SEATTLE -- BYU extended its nation-leading win streak to 12 games on Saturday after a narrow 28-27 victory over the Washington Huskies. Junior defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen blocked the potentially game-tying extra point with two seconds remaining on the game clock to secure the Cougars’ victory.
“Our kids played really hard today—from beginning to end—and it was a great college football game,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “I credit (Washington’s) quarterback Jake Locker for his courage, effort, play-making ability and for leading his team. They have a bright future with him in that position.
“I’m proud of our team. When it came down to making a play to win the football game, our players demonstrated their will one more time. That’s a phenomenal thing. I’m excited for our program. We can learn still from the positives and the things we need to improve and now we go forward.”
With the Cougars up 28-21 following a 15-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Max Hall to tight end Dennis Pitta, the Huskies regained control of the ball with 3:31 remaining in the game. Washington made its way down the field, finally stopping at the three-yard line. The BYU defense was unable to hold back the Huskies, as quarterback Jake Locker ran in for a three-yard touchdown.
Washington kicker Ryan Perkins attempted to tie the game as he prepared to kick the extra point. Jorgensen’s block on the attempt solidified the win for BYU, its first non-conference road win since Oct. 4, 2002 when the Cougars defeated Utah State 35-34.
“I asked (Assistant Coach) Paul Tidwell if there was any chance they would have the nerve to fake it and he said, ‘there’s always a chance.’” Mendenhall said. “So I said, ‘all out rush.’ And the players nodded like they believed they could block it. They were smiling, just like they were against UCLA.”
Junior quarterback Max Hall led the Cougars by completing 30-of-41 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. For the second week in a row, junior tight end Dennis Pitta was the game’s leading receiver, pulling down 10 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore running back Harvey Unga recorded his first 100-yard rushing game of the 2008 season, with 136 yards on the ground against the Huskies.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Cougars moved quickly down the field, beginning with back-to-back first-down completions from Hall to Austin Collie and Unga. Pitta, who led the country in receiving yards after the opening week of the season, recorded consecutive receptions, setting BYU up on the 28-yard line.
A fumbled snap on the following play forced the Cougars back 10 yards, setting up a third-and-14 situation. Not discouraged, the duo of Hall and Collie connected for a 38-yard touchdown pass. The Cougars converted on eight-of-10 third-downs in the first half alone. The touchdown also marked the 24th time in the last 27 games BYU has scored first.
While the Cougar defense held the Huskies to a quick third-and-out on their opening drive, Washington returned the favor once the BYU offense retook the field.
Locker led the Husky offense to its first score of the game following back-to-back completions to receiver D’Andre Goodwin for 11 and 25 yards, respectively. On the BYU 14-yard line, Locker ran the ball into the endzone, tying the score 7-7.
"We had about three different plans for Locker,” Mendenhall said. “None of which I would say were dominant. We certainly had a pressure plan and we had unblocked players that couldn’t get him on the ground. He ran around us or through us. He scrambled and had open receivers and he was able to carry the ball. I’m not sure there is an effective plan when basically you don’t match up athletically. He is a phenomenal player so we used every weapon we thought we had and I think what it showed is we’re going to have to look a little further if we ever play a young man like that again.”
Washington’s first drive of the second quarter began with a sack by senior linebacker David Nixon. Despite a third-and-23 situation, Locker found Goodwin for 25 yards and a first-down. The Huskies utilized a late-hit call against the Cougars to find their way into the endzone and take a 14-7 lead.
Unga rushed for a combined 41 yards on six carries on the Cougars’ following drive. Marching its way down the field, BYU tied the game following a one-yard touchdown reception from Hall to junior tight end Andrew George.
The scoring drives continued as the second half got underway, as Washington scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Luke Kravitz. The Cougars followed with a score of their own on the ensuing drive as senior fullback Fui Vakapuna ran for an 11-yard touchdown—his first carry of the season.
After forcing UW to punt, the Cougars took the lead on a 15-yard pass from Hall to Pitta with 3:31 left in the game. That’s when Locker and the Huskies began their march down the field to get within one point on Locker’s three-yard touchdown run. Following the touchdown, the Huskies were assessed a 15-yard penalty for celebrating in the endzone. The penalty forced the Huskies to attempt the extra-point from the 25-yard line – a 35-yard attempt, as opposed to a regular 20-yard point-after attempt.
“After scoring the touchdown, the player threw the ball into the air and we are required, by rule, to assess a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, referee Larry Farina said. “It is a celebration rule that we are required to call. It was not a judgment call.”
The Cougars (2-0) will return to Provo to take on UCLA (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Edwards Stadium. Game time is set for 1:0 p.m. (MT).
Box Score (Final)
BYU vs Washington (Sep 06, 2008 at Seattle, WA)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
BYU................. 7 7 7 7 - 28 Record: 2-0
Washington.......... 7 7 7 6 - 27 Record: 0-2
1st 09:38 BYU - COLLIE, Austin 38 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 9-76 5:22, BYU 7 - WASH 0
03:24 WASH - Locker, Jake 14 yd run (Perkins, Ryan kick), 7-66 3:52, BYU 7 - WASH 7
2nd 10:38 WASH - Kearse, J. 48 yd pass from Locker, Jake (Perkins, Ryan kick), 7-79 3:25, BYU 7 - WASH 14
04:18 BYU - GEORGE, Andrew 1 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 14-71 6:11, BYU 14 - WASH 14
3rd 07:38 WASH - Kravitz, Luke 1 yd run (Perkins, Ryan kick), 13-65 7:12, BYU 14 - WASH 21
04:17 BYU - VAKAPUNA, Fui 11 yd run (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 7-63 3:11, BYU 21 - WASH 21
4th 03:31 BYU - PITTA, Dennis 15 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 9-84 4:39, BYU 28 - WASH 21
00:02 WASH - Locker, Jake 3 yd run (Perkins, Ryan kick blockd), 17-76 3:24, BYU 28 - WASH 27
FIRST DOWNS................... 25 22
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 28-137 35-133
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 338 204
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 41-30-1 32-17-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 69-475 67-337
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-2 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-94 5-96
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 2-27.5 5-47.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 7-60 4-25
Possession Time............... 31:04 28:56
Third-Down Conversions........ 12 of 14 9 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 1 of 1
Blue-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 3-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-33 0-0
RUSHING: BYU-UNGA, Harvey 23-136; VAKAPUNA, Fui 2-15; TEAM 3-minus 14.
Washington-Locker, Jake 18-62; Freeman, David 6-30; Polk, Chris 6-14; Griffin,
Willie 2-14; Homer, Paul 1-6; Polk, Jordan 1-6; Kravitz, Luke 1-1.
PASSING: BYU-HALL, Max 30-41-1-338. Washington-Locker, Jake 17-32-0-204.
RECEIVING: BYU-PITTA, Dennis 10-148; REED, Michael 7-55; COLLIE, Austin
5-74; UNGA, Harvey 5-39; ASHWORTH, Luke 1-14; WHITE, Reed 1-7; GEORGE, Andrew
1-1. Washington-Goodwin, D. 5-83; Middleton, K. 4-30; Kearse, J. 2-54; Polk,
Jordan 2-20; Freeman, David 2-11; Homer, Paul 1-6; Polk, Chris 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: BYU-None. Washington-Foster, Mason 1-0.
FUMBLES: BYU-TEAM 1-0; UNGA, Harvey 1-1. Washington-Locker, Jake 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): BYU-BAUMAN, Matt 1-0; CLAWSON, Coleby 1-0; NIXON, David
1-0; DULAN, Ian 1-0. Washington-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): BYU-JOHNSON, Scott 6-3; BAUMAN, Matt 4-5; FOWLER, Kellen
6-2; DOMAN, Shawn 3-5; CLAWSON, Coleby 3-2; NIXON, David 2-3; TAFUNA, David 3-1;JOREGENSEN, Jan 1-1; HOWARD, Brandon 1-1; RICHARDSON, Bro 1-1; PRITCHARD, Iona1-1; DENNEY, Brett 1-1; AH YOU, Matt 1-1; DULAN, Ian 1-0; PITTA, Dennis 1-0; TE'O, Shiloah 1-0; BELL, Jeff 1-0; JAUSSI, Landon 1-0; TIALAVEA, Russe 1-0;
SORENSEN, Justi 0-1. Washington-Williams, Nate 7-6; Harris, Darin 6-4; Foster,
Mason 5-4; Forrester, M. 4-5; Te'o-Nesheim, D 2-5; Butler, Donald 3-2; Johnson,
T. 2-1; McDowell, V. 2-1; Tuiasosopo, T. 1-2; Jones, Darrion 0-2; Gage, Joshua
0-2; Elisara, Cam. 1-0; Aldrich, Kalani 1-0; Wiggs, Fred 1-0; Richardson, Q.
1-0; Homer, Paul 0-1; Mosley, Matt 0-1.
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