PROVO, Utah – Paul Lasike recorded a career-high three touchdowns while leading BYU football to a 42-23 blowout win over UNLV Saturday at Lavell Edwards Stadium.
"I'm really pleased with the win,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “This has not been an easy season, and the games aren't easy, but I believe we'll finish strong. It was a nice football game for our team. A lot of good things and certainly a lot we'll try to work on. I'm looking forward to the next two games of the regular season to improve our team and culminate it with a bowl game."
Lasike totaled 70 yards and two touchdowns on the ground along with one reception for 26 yards and a touchdown. Christian Stewart passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns, completing 18 of 32 passes. Mitch Mathews led all receivers with six catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.
The Cougars broke the game wide open in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns. The first score came on BYU’s opening drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Stewart to Devin Mahina.
Later in the quarter, Lasike scored his third touchdown of the game when Stewart faked a handoff in the backfield and found Lasike down the seam for a 26-yard scoring strike to extend the Cougar lead to 35-16.
Mathews scored BYU’s third touchdown of the quarter on an 8-yard reception from Stewart that was set up one play earlier by a 35-yard pass to Jordan Leslie.
“It's really humbling to get a career-high three touchdowns,” Paul Lasike said. “I didn't really do much. They were kind of walk in touchdowns. Most of the credit goes to the offensive line.”
Both teams started slowly to begin the game. BYU got on the board with 1:43 left in the first quarter when Leslie scored on a rush after a lateral pass from Stewart. The touchdown tied the longest rushing touchdown of the year for BYU.
Lasike extended the lead to 14-3, taking a handoff from Stewart and rushing off-tackle for an 8-yard touchdown. After another touchdown and field goal from UNLV, BYU closed the half with a 5-play, 65-yard drive and another Lasike touchdown to lead 21-13.
The Cougars totaled 592 total yards of offense with 325 through the air and 267 on the ground.
Bronson Kaufusi led the defense with 9 tackles including two sacks. His two sacks marked the third game in a row he has recorded at least one sack. Kai Nacua forced a turnover when he picked off the UNLV quarterback for his second interception this season.
BYU’s last home game of the season will be next Saturday, Nov. 22, against Savannah State. The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on BYUtv and KSL 1160/102.7.