Senior linebacker David Nixon recorded a career-high 14 tackles and one interception in BYU's 41-12 win over SDSU Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- The BYU football team capped a remarkable third-straight undefeated home season with its 41-12 win over San Diego State on Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars improve to 9-1, 5-1; while the Aztecs fall to 1-9, 0-6.
The game marked many milestones for individuals and the team alike while 22 seniors were honored in their final home game.
“I was proud of the seniors today,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “It is three years straight that we haven’t lost at home and I think we’ve accomplished a lot to set the foundation of our program.”
The team remains undefeated at home dating back to 2005, while the 18-straight home wins marks the most in BYU history.
BYU junior quarterback Max Hall led the Cougars, passing for 317 yards, completing 25-of-30.
In nine of Hall’s completions he met junior receiver Austin Collie, who entered the game as the nation’s leading receiver in both total yards and yards per game. Collie had another standout game with a total of 127 yards, marking his eighth-straight game over the century mark and 14th overall. With that, Collie became the Mountain West Conference all-time leader for 100-yard games.
On the defensive side of the ball, BYU senior linebacker David Nixon had a career-best 14 total tackles and one interception. Nixon served as a catalyst for the entire defense who limited SDSU to 280 offensive yards and only one touchdown.
From SDSU’s first possession the BYU defense took control of the game, forcing a turnover on the first snap to give BYU the football just past the 50-yard line.
Hall commanded the offense with a series of short passes to receivers Collie and senior Michael Reed. Hall kept the chains moving, converting on second-down three times before senior running back Fui Vakapuna made the final seven-yard scamper into the end zone.
The Cougars put another mark on the board in the second quarter. After punting on the first possession, sophomore kicker Mitch Payne redeemed the team by kicking a 33-yard field goal to bring the BYU lead to 10-0.
After another Aztec punt, the Cougar offense came to life. After hitting Pitta and Collie for short gains, Hall connected with Reed for a 56-yard pass, before junior tight end Andrew George made a six-yard touchdown reception.
With less than four minutes left in the first half, Nixon intercepted SDSU quarterback Ryan Lindley’s pass at the 32-yard line. In an attempt to take advantage of the field position, BYU managed to drive to the eight-yard line, before a penalty pushed the team back. Payne put the football through the uprights again to give the Cougars a 20-0 lead.
On the second-half kickoff Michael Alisa forced another SDSU fumble, with BYU recovering the football on the 29-yard line. The Cougars took little time to reach the end zone when senior running back Wayne Latu made a three-yard touchdown drive to extend the lead to 27-0.
The Aztecs ruined BYU’s hope for a third shutout this season when Lane Yoshida kicked a 49-yard field goal. Lindley connected on six of seven attempts, before the Cougar defense, covered three incomplete passes, forcing SDSU to settle for the field goal.
Collie ran the following kickoff return to the 44-yard line, but the Cougars turned the ball over, giving SDSU a chance to shorten BYU’s lead. The turnover proved costly as the Aztecs were able to squeeze three points out of the possession with a 34-yard field goal.
To start the final quarter of play, Hall and Collie connected for a 61-yard touchdown. The defense continued to dominate over the Aztecs when Shawn Doman recovered a fumble on the 49-yard line. Hall and Collie met for another touchdown reception, marking consecutive touchdowns on the game for the pair.
The near-perfect defense surrendered only one touchdown during the game at the tail end of the fourth quarter. After a BYU punt and penalty SDSU took possession at the 31-yard line and drove down field to top off the game with a nine-yard touchdown pass. After making two field goals during the game, the Aztec kicker missed the PAT, keeping the score at 41-12.
The Cougars continue their strive for another MWC championship when they travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to face the Air Force Falcons on Nov. 15 at 1:30 p.m.
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Box Score (Final)
SD vs BYU (Nov 08, 2008 at Provo, Utah)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
SD.................. 0 0 6 6 - 12 Record: (1-9,0-6)
BYU................. 7 13 7 14 - 41 Record: (9-1,5-1)
1st 09:42 BY - VAKAPUNA, Fui 7 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-49 2:50, SD 0 - BY 7
2nd 08:37 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 34 yd field goal, 10-38 4:03, SD 0 - BY 10
05:19 BY - GEORGE, Andrew 6 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 5-80 1:48, SD 0 - BY 17
00:36 BY - PAYNE, Mitch 25 yd field goal, 6-25 3:06, SD 0 - BY 20
3rd 12:55 BY - LATU, Wayne 3 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 5-29 1:57, SD 0 - BY 27
04:18 SD - YOSHIDA, Lane 49 yd field goal, 12-42 5:16, SD 3 - BY 27
01:10 SD - YOSHIDA, Lane 34 yd field goal, 6-42 2:16, SD 6 - BY 27
4th 14:03 BY - COLLIE, Austin 61 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 6-78 2:00, SD 6 - BY 34
10:07 BY - COLLIE, Austin 9 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-51 2:58, SD 6 - BY 41
00:49 SD - MOUGEY, Darren 9 yd pass from LINDLEY, Ryan (YOSHIDA, Lane kick failed), 5-31 2:12, SD 12 - BY 41
FIRST DOWNS................... 18 18
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 28-120 37-104
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 160 317
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 37-21-1 30-25-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 65-280 67-421
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 3-18 1-1
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 6-112 4-107
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-35.8 4-41.2
Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-3 1-1
Penalties-Yards............... 2-20 5-50
Possession Time............... 28:30 31:30
Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 15 6 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 3 1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-3 6-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 3-14 0-0
RUSHING: SD-CAMPBELL, Tyler 4-41; BROWN, Vincent 2-36; WESLEY, Mekell
4-18; MOUGEY, Darren 5-10; HENDERSON, Atiy 9-10; ALLEN, Russell 1-5; LINDLEY,
Ryan 3-0. BYU-UNGA, Harvey 11-37; HALL, Max 9-22; VAKAPUNA, Fui 8-18; LATU,
Wayne 3-15; COLLIE, Austin 1-11; KARIYA, Bryan 3-3; GASKINS, Brende 1-minus 1;
TEAM 1-minus 1.
PASSING: SD-LINDLEY, Ryan 21-36-1-160; WALLACE, Robert 0-1-0-0. BYU-HALL,
RECEIVING: SD-BROWN, Vincent 7-52; WALLACE, Robert 4-33; MOUGEY, Darren
4-32; HENDERSON, Atiy 4-23; SPENCER, Waika 2-20. BYU-COLLIE, Austin 9-127; REED,
Michael 5-95; PITTA, Dennis 5-59; UNGA, Harvey 2-14; GEORGE, Andrew 2-12;
KARIYA, Bryan 1-8; WHITE, Reed 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS: SD-None. BYU-NIXON, David 1-0.
FUMBLES: SD-WESLEY, Mekell 1-1; LINDLEY, Ryan 1-1; MOUGEY, Darren 1-1.
BYU-LATU, Wayne 1-1.
SACKS (UA-A): SD-ALLEN, Russell 1-0; LONG, Jerome 1-0; WILLIAMS, B.J.
TACKLES (UA-A): SD-BOUDREAUX, Core 6-5; WILLIAMS, B.J. 5-6; ALLEN,
Russell 3-5; LAOLAGI, Luke 4-3; LONG, Jerome 3-4; MOORE, Aaron 4-1; HOLMES,
Vonnie 4-0; PRESTON, Andrew 1-3; YARBROUGH, Marc 2-1; FIFITA, Siaosi 0-3; BROWN,
Davon 1-1; SOTO, Jonathan 1-1; IKONNE, Eric 1-1; KETCHUM, Logan 0-2; WESTLING,
Drew 0-2; YOSHIDA, Lane 1-0; MCKAY, T.J. 1-0; HEMMINGS, Dey J 0-1; ABRAMS,
Dustin 0-1; SHAW, Justin 0-1; DAVIS, Brandon 0-1. BYU-NIXON, David 8-6; BAUMAN,
Matt 4-6; TAFUNA, David 4-2; CLAWSON, Coleby 2-4; DOMAN, Shawn 2-3; FOKETI,
Mosese 1-3; FOWLER, Kellen 2-1; DULAN, Ian 2-1; HOWARD, Brandon 1-2; RICH,
Andrew 1-2; PUTNAM, Matt 1-2; SO'OTO, Vic 1-1; AH YOU, Matt 0-2; BRADLEY, Brando
1-0; SORENSEN, Danie 1-0; MORGAN, Blake 1-0; HUNTER, Shane 1-0; KARIYA, Bryan
1-0; DENNEY, Brett 1-0; PENDLETON, Jord 1-0; REDEN, Garrett 1-0; ALISA, Michael
1-0; JORGENSEN, Jan 0-1; OSWALD, David 0-1; DILUIGI, JJ 0-1; LUEKENGA, Kyle 0-1;
TIALAVEA, Russe 0-1.