LOGAN, Utah – BYU football scored 28 unanswered points to beat Utah State 51-28 on the road at Maverik Stadium on Saturday.
Despite being outgained in total yards 358 to 445, BYU (9-3) recovered two fumbles and blocked two kicks to secure the win over Utah State (6-6, 5-3 Mountain West).
Tanner Mangum went 16 of 30 for 284 yards and four touchdowns–his third multi-touchdown game of the year. Mitch Mathews led the receivers with 158 yards and two touchdowns on six catches, including a 72-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Algernon Brown rushed 68 yards for one touchdown in the win while Francis Bernard had on rushing and one receiving score.
On the defensive side, Michael Wadsworth led the team with 10 total tackles. Fred Warner added nine total tackles along with one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery. Travis Tuiloma also had a career-high nine tackles and one sack in the win while Tomasi Laulile had a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown. On special teams, Riley Burt had four kick returns for 107 yards. Bronson Kaufusi added a sack and two blocked field goals. He now has four blocked kicks this season.
Utah State jumped out to the early 7-0 lead after its first series when senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton rushed 52 yards into the end zone. BYU answered back in its first posession by marching down the field into blue zone. Mathews caught a 32-yard reception to set up Brown to rush eight yards for the touchdown, tying it at 7-7 with 10:08 left in the first quarter.
The Cougar defense came up big when Bronson Kaufusi blocked the Aggies’ field goal attempt, keeping the game tied. Kurt Henderson caught a 38-yard pass to put Trevor Samson in position to kick a 41-yard field goal, taking the 10-7 lead right before the end of the quarter.
A fake field goal allowed Utah State to convert on fourth down, which led to a 6-yard rushing touchdown. The Aggies then scored again on their next possession to extend their lead to 21-10 with three minutes to go until the half.
BYU answered back in a big way with a 72-yard reception by Mathews for the touchdown at the 2:42 mark to close in on Utah State’s lead, 21-17.
After both teams took turns punting the ball away, the Aggies had the ball with less than a minute until the break on their own 42-yard line. Keeton fumbled the ball and Tomasi Laulile recovered and returned it 37 yards for the touchdown. The Cougars went into the locker room with a 24-21 lead.
BYU started the second half right where it left off in the first. Mangum found Mathews again in the end zone, this time on a 35-yard reception caught over the Utah State defender. The quick score pushed the Cougars’ lead to double-digits, 31-21, with 13:20 to go in the third quarter.
Another Aggie field goal attempt was blocked by Kaufusi, his second of the game and Micah Hannemann recovered and returned the ball 66 yards, setting up the offense for an easy touchdown. With 3:01 on the clock, Francis Bernard rushed 10 yards into the end zone, extending the lead to 38-21. The Cougars scored 28 unanswered points in this stretch.
The Aggies scored early in the fourth quarter after converting on fourth down, making it a 10-point game, 38-28, with 14:48 left in the game.
The ensuing drive for the Cougars went 90 yards and consisted of three double-digit yard gains. Devon Blackmon caught a 35-yard pass to convert on a crucial third down, keeping the drive alive, and Brown and Harvey Langi added runs of 22 and 11 yards, respectively. With 12:06 left to play, Bernard rushed four yards for the touchdown, pushing the margin to 44-28.
With 3:02 on the clock, Brown caught an 18-yard reception for a touchdown, locking up the final score, 51-28. To seal the win, Fred Warner recovered a fumble to give the offense possession of the ball, running out the clock.