Cougars top Utah State 28-10 to end regular-season play
PROVO, Utah – BYU beat Utah State 28-10 Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium in the regular-season finale, claiming the Old Wagon Wheel for the second-consecutive season.
"I'm happy with the win," BYU heaad coach Kalani Sitake said. "It wasn't a perfect game, but I'm happy with the result. Utah State came out and played. Obviously, they were motivated to get that win. We had some issues that needed to get taken care of, but I liked the way that we played in the second half."
The Cougars (8-4) collected 355 total yards in the game, including 249 rushing yards, while holding Utah State (3-9) to a season-low 200 total yards.
Taysom Hill went 10 for 21 with 101 yards and a touchdown and Jamaal Williams had 131 rushing yards on 18 attempts, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Fred Warner and Francis Bernard anchored the defense with six total tackles each and Michael Shelton returned a fumble 52-yards for a score.
Utah State marched down the field on the first drive of the game, getting on the board with a 28-yard field goal, capping off the 12 play, 64 yard drive.
With the Cougars going on a 27-yard drive, Hill’s pass was intercepted by the Aggies’ Dallin Leavitt at the Utah State 46-yard line. Utah State couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, however, giving the ball back to BYU after a three-and-out.
Hill completed a 35-yard pass to Nick Kurtz on BYU’s next drive to set his team up at the Utah State 28-yard line. A 2-yard touchdown run from Williams then helped give BYU a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.
With just under three minutes left in the half, the Aggies went for it on 4th-and-1, converting before Logan Taele forced a fumble. Shelton quickly recovered the turnover, running 52 yards to score the defensive touchdown and give the Cougars a 14-3 advantage.
Near the end of the second quarter, the Aggies’ Jalen Davis picked off Hill, returning the ball 37 yards to the BYU 6-yard line. Two plays later, Utah State scored a 2-yard rushing touchdown to get back within four, trailing 14-10 at halftime.
Hill threw a 10-yard strike to Mitchell Juergens in the end zone with 2:19 left in the third quarter. The Cougars led 21-10 following the Rhett Almond PAT.
Warner picked off the Aggies’ quarterback at the Utah State 40 to set up BYU’s ensuing touchdown drive. After an injured Hill left the game, Mangum threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Colby Pearson to increase the BYU lead at 28-10 with 12.55 left in the game.
Neither team scored in the remaining time as the Cougars ran out the clock to end the game 28-10.
BYU continues play next at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium against a Mountain West Conference opponent. The game will begin at 6 p.m. PST and will be televised live on ESPN along with radio broadcasts on the Cougar IMG Network, KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM) and BYU Radio (XM 143).
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