BYU buries Idaho with a scoring avalanche

The second quarter was barely half over and the Brigham Young Cougars had already scored 42 points. That was more than enough to gain bowl eligibility with a 52-13 win over the Idaho Vandals.

Idaho received the opening kickoff and moved the ball effectively. The drive ended with the Vandals missing a 53-yard field goal.

The Cougars took over on offense, and the game took a different speed. On 4th and 1, Jamaal Williams took a direct snap and broke loose for 49-yards to the Idaho 6-yard line. Riley Nelson found Cody Hoffman for a touchdown on the next play.

Idaho punted after three plays. BYU didn’t need that many to score its second touchdown. Nelson threw a 53-yard pass to Ross Apo on first down. Williams scored on a 9-yard run the next play.

Idaho couldn’t get a first down for the second series in a row.

The BYU offense continued to go full speed ahead. A 19-yard completion to Hoffman and a 17-yarder to Skyler Ridley set up Williams’ second touchdown run of the night. This time, Williams got in from 10-yards out.

Idaho made its first third down conversion of the night on its next drive. Two plays later, the Vandals scored its only touchdown on a 33-yard pass.

With the momentum of that touchdown, Idaho made its first defensive stop. The Cougar punt went out of bounds at the 9-yard line.

Idaho made a bad shotgun snap. Spencer Hadley was blitzing off the end, and the ball bounced perfectly into his hands at the 2-yard line. He took the ball into the end zone for BYU’s first defensive touchdown of the season. That gave BYU a 28-7 lead and the first quarter wasn’t even over.

BYU was back in business at the Idaho 33-yard line after stopping a fake punt on 4th and 8 for just 1 yard. The Cougars needed an 8-yard run by Nelson to convert a 4th and 7 to keep the drive alive, which eventually ended in a 6-yard touchdown catch by Hoffman.

Hoffman would start BYU’s next drive with a 27-yard reception, and end it with a 4-yard touchdown catch. That made the score 42-7 with 6:59 to play in the first half.

BYU didn’t pull out the starter’s quite yet, but Jamaal Williams was done carrying the ball. He had 104 yards on 10 carries.

The BYU defense forced a pair of turnovers to give the offense two more scoring opportunities in the first half. The first turnover was an interception by senior cornerback Robbie Buckner. On the drive following Buckner’s pick, BYU settled for a field goal attempt. The hold was bad, which resulted in the kick being terribly errant. Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble on the very next play, which senior Simote Vea recovered to give BYU 25 seconds to score.

Nelson rushed for 11 yards on 4th and 10, and three seconds were left. A pass to Hoffman went through his hands.

BYU finished the first half with 367 yards of total offense, while allowing 139 yards to Idaho. The Vandals turned the ball over three times in the first 30 minutes, and would finish the game with five turnovers. 

Nelson started the game 14 of 18, but completed just two of his final nine passes of the first half. His struggles in the second half continued, and he finished the game just 19 of 31. His only highlight of the second half was back-to-back long completions. The first was 17 yards to Hoffman who jumped two defenders, broke one tackle, and dragged a defender the final few yards to pick up the first down. The second was 23 yards to Mitch Mathews on the next play.

The BYU offense didn’t score in the third quarter, not even after an Uani Unga interception gave BYU the ball at the Idaho 22-yard line. Idaho kicked a field goal on its first possession of the second half.

BYU did add 10 points in the fourth quarter on a nice James Lark to Cody Raymond pass that Raymond caught while falling to the ground in the end zone. It appeared Idaho would not score again, but a muffed punt with six seconds left gave Idaho one last chance at a field goal, which they made to give the 52-13 final outcome. 

The 52 points were the most scored by BYU this season.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Spencer Hadley’s 2-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jamaal Williams—10 carries, 104 yards, 2 TD;

NEXT: at San Jose State
DATE: November 17, 2012 

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