SAN JOSE, Calif. - A late fourth quarter surge wasn’t enough as the BYU football team came up short in a 20-14 loss to San Jose State Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
Down 20-7 with 2:36 left to play in the game, senior quarterback Riley Nelson scrambled to keep the play alive and hit David Foote for a 20-yard touchdown to cut into the Spartans’ lead, 20-14.
Justin Sorensen logged an onside kick that hit the back of a Spartan and ended in Cody Hoffman’s hands to give the ball back to BYU. Hoffman continued to make plays with a 17-yard sideline reception to convert on 4th and 8.
On San Jose State’s 21-yard line with 1:20 on the clock, the Spartans sacked Nelson, causing a fumble that ended the Cougars comeback attempt.
The Spartans (9-2) controlled the first half, scoring on their first three possessions but would not go on to score again. The Cougars’ (6-5) defense dominated the second half, holding San Jose State to just 69 total yards.
San Jose State rallied for a total of 364 yards. BYU outgained the Spartans with 422 total yards with 335 passing yards.
Nelson finished the night completing 28 of 51 attempts for 335 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Hoffman grabbed a career-best 13 catches for 155 yards to lead all wideouts. Jamaal Williams led the run game with 62 yards on 15 carries, including one touchdown.
Craig Bills led the defensive attack with 10 tackles. Kyle Van Noy brought pressure with three tackles for loss, one sack and seven total tackles. Daniel Sorensen hauled in an interception and totaled one tackle for loss and eight total tackles.
The Spartans struck early with a 51-yard touchdown pass to take an early 6-0 lead just one minute into the game. Russell Tialavea blocked the PAT attempt, his third blocked kick of the season.
The Cougar wasted no time as Williams ran into the endzone from 16 yards out on their first possession. The nine play, 78-yard scoring drive put BYU on top 7-6 lead with 9:26 remaining in the first quarter.
Two 25-yard passes aided a San Jose State touchdown drive to flip the score back in its favor, 13-7, off an eight-yard pass with five minutes to play in the quarter.
Spartan quarterback David Fales then scored for the third time through the air to start the second quarter. The 18-yard touchdown pass extended San Jose State’s lead to 20-7.
Riley Stephenson gave the BYU defense an edge, pinning the Spartans at the three-yard line with a 60-yard punt. The momentum continued for the Cougars as Sorensen pulled down his third interception of the season to keep San Jose State out of the end zone before heading into halftime.
In the third quarter, Nelson hit Hoffman and JD Falslev on back-to-back sideline passes for gains of 12 yards and 19 yards, respectively, to move down field but a San Jose State sack on Nelson turned the ball over and ended the drive.
A Spartan interception cut another BYU drive short in the fourth quarter before San Jose State held on for the final 20-14 score.
BYU remains on the road to end the regular season at New Mexico State Nov. 24. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 MST and will be broadcast on ESPN3.
BYU will head to Californa to take on the San Jose State Spartans on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PST and will be broadcast live on the ESPN2 and KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com.
Fans should tune into the live Countdown to Kickoff pregame show at 6:30 p.m. MST 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 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. PST (depending on the timing of BYU basketball coverage) on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio (SiriusXM channel 143).
BYU (6-4) at San Jose State (8-2, 4-1)
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
7:30 p.m. PST
San Jose, Calif.
This is the 16th meeting of BYU and San Jose State. BYU trails in the series 6-9 with all but two of the games coming before 1969. The Cougars are making their first trip to San Jose since 1968. Last year BYU won 29-16 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
BOWL ELIGIBLE FOES
The Cougars are facing their fifth bowl eligible team of the season against an 8-2 Spartan team. The Cougars are 1-3 against teams that are now bowl eligible this year. Last year, BYU faced just four bowl-bound teams in the regular season, holding a 1-3 record against them also. San Jose State has faced four bowl eligible teams and has a 2-2 record.
BYU is playing just its fifth game in the state of California under Bronco Mendenhall. The team is 2-2 in the state with two wins over San Diego State during Mountain West Conference play.
DARE YOU TO THROW IT
San Jose State comes in averaging just over 325 yards passing per game while BYU is allowing just 172.2 yards per contest. BYU has allowed just one team to pass for over 300 this season (332, Oregon State) and three in the last 42 games. The Cougars have not allowed more than 230 passing yards to any other teams this year and have held five opponents below 150 yards passing.
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman has a caught a pass in 29 straight games, tied for the 10th longest streak in the nation. He has caught a pass in 35 of 36 career games. San Jose State’s Noel Grigsby is just ahead of Hoffman with 31 straight games with a reception.
Punter Riley Stephenson was just named one of 10 Ray Guy Award semifinalists, honoring the nation’s top punter while San Jose State’s placekicker Austin Lopez was just named as one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the country’s best placekicker. Stephenson is No. 4 in the nation, averaging 46.7 yards per punt. Lopez is a perfect 14 of 14 on field goals and has a long of 43 yards this year.
San Jose State’s David Tuitupou, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end, spent two seasons with BYU as a member on the scout team. He transferred to Snow College in 2010 and then to the Spartans. Tuitupou’s brother Peter, a tight end, played two seasons at Snow in 2007-08 and then headed to San Jose State. They are from Orem, Utah.