Defense Holds for Cougars

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

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PROVO, Utah -- The Cougar defense held on late in the fourth quarter to give BYU (3-5, 2-2 MWC) a 25-20 victory over Wyoming (2-6, 0-4) in front of 60,505 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.

With 27 seconds left in the game and the Cowboy offense facing a 4th-and-10 at the Cougar 26-yard line, freshman linebacker Kyle Van Noy batted down an Austyn Carta-Samuels pass to seal the Cougars' second conference win of the season.

“It was a great football game," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “I was glad to see signs of improvement. We relied heavily on run game and completed some passes at critical times."

With the win, BYU improved its winning streak against Wyoming to six straight, including eight in a row dating back to the 1987 season at Edwards Stadium.

The Cougar defense held Wyoming to 18 yards of total offense in the first half including minus-15 yards rushing while posting a season-high 12 tackles-for-loss on the day. Senior Vic So'oto had a strong outing with four tackles, three for loss, including one sack and a game-high two quarterback hurries.

Seniors Shane Hunter and Vic So'oto recorded six and five tackles, respectively, while Van Noy, senior Andrew Rich and sophomore Brandon Ogletree added four tackles apiece. So'oto set a new career mark with a game-best four tackles-for-loss, including one sack, while adding a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries. Rich broke up a game-high three passes.

Junior running back Bryan Kariya led the Cougar ground game with a career-high 88 yards rushing on 19 carries. Junior JJ Di Luigi added 82 yards of his own on 16 carries, while freshman Joshua Quezada carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards.

"We had a number of chances to pull away," Mendenhall said. "I like this team’s resilience and we played well enough to win the game.”

An impressive opening Cougar drive ate up 4:25 of game clock and covered 58 yards on 10 plays. Di Luigi gave BYU a 7-0 lead, scoring his sixth touchdown of the season on a seven-yard touchdown run. Junior Mitch Payne converted his 166th career PAT attempt.

On the ensuing Wyoming possession, a bad snap over the head of Carta-Samuels resulted in a safety and two points for the Cougars.

With 4:53 left in the first quarter, the Cougars increased the lead to 16-0 on a four-yard touchdown run from Kariya. The scoring drive covered 33 yards on five plays.

The Cowboys got on the board with four minutes left in the first half when linebacker Keith Lewis intercepted BYU quarterback Jake Heaps and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore Ian Watts converted the PAT attempt to narrow the Cougar lead to nine points. Wyoming scored again after a BYU turnover but the Cougar defense made sure it was only a field goal. After recovering a Quezada fumble at the Cougar 20-yard line, Wyoming's next next three plays resulted in a loss of seven yards before Watts added three more for the Cowboys with 42 seconds left in the first half to make the score 16-10.

Payne extended the Cougar lead in the third quarter with a 42-yard field goal, capping a 5-play, 18-yard drive. Quezada had three carries for 14 yards on the drive.

After being held to only one yard of total offense for most of the first half, Wyoming completed a 56-yard drive with a Watts field goal to make the score 19-13.

Heaps completed the second touchdown pass of his career with a 12-yard strike to junior wide receiver Luke Ashworth just under three minutes into the fourth quarter to extend the Cougar lead to 25-13 after a failed two-point conversion. Heaps was 3-of-4 for 40 yards during the 7-play, 70-yard drive.

“It was a play we’ve been practicing all week,” Ashworth said. “The coaches knew what routes we should run and it worked well.”

Ashworth finished the day with a season-high 57 receiving yards on a career-high six catches and one touchdown.

The Cowboys would not go silently, pulling within five after a 16-yard Carta-Samuels touchdown pass to sophomore Chris McNeill with 6:50 left in the game.

The Cougars have a bye next week before returning to LaVell Edwards Stadium Nov. 6 in a Mountain West Conference matchup against UNLV. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Scoring Summary (Final)

 

Wyoming (2-6,0-4) vs. BYU (3-5,2-2)

Date: Oct 23, 2010 Site: Provo, Utah Stadium: LaVell Edwards

Attendance: 60505

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Wyoming............. 0 10 3 7 - 20

BYU................. 16 0 3 6 - 25

Scoring Summary:

1st 10:35 BY - DI LUIGI, JJ 7 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 10-58 4:25, WY 0 - BY 7

09:53 BY - TEAM safety, , WY 0 - BY 9

04:53 BY - KARIYA, Bryan 4 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 5-33 1:52, WY 0 - BY 16

2nd 03:50 WY - LEWIS, Keith 55 yd interception return (WATTS, Ian kick), , WY 7 - BY 16

00:52 WY - WATTS, Ian 44 yd field goal, 4--7 1:56, WY 10 - BY 16

3rd 05:20 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 42 yd field goal, 9-48 4:32, WY 10 - BY 19

00:30 WY - WATTS, Ian 38 yd field goal, 11-56 4:45, WY 13 - BY 19

4th 12:34 BY - ASHWORTH, Luke 12 yd pass from HEAPS, Jake (HEAPS, Jake pass failed), 7-70 2:31, WY 13 - BY 25

06:50 WY - MCNEILL, Chris 16 yd pass from CARTA-SAMUELS,A (WATTS, Ian kick), 4-80 1:20, WY 20 - BY 25

WY BY

FIRST DOWNS................... 13 20

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 27-63 51-217

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 110 81

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 29-13-0 18-10-1

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 56-173 69-298

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 1--4 2-12

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-88 6-157

Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-55 0-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-31.0 4-40.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards............... 7-65 8-70

Possession Time............... 26:35 33:25

Third-Down Conversions........ 2 of 12 5 of 13

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 2 0 of 0

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-1 3-4

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-11 3-18

RUSHING: Wyoming-HERRON, Robert 6-62; CARTA-SAMUELS,A 9-13; CRUM, Dax

2-10; ALEXANDER, A. 9-minus 7; TEAM 1-minus 15. BYU-KARIYA, Bryan 19-88; DI

LUIGI, JJ 16-82; QUEZADA, Joshua 14-59; TEAM 1-minus 1; HEAPS, Jake 1-minus 11.

PASSING: Wyoming-CARTA-SAMUELS,A 13-26-0-110; CRUM, Dax 0-3-0-0.

BYU-HEAPS, Jake 10-18-1-81.

RECEIVING: Wyoming-BOLGER, Zach 4-44; STUDNICKA, B. 2-26; LEONARD, David

2-10; MCNEILL, Chris 1-16; BURKHALTER, T. 1-13; ALEXANDER, A. 1-5; HERRON,

Robert 1-2; CARLSON, Nick 1-minus 6. BYU-ASHWORTH, Luke 6-57; MATHEWS, Marcus

1-17; HOFFMAN, Cody 1-7; MUEHLMANN, Mike 1-4; DI LUIGI, JJ 1-minus 4.

INTERCEPTIONS: Wyoming-LEWIS, Keith 1-55. BYU-None.

FUMBLES: Wyoming-TEAM 1-0. BYU-QUEZADA, Joshua 1-1.

SACKS (UA-A): Wyoming-BIEZUNS, Josh 1-0. BYU-WAGNER, Jadon 1-0;

MANUMALEUNA, Ea 1-0; SO'OTO, Vic 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Wyoming-GARY, Shamiel 7-6; SCHOBER, Oliver 4-5;

PROSINSKI,Chris 5-3; GIPSON, Tashaun 4-2; PURCELL, Mike 2-4; RUFF, Luke 3-1;

TONEY, Alex 2-2; MERTENS,Patrick 2-2; HENDRICKS,Brian 2-2; GIPSON, Marcell 3-0; MUHAMMAD,Ghaali 2-1; BIRKENESS, Mat 2-1; LEWIS, Keith 2-0; HALL, Reece 2-0;

DURBIN, Ben 1-1; BIEZUNS, Josh 1-1; KNAPTON, Gabe 0-2; HARRIS, Devyn 1-0; HUFF,Marqueston 0-1; LAWSON, Eric 0-1; HARTFORD, P. 0-1. BYU-HUNTER,

Shane 3-3; SO'OTO, Vic 4-1; OGLETREE, Brand 4-0; RICH, Andrew 3-1; VAN NOY, Kyle

2-2; JORGENSEN, Aust 3-0; UALE, Travis 3-0; WAGNER, Jadon 1-2; MANUMALEUNA, Ea

2-0; LOGAN, Brian 2-0; PUTNAM, Matt 1-1; BRADLEY, Brando 1-1; FOOTE, David 1-0;

EASON, Corby 1-0; ANSAH, Ezekiel 1-0; HESS, Connell 0-1.

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