-WATKINS, Todd 9-211; COLLIE, Austin 5-94;
KUKAHIKO, Jason 3-26; MAHUIKA,
Bryce 1-50; HALE, Chris 1-7; HARRIS, Antwaun 1-2. Boise State-T.J. Acree
7-133; Drisan James 5-57;
Mark Onibokun 3-44; Lawrence Bady 1-31; Andy Weldon 1-15; Josh Smith 1
-12; Jared Zabransky 1-8;
Jason Murray 1-7; Derek Schouman 1-3.
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-HEANEY, Brandon 1-0. Boise State-None.
FUMBLES: Brigham Young-None. Boise State-Lawrence Bady 1-1.
Stadium: Bronco Stadium Attendance: 30601
Kickoff time: 8:07 pm End of Game: 11:54 Total elapsed time: 3:48
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-DENNEY, John 1-0; BROWN, Manaia 1-0; JENSEN,
Cameron 1-0; POPPINGA,
Brady 1-0; NUA, Shaun 1-0; LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-0. Boise State-Korey Hall 1
-2; Julius Roberts 1-1;
Austin Smith 1-1; Andy Avalos 1-1; Chris Carr 0-1; Mike Williams 0-1;
Alex Guerrero 0-1.
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-FRANCISCO, Aaro 8-8; JENSEN, Cameron 7-3;
POPPINGA, Brady 3-7;
SOELBERG, Natha 4-4; HEANEY, Brandon 3-3; WHITE, Spencer 1-5; PAYNE, Matt
3-1; LUETTGERODT, Ju 1-3;
FEULA, Vince 1-3; NUA, Shaun 1-3; BUCHANAN, Kayle 2-1; DENNEY, John 1-2;
BROWN, Manaia 2-0; LOVELY,
Gary 2-0; PEAUA, Moa 1-0; MAHUIKA, Bryce 1-0; BURBIDGE, Jon 1-0; BAUMAN,
Matt 0-1; GOOCH, Quinn 0-1;
CARLSON-MADDUX 0-1; MARQUARDT, Dani 0-1; COOPER, Brett 0-1; COLLIE,
Austin 0-1; MARQUARDT, Mich 0-1.
Boise State-Korey Hall 5-6; Andy Avalos 4-4; Chris Carr 2-6; Gabe
Franklin 4-3; G. Alexander 4-3;
Andrew Browning 3-2; Colt Brooks 2-3; Deshan Cabaong 2-2; Mike Williams
1-3; Austin Smith 2-1; Alex
Guerrero 2-1; Julius Roberts 1-2; Jared Hunter 1-0; Cam Hall 1-0; Josh
Bean 1-0; Quinton Jones 0-1;
A. Nyong-Dunham 0-1.