SAN JOSE, Calif. – Defensive back Michael Wadsworth prevented a two-point conversion to shut down a San Jose State comeback and give BYU football a 17-16 win on Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
With 0:45 seconds left in the game, SJSU quarterback Kenny Potter rushed six yards to the pylon for six to make it a one-point game. San Jose State went for the win and attempted the two-point conversion with a halfback pass. Wadsworth read the play and was able to get a hand up to disrupt the pass and the ball fell to the turf to preserve the lead.
The Spartans tried for the onside kick and 6-foot-6 BYU wide receiver Mitch Mathews out-jumped San Jose State's hands team and knocked the ball out of bounds, giving possession to the Cougars to seal the win.
“I thought our defense played well," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We gave up one touchdown, and I think that was the key to the game was our defensive consistency. We have plenty to work on, but I think our team continues to show that they hang together and they find a way to win. But there’s a lot we can clean up.”
BYU (7-2) tallied 329 total yards, outgaining San Jose's (4-5, 3-2 Mountain West Conference) 269 yards. The teams were equal in sacks and turnovers with three and one apiece on a night that saw its up's and down's. The Cougars dominated the pass game with 293 compared to the Spartans' 147.
Wadsworth led the defense with 10 total tackles in the win. Fred Warner had two sacks to go along with his eight tackles.
Tanner Mangum went 23 of 37 for 293 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Devon Blackmon notched 102 yards on six catches, his third 100-yard receiving game. Mitch Mathews caught the lone receiving touchdown in the game as one of four receptions totaling 62 yards.
San Jose marched down the field in its first possession to first and goal, but BYU’s defense held them to a field goal after Bronson Kaufusi and Jherremya Leuta-Douyere sacked the quarterback for a loss of 12 yards.
The Cougars’ answered with in a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mathews from Mangum with 10:07 left in the first quarter to take the 7-3 lead after a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Mathews also had a 19-yard reception in the drive to set up the scoring play.
The second series for BYU’s offense resulted in its second touchdown of the game. A couple of key receptions by Blackmon, one for 5 yards and the other for 16 yards, set up Algernon Brown to rush 5 yards for a score to extend the lead to 14-3 with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter.
Neither team’s offense was able to stay on the field for the majority of the second quarter. The Spartans sacked Mangum in two different series on third down to force the Cougars to punt.
When San Jose attempted to convert on fourth down inside of BYU territory, the ball was fumbled and recovered by Warner.
BYU's final drive of the first half took a turn when Mathews nearly had his second touchdown of the game jarred loose by SJSU's Cleveland Wallace III in the endzone. On the next play Mangum was intercepted by Wallace III, who then ran it 61 yards for a touchdown, leaving the halftime score at 14-10.
Neither team put together much offense in the third quarter and BYU's defense held SJSU off the board again after a missed 46-yard field goal.
To start the fourth quarter, Mangum found Nick Kurtz for a 16-yard gain. A huge catch by Blackmon for 24 yards set up Trevor Samson for the 31-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-10 with 11:21 left in the game.
The field goal proved to be the difference after SJSU mounted a touchdown drive on its final possession. The Spartans capitalized on a 34-yard quarterback run on a 4th-and-1 when Kenny Potter rolled outside of the BYU defense and got loose. The play set up the Spartan score but Wadsworth had the final say with the pass breakup on the two-point try.
The Cougars hit the road again next week to face Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 14. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CST and will be live on the SEC Network. It will also be broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and Sirius XM 143.
PROVO, Utah - BYU football returns to action with a Friday night matchup against San Jose State, Nov. 6, with kickoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network from Spartan Stadium in San Jose.
The Cougars (6-2) are coming off a bye week after winning their fourth game in a row to reach bowl eligibility for the 11th straight season. The Spartans (4-4, 3-2 Mountain West) are also coming off a bye week after a win against New Mexico on Oct. 24.
Fans can tune in for live coverage on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell, which can be found on 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, Sirius XM 143, BYUcougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. IMG's radio coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. PT.
BYUtv will provide pregame and postgame coverage, with Countdown to Kickoff starting at 7:30 p.m. PT. Postgame coverage runs for half an hour after the game.
BYU (6-2) at San Jose State (4-4, 3-2)
Friday, Nov. 6
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. PT
San Jose, California
LAST TIME VS. SAN JOSE STATE. BYU lost a heartbreaker to San Jose State the last time the two faced off. Trailing 20-14, BYU grabbed an onside kick with just over two and a half minutes remaining and drove to the SJSU 21-yard line before a sack and fumble secured the win for the Spartans. San Jose State went on to win 11 games that season and finish the season ranked No. 21 in the nation.
BOWLING. At 6-2, BYU is bowl eligible for the 11th consecutive year; every year under Mendenhall. Entering the 2015 season, BYU was one of only 12 programs to earn a bowl invitation each of the past 10 seasons. BYU is expected to go to either the Las Vegas Bowl or Hawaii Bowl if not selected to a New Year’s Six game.
STRONG FINISH NOVEMBER. BYU is 30-6 in the month of November under Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougars have gone undefeated in November five times under Mendenhall (‘06, ‘07, ‘09, ‘11, ‘14). After an entire October at home, BYU will be away from home for three of four games in the month of November. A trip to San Jose State is followed by a matchup with Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Cougars play their final home game on Nov. 21 against Fresno State then head north to Logan to finish the regular season with Utah State.
FRESHMAN PLAYERS. BYU has played 28 freshmen this season (16 true, 12 redshirts), tied for the third-most in the country. Only Rice (31) and TCU (30) have played more freshman than the Cougars.
“Seems like a long time since we have played. It always does after a bye week. We worked our team hard today. It was a padded practice in Tuesday format. Our players didn’t have time to work back into it or test the waters, but we worked hard. And I think they handled it pretty well.”
On San Jose State:
“We’ve watched San Jose State, they have a really veteran coaching staff that has a lot of credibility and a lot of experience. They also have a really great tailback and an aggressive defense. We’ll be getting a late start down there, so we are looking forward to getting back in action and having a strong finish to the game and the season.”
On Hine making his way back into the lineup:
“Adam will work his way back in. It’s going to take some time to see exactly where he is. Practice is one thing, seeing him in the game is going to be another. His role will kind of be defined once we see him in the game and see what that looks like.”
On his reaction to the defense giving up big plays:
“First of all, I hope we don’t ever give up a big play, but we do on occasion. One of the things I work hard to do is to not be too high or too low on the sidelines. I’m the same at practice. The intent and the message is that it’s simply the next play. Consistency, resiliency and moving on is the way I would like the defense to handle it.”
On the loss to San Jose State three years ago:
“That was a hard one. Of all the games that I’ve coached I usually only remember the games that sting the most. I remember we were driving to either tie or go ahead and they blitzed on fourth down, and I remember the exact blitz. A guy either hurdled Jamal (Williams) as he went to cut block him or something else, and San Jose State ended up winning. Their coach and team had one of the best years they had that year.”
On what the staff learned during the bye week:
“We learned a lot. Not much that I’m going to reveal today, but it’s just fun. You know, week in and week out, there’s not much time to just step back and see the big picture of the team, and it’s hard to remember some of the earlier games. But there were some things that were more successful than I remembered, and some things that we were continuing to do that weren’t quite as successful. The key is just to reframe and to do the things that have established themselves as consistent producers and get rid of the things that have been inconsistent or fix the things that have been inconsistent about those things. And sometimes personnel, a player or two might have played better or worse than you think at the time, so there might be a little shuffle here or there.”
On moving Peck to the offense:
“Coach Anae and I were thinking about Moses Kaumatule and how we were thin at tight end, and Moses was still learning the defense. So that wasn’t a thing we could do because he had more on his plate than he could handle just learning one side. But the epiphany at that point was ‘Remington Peck knows the defense inside and out and played tight end in high school,’ and we both just looked at each other, and within two days he was the starting tight end.”
On Peck’s reps:
“His reps will be more on offense. He already knows the defense well and we’ll use him as we need to but his role will be tilted now to the offensive side.”
On finishing with heavy road schedule:
"It's not something we're unfamiliar with to be gone three out of four weeks, we did that in the beginning of the year. These teams are good teams. Any of these are going to be good games and they're important. Finishing strong would be huge for us. Last year, all the teams that were 10-2 at the end of the season went to big bowl games. If that's how it is this year, that's the prize and what our eyes are set on."
On his senior year:
"It's very bittersweet. I talk about it with my roommates and other seniors. You don't want it to end. You love it right now, things are great, but it's going to end all of the sudden. You're not gong to realize it or want it to. Hopefully I can continue playing football after this which will help the transition from football to no football one day. I don't know when that will be or how long I'll be playing after BYU, but I hope to do that to keep something exciting. And I hope to train for the combine after this and keep football in my life as much as I can. For BYU it will be tough I'll miss the guys. It's going to be a lot of fun, but tough at the same time."
On the bye week:
"The bye week was a good week. It was productive and we worked hard. Each practice was uptempo. At the same time, practice wasn’t quite as long which gave us time to rest and recover. We needed that. It gives a chance to a lot of guys who are banged up to heal. Today was good. We had high energy. We were hungry and ready to start the week."
"My hamstring is getting a lot better. It’s getting pretty close to back to normal. The training staff as done a great job of getting me back to normal. I know a lot of guys are getting healthier and back on the field, which is good. We need them."
On San Jose State:
"San Jose State is an athletic team on both sides of the ball. I know they have one of the best rushers in the league. From a defensive standpoint, they have some great DBs that are going to test our offense. It will be good for us to take on that challenge against a good Mountain West team. It is something we are looking forward to."
DB Fred Warner
On defensive improvements:
"The bye week was a time to look at our past games and to see where we can improve. The thing we need to improve on the most is our third down defense. Today was a tackle day, so if they moved the ball across the line of scrimmage, we had to redo the play all over again. It makes a big difference when we have these days. Everyone knows how Coach Mendenhall wants things done, and it makes a difference when we are playing hard. We are working on being mentally tough so we can be consistent on first and second downs."
On a late start:
"The start time doesn’t matter. I actually like night games. It’s a fun atmosphere to have the lights on. It’s tough for traveling, but other than that it is great. We are used to traveling. We travel well and we are ready for the challenge."