It took nearly 12 minutes for the Brigham Young Cougars to take a 7-0 lead. In the next 48 minutes, BYU scored 38 points. When the final gun sounded, BYU had a comfortable 45-13 victory.
The Cougars came out flat against FCS foe Weber State. The Wildcats ran for 28 yards on the first play of the game. The BYU defense pushed Weber State back on each of the next three plays, including two sacks for 10 and 20 yards apiece. Eathyn Manumaleuna was in on both sacks for BYU.
The BYU offense needed a little longer to get on track. The first two drives ended in punts. After a 70-yard punt pinned BYU back at the 10-yard line, the Cougar offense got on track. Quarterback Riley Nelson led an 11-play drive that ended with a 37-yard bomb to Cody Hoffman. It was his third reception on the drive; they accounted for 66 of the 90 yards.
Daniel Sorensen forced and recovered a fumble on the second play of Weber State’s next drive. BYU was back in business at the Weber State 45-yard line. Another pass completion to Cody Hoffman had BYU inside the 10-yard line, but he fumbled as he was hit going to the ground. Weber State recovered.
Weber State punted on the first play of the second quarter. It was a bad punt that went out of bounds at the Weber State 49-yard line. Michael Alisa ran for 21 yards on first down. Nelson threw a 27-yard fade to Alex Kuresa who landed on his back at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Taysom Hill ran the ball in from two yards out, while having his facemask pulled.
A Spencer Hadley sack helped stall Weber State’s next drive. The ensuing BYU drived looked to be stalled by penalties. A delay of game before the first play followed by holding put BYU at 1st and 24. Cody Hoffman got 20 of the yards needed, but a second holding penalty on the next play set up 2nd and 14. On 3rd and 9, Nelson found tight end Richard Wilson for 32 yards. Five plays later, BYU was in the end zone after an 8-yard run by Michael Alisa.
Although it was just 21-0, the game was over. The Cougar D was dominating, and the offense had proven it could score as many points that were necessary to win.
BYU had two chances to push the lead to 28-0 before halftime, but Nelson threw an interception with less than a minute to go in the second. On the final play of the half, Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble that Uona Kaveinga picked up. The path appeared clear for Kaveinga to score, but he was tripped up by his teammate just 15 yards away from the goal line.
The BYU defense had allowed just 85 yards of total offense in the first half, while the offense had gained 312. Bronco Mendenhall had seen enough and sat his starting quarterback for the entire second half. Nelson finished 18 of 29 for 244 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He ran the ball three times for 19 yards.
James Lark started the second half at quarterback for BYU. He completed his first three passes to give BYU a couple of first downs, but the drive ended in a punt.
The BYU defense picked up where it left on in the first half. After three plays and just six yards, Weber State punted. JD Falslev set up BYU’s first points of the second half. First, Falslev returned the punt 33 yards. Second, he ran the ball 53 yards all the way down to the 4-yard line. Lark finished the drive with his first career touchdown pass—a 2-yard throw to Kaneakua Friel.
BYU’s bid for a shutout ended with 4:49 to play in the third quarter when Weber State scored on a 1-yard run. Following the score, Hoffman got his first kickoff return of the season. He took the ball out of the end zone to the 34-yard line. That set up a field goal at the end of the quarter.
Both Lark and Hill scored on touchdown runs in the fourth quarter as several reserves played for BYU.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Riley Nelson 37-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman to give BYU a 7-0 lead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cody Hoffman 7 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD.
NEXT: at Utah
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