PROVO -- The No. 8 BYU football team improved to 6-0 on the season and became bowl eligible for the fourth-consecutive year following a 21-3 victory over New Mexico (3-4, 1-2 MWC)at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday night.
With the win the Cougars extended the nation’s longest victory streak to 16 games, while remaining undefeated in Mountain West Conference play at 2-0.
“It’s a great win for our football team in the way that it came hard-fought, inch-by-inch foot-by-foot,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “I was proud of our football team. It was the most physical and hard-fought game that we have played this season.”
The BYU defense limited New Mexico to 285 total yards and kept the Lobos out of the end zone, while the Cougar offense produced 382 yards. Junior quarterback Max Hall was 22-for-34 with three touchdown passes for a total of 258 yards. Junior wide receiver Austin Collie was the beneficiary of nine of Hall’s passes leading the team with a career-high 155 yards.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Lobos put the first points on the scoreboard with a 27-yard field goal. The game marked the first time a BYU opponent has scored first since Dec. 22, 2007 at the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl when UCLA scored on a 22-yard field goal.
The Cougars didn’t keep the deficit on the scoreboard for long. On the next possession, Hall connected to tight end Dennis Pitta for a first down. With help from a 57-yard pass completion to Collie and an eight-yard rush by sophomore running back Harvey Unga, the Cougars broke into the blue zone for the first time of the game. Hall connected with junior tight end Andrew George for a one-yard touchdown reception to put BYU ahead 7-3.
The BYU defense continued to build momentum as junior defensive end Jan Jorgensen recovered a fumble by New Mexico quarterback Brad Gruner. The recovery marked Jorgensen’s first on the season and gave BYU possession on the New Mexico 47 with just over two minutes remaining in the half.
The Cougars weren’t able to score again before the half. They did take a shot at a 50-yard field goal by freshman kicker Justin Sorensen but his attempt missed left despite having plenty of distance.
BYU scored two touchdowns in the second half while keeping the Lobos off the scoreboard. In the third quarter, Hall hooked up with Collie for a 30-yard gain during a drive that finished with George’s second touchdown reception of the night. The junior tight end caught an 11-yard pass for the score to complete a six-play, 69-yard drive.
In the third quarter, BYU’s defense created its second turnover of the night when senior defensive back Kellen Fowler deflected a Lobo pass and fellow defensive back David Tafuna was able to grab the ball before it hit the ground.
Following the interception, the Lobo defense managed to silence the BYU offense as the Cougars were forced to punt for the fifth time. New Mexico took possession of the ball at the 20-yard line and went on to make its greatest threat of the game with a touchdown. Unfortunately for the Lobos, a penalty on the scoring play kept them out of the end zone.
The Cougars scored in the fourth quarter by completing a 76-yard drive down field. Hall connected on five passes during the drive, including an 8-yard touchdown to Collie. The junior receiver has scored a touchdown in each of the last five games.
New Mexico aggressively ran the ball down the field and got to the 19-yard line with 1:33 remaining. After going the first three quarters without a sack, BYU’s defense finished with three sacks in the closing moments. Ian Dulan sacked New Mexico quarterback Tate Smith followed by back-to-back Coleby Clawson sacks to help BYU secure the final 21-3 scoring margin.
The Cougars look to increase their winning streak on Thursday at 4 p.m. when they face TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. The game will be nationally televised on VERSUS.
Box Score (Final)
UNM vs BYU (Oct 11, 2008 at Provo, UT)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
UNM................. 0 3 0 0 - 3 Record: (3-4,1-2)
BYU................. 0 7 7 7 - 21 Record: (6-0,2-0)
2nd 11:40 UNM - AHO, James 27 yd field goal, 12-65 5:36, UNM 3 - BY 0
06:34 BY - GEORGE, Andrew 1 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 10-95 5:04, UNM 3 - BY 7
3rd 06:08 BY - GEORGE, Andrew 11 yd pass from HALL, Max (SORENSEN, Justi kick), 6-69 2:38, UNM 3 - BY 14
4th 03:05 BY - COLLIE, Austin 8 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 11-76 3:57, UNM 3 - BY 21
FIRST DOWNS................... 19 18
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 50-130 28-124
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 155 258
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 22-13-1 34-22-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 72-285 62-382
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 0-0 2-4
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-42 2-30
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-41.8 5-43.2
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards............... 3-26 4-48
Possession Time............... 32:31 27:29
Third-Down Conversions........ 8 of 18 4 of 12
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 3 2 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-3 3-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 0-0 3-32
RUSHING: UNM-FERGUSON, Rodne 24-86; GRUNER, Brad 5-33; WRIGHT, James
12-28; TEAM 1-minus 1; SMITH, Tate 8-minus 16. BYU-UNGA, Harvey 22-95; VAKAPUNA,
Fui 1-9; HALL, Max 3-15; COLLIE, Austin 1-5; TEAM 1-0.
PASSING: UNM-GRUNER, Brad 8-12-0-86; SMITH, Tate 5-10-1-69. BYU-HALL, Max
RECEIVING: UNM-McQUEEN, Jermai 4-59; BRUNO, Roland 4-45; SCARLETT, Micha
3-27; MARK, Chris 1-23; WILLIAMS, Bryan 1-1. BYU-COLLIE, Austin 9-155; PITTA,
Dennis 4-29; UNGA, Harvey 3-29; REED, Michael 3-23; GEORGE, Andrew 3-22.
INTERCEPTIONS: UNM-None. BYU-TAFUNA, David 1-0.
FUMBLES: UNM-WRIGHT, James 1-0; GRUNER, Brad 1-1. BYU-None.
SACKS (UA-A): UNM-None. BYU-CLAWSON, Coleby 2-22; DULAN, Ian 1-10.
TACKLES (UA-A): UNM-McPEEK, Clint 3-5; QUIN, Glover 6-1; LIGON, Blake
4-3; ARNETT, Zach 5-1; SOLOMON, Franki 1-5; WRIGHT, DeAndre 3-2; CLARK, Ian 1-2; LOVATO, Jeremia 0-3; MESSINA, Carmen 2-0; KENNEDY, Brett 2-0; BALOGUN, Kevin
2-0; BECK, Wesley 0-2; BACA, Frankie 1-0; KONTE, Abdullah 1-0; JOHANNEMANN, Se
1-0; GRUNER, Brad 1-0; RAINEY, Jonatha 1-0; LATCHISON, Jaym 1-0; WILLIAMS, Mica
1-0; BRUNO, Roland 1-0; BOWE, Jake 1-0; DAVIS, DeAndre 0-1; FELDER, Herbert 0-1. BYU-NIXON, David 4-7; JORGENSEN, Jan 1-10; FOWLER, Kellen 6-4; JOHNSON, Scott 2-8; TAFUNA, David 5-4; BAUMAN, Matt 2-5; CLAWSON, Coleby 3-3; DULAN, Ian 1-5; DOMAN, Shawn 0-6; TIALAVEA, Russe 3-1; DENNEY, Brett 1-2; AH YOU, Matt 0-3; BRADLEY, Brando 1-1; HOWARD, Brandon 0-2; HADLEY, Spencer 1-0; ALISA, Michael 1-0; PUTNAM, Matt 0-1; SORENSEN, Danie 0-1; DILUIGI, JJ 0-1; PRITCHARD, Iona
0-1; WOLFLEY, Rick 0-1.
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