PROVO –San Jose State traveled to Provo to take on BYU in their homecoming game.
The BYU fans that stayed up late enough to watch the game got to see the Cougars win, despite playing very inconsistent football. On their first six possessions of the game the Cougars scored three touchdowns and quarterback Riley Nelson, who got his first start of the season, committed three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble. Regardless of the inconsistent play and the turnovers, BYU jumped out to a 23-6 lead and was able to hold on despite picking up only six points in the second half, for a 29-16 win over the Spartans.
On their first possession of the game, Nelson engineered a drive that started at their own 34-yard line and ended 63 yards later when he fumbled the ball on the 3-yard line and Keith Smith recovered it to give SJSU the ball. On the next play the ball was snapped, poorly, before quarterback Matt Faulkner was ready for it. The ball went high, Faulkner got a hand up there, but wasn’t fast enough and the ball went over his head and out the back of the end zone to give BYU a safety and a 2-0 lead.
BYU got the ball back on their own 44-yard line. In a strong 5 play drive, the Cougars drove down the field again and finished with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Richard Wilson to go up 9-0.
On their next play the Spartans chipped away at BYU’s defense and finished with a 24-yard field goal, but BYU responded in convincing fashion. They scored a touchdown on a 9 play drive that spanned 75 yards, including a 35-yard pass from Nelson to Wilson to go up 16-3. Several plays later, Kyle Van Noy intercepted a pass from Faulkner and ran it 31 yards to set up a 40-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to McKay Jacobson for another touchdown to go up 23-3.
On the Cougar’s first possession of the second half they ran the ball for 39 yards on 6 runs. Nelson threw the ball three times, the first two fell incomplete and the third was an interception on the Spartan’s 1-yard line. The Spartans then went the length of the field and picked up a touchdown to make it 23-13.
After returning the kickoff to their own 47-yard line, BYU was only able to pick up 28 yards in 10 plays. Despite great field position, they had to settle for a field goal which put them up 26-13.
Both teams got one more field goal before the Cougars were able to run out the clock for the 29-16 victory. Next Saturday, the Cougars will travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on the Oregon State Beavers.
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