FINAL BSU 21 BYU 16
I honestly wasn’t sure which BYU team would show up: The beat-Wisconson-at-Wisconsin team or the lose-at-home-to-NIU team. I guess we will find out.
The Broncos opened up the scoring on a 4th and goal run by Mattison after forcing a 3 and out for the Cougars. The Bronco defense seemed to be caught off guard by some quick passes, but a key sack by Weaver kept them from proceeding and missed the 48-yard field goal. The Broncos answered with a 69 yard touchdown drive of their own, going up 14-0 with 54 seconds left in the first quarter. The Broncos recovered a fumble on the ensuing kick return as well. Unfortunately the offense stalled and missed a field goal of their own to start the second quarter. Rypien was an impressive 8-9 for 89 yards and 1 TD in the quarter. The Broncos had a bit of a rough go on the ground, though, rushing 9 times for just 16 yards.
Despite a promising drive to start the second quarter, the Cougars stalled (again), but were able to knock down a field goal. On the first possession of the next drive for the Broncos, Rypien threw a pick. Fortunately it didn’t go for a touchdown, but the Cougars got a 31 yard return out of it to the 19 yard line. Despite the good field position, the Broncos pushed the Cougars into a 4th and 26 to force a field goal. With just under 5 minutes to go in the half, the Broncos lead 14-6.
Hightower housed the kickoff, but it came ALL THE WAY BACK because of a, you guessed it, illegal block in the back. The Broncos were able to get out of the shadow of their end zone, but an ill-timed personal foul negated a promising drive and the Broncos were forced to punt. On The Cougars drive on 3rd and 19, Wilson fumbles the snap and the Broncos recover. Another ill-timed penalty halts the Broncos drive and the half ends.
The Broncos begin the second half with a promising drive, pounding it on the ground, more than doubling their rushing yards. As we are wont to do, Mattison fumbled and the Cougars recovered, scoring on the drive. In a game that should be 35-3 at this point, it is 14-13 with the Broncos holding a one point lead.
The Broncos went on a 16 play, 79 yard, 8:02 drive to go up 21. It felt like an entire half. With 1:44 left in the third quarter, the Broncos have an 8 point lead. On BYU’s next drive, they quickly pick up 35 yards and get into Bronco territory. On the third play of the drive, the Cougars execute a double pass. Horton NEARLY intercepts, but happens to knock the ball into the receivers hands, but then strips the ball before the player gets into the end zone and jumps on the ball for a touchback.
The Broncos were unable to capitalize on their possession, going for it on 4th and 11 in no-man’s land. BYU was able to get a field goal, though a penalty extended the drive for them, which could have resulted in a punt. The Broncos did most of the damage to themselves tonight with A LOT of penalties at the worst time (usually 3rd down). The Broncos were able to force a 3-and-out deep in BYU territory and have 3:19 left to go.
Despite knowing they will need to pick up a first down the close out the game, the Broncos go deep on 3rd and long. They punt, and BYU goes 54 yards on the first play of the drive with a minute left. BYU drives to the BSU 2. 7 seconds left and no timeouts for the Cougars.
BSU holds and wins. I am in shock honestly. In a game of some serious flaws from the Broncos, they are able to hold on at the LAST SECOND.
The Broncos get #23 (or higher) Fresno at home next Friday at 8:15pm. Game is on ESPN2.