PROVO, Utah - The BYU football team scored six touchdowns from three different quarterbacks and defeated in-state opponent Weber State 45-13 Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
"I think we handled the game and the week maturely. We were very workman-like and methodical and we had a nice balance offensively between running and scoring," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I thought we started the game slowly in the first quarter but then it picked up as the game went on."
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Riley Nelson completed 18 of 29 for 244 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Nelson’s 244 yards in the first half is a career high in a half for the senior signal-caller. Junior Cody Hoffman led the receiving corps with seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown, with 110 yards coming in the first half. Junior Michael Alisa led the rushing attack with 53 yards on 11 attempts and one touchdown.
BYU’s offense rolled up 532 yards with 307 yards coming through the air and 225 on the ground.
Senior Preston Hadley led a stout BYU defense with nine tackles while junior Spencer Hadley finished with a career-high two sacks. The Cougar defense finished the day with six sacks and nine tackles for loss, holding Weber State to just 254 total yards, the eighth game in a row the defense has held an opponent under 300 total yards.
After Weber State’s defense halted the Cougars on its first two drives, Nelson went to work engineering a 9-play, 90-yard touchdown drive. Completing a perfect 5 for 5 on the drive, Nelson found Hoffman in one-on-one coverage for a 37-yard touchdown reception to put BYU up 7-0 with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter.
On the next play, junior Daniel Sorensen forced a fumble and recovered the ball to put the offense right back on the field. The Bulldogs answered with their own fumble recovery on their 11-yard line to keep the Cougars out of the endzone.
It took BYU just under two minutes into the second quarter to find the endzone for its second time. Alisa got the offense moving with a 21-yard rush before redshirt freshman Alex Kuresa pulled down a pass for 27 yards. Freshman Taysom Hill entered the game to finish the four-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run on the quarterback keeper. BYU’s first rushing score of the 2012 season put the Cougars up 14-0.
Facing third and nine, junior Richard Wilson hauled in a 32-yard pass across the middle to keep another Cougar touchdown drive alive. Later in the series, Alisa ran in an eight-yard touchdown to extend BYU’s lead, 21-0, with 4:15 left to play in the half.
Junior JD Falslev found his footing in the second half for a 33-yard punt return to set up the Cougar offense before breaking away on a run for 53 yards on the ensuing drive. Senior James Lark hit Friel in the endzone for his first career touchdown pass from two yards out to put BYU up 28-0 with 8:42 on the clock.
Weber State got on the board with a touchdown but missed the extra point and BYU added a field goal to make the score 31-6 to cap off the third quarter.
Lark had a career day finishing 7 for 10 for 45 yards and a touchdown. Lark also scored on his feet with a six-yard rushing touchdown two minutes into the fourth quarter to pad BYU’s lead 38-6.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth. Hill pushed into the endzone late in the fourth for his second rushing touchdown of the day after marching down the field 66 yards. Weber State had the final score of the game, a one-yard rush with 50 seconds remaining to close the gap to 45-13.
Postgame notes and quotes
BYU vs. Weber State Game Notes - Game 2
Game 2: BYU Cougars vs. Weber State
BYU will host Weber State on Saturday, Sep. 8. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, on BYUtv, and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.
Fans should tune into the live Countdown to Kickoff pregame show at 12 p.m. MT on BYUtv and BYUtvsports.com. Also tune in to BYUtv and BYUtvsports.com for the live postgame show following conclusion of the game. Pregame radio coverage will begin at 11:00 a.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio (SiriusXM channel 143).
Digitally, the game will also be available live on byutv.org.
BYU (1-0) vs. Weber State (0-1)
Sep. 8, 2012 1:00 p.m.
LaVell Edwards Stadium
JUST DOWN THE ROAD
This is just the third time BYU and Weber State will play despite being just 80 miles apart. The Cougars and Wildcats met two times in the 1970’s with BYU grabbing both victories by an average score of 47-9. The Cougars won the last meeting in 1979 48-3 in Provo.
Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougars have won five consecutive games dating back to 2011. It is tied for third-longest streak in the nation behind TCU (8) and Baylor (7). BYU’s longest streak in program history is 25 games, spanning from 1983-1985, including the 1984 National Championship season.
VS. THE BIG SKY
BYU has played eight of the current Big Sky teams, last losing to one in 1959. The Cougars hold a 38-16-2 record over the current Big Sky, last winning against Idaho State 56-3 in 2011 and last losing to Montana 12-0 in 1959.
BYU notched its first win of the season with a senior quarterback in Riley Nelson. The last 11 senior starting signal callers have put together a 118-23-2 record since 1977, a winning percentage of .831. That’s an average of almost 11 wins per season. Steve Sarkisian led BYU to an NCAA record 14 victories in 1996. Ty Detmer and Kevin Feterik tied for the lowest win total in a senior season, still nabbing eight victories apiece. Weber State also has a senior quarterback in Mike Hoke.
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman has a reception streak of 20 games and counting, the 19th longest streak in the nation. Weber State’s wideout Shaydon Kehano has a grab in 10 consecutive games for the Wildcats.
TIES TO THE WILDCATS
The Cougars have two staff members with ties to Weber State, secondary coach Nick Howell and defensive graduate assistant Jason Kaufusi. Howell graduated from Weber State in 2005 and Kaufusi spent two years coaching the defensive ends for the Wildcats.
WATCH OUT HERE I COME
BYU has at least one player on the following award watch lists: Biletnikoff (WR - Hoffman), Butkus (LB - Kaveinga), Lombardi (Line or LB - Hansen, Van Noy), Maxwell (Outstanding Player - QB Nelson), Nagurski (Best Defensive Player - Van Noy), Davey O’Brien (QB - Nelson), Doak Walker (RB - Alisa), Outland (Lineman - Hansen) and Ray Guy (P - Stephenson).
TIGHT END TIME
Tight end Kaneakua Friel caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdown receptions in a single game are the first by a BYU tight end since Dennis Pitta in 2009 in a 38-21 BYU victory vs. Air Force. That game was also the last time a tight end had 100 receiving yards (111).
Since Bronco Mendenhall has taken over the defensive coordinating duties again (21 games dating back to 2010), BYU has allowed an average of 92.5 rushing yards per game. That mark is bested by only one other team, Alabama.