The momentum shifted early and often in the Brigham Young Cougars game against San Jose State. Things settled down in the middle of the game, but momentum made the game exciting down the stretch.
Mo Moment 1
San Jose State received the opening kickoff. On the fourth play of the drive, San Jose State scored on a 51-yard bomb. The Spartan receiver was wide open.
Momentum swing! The BYU pass coverage wasn’t any better than a month earlier against Oregon State. San Jose State was going to be able to throw the ball effectively as long as the Spartans could give the quarterback time to throw.
Mo Moment 2
Following the San Jose State touchdown, BYU got the ball for the first time. On the third play of the drive, Cody Hoffman caught a pass and dragged the defender for about 15 yards on his way to gaining 26.
Momentum shift! Six plays later, BYU had covered 47 yards and taken a 7-6 lead. It appeared that BYU was going to be able to go toe-to-toe with the San Jose State offense.
Mo Moment 3
On the ensuing possession, San Jose State completed a pass for 25 yards to another open receiver.
Momentum shift! San Jose State didn’t give any attention to the Cougars answering their score. Eight plays later, San Jose State was in the end zone again.
Mo Moment 4
BYU needed to keep pace with San Jose State. On 3rd and 6, Riley Nelson was scrambling and lofted a pass to Hoffman. He was able to go up and get it, but on his way down the defender was able to knock the ball out.
Momentum boost! San Jose State was first to force a punt. BYU would gain just 57 yards the rest of the first half. The Spartan defense throttled the BYU offense. Even when BYU started to move the ball in the second half, the Spartans were able to make a play when needed to stop BYU from scoring. On several 3rd and short situations, San Jose State stood its ground and forced punts. In the meantime, San Jose State would add another touchdown to build a 20-7 lead.
Mo Moment 5
BYU hadn’t stopped San Jose State on its first three drives. The Spartans’ fourth drive started at the 3-yard line. That didn’t make a difference. San Jose State moved the ball 56 yards with ease. A Daniel Sorensen interception did make a difference.
Momentum shift! BYU’s first defensive stop was just as impactful as San Jose State’s. The Cougars couldn’t capitalize on the turnover with points, but San Jose State didn’t score the rest of the game. San Jose State had converted 100 percent of third downs up to this point. The Spartans were 0 for 8 the rest of the game.
Mo Moment 6
Late in the third quarter, BYU was threatening to close the gap with a score. On 3rd and 2 at the San Jose State 21-yard line, BYU could attempt a field goal even without picking up the first down, unless they turned the ball over. That is exactly what happened. San Jose State stripped the ball from Nelson and recovered it.
Momentum shift! If BYU scores points on this possession, then BYU probably win the game. The Cougar defense was dominant in the second half, and the BYU offense was consistently moving the ball. The turnover didn’t even allow BYU to kick a field goal, which would have made the score 20-10. Time was not on BYU’s side now.
Mo Moment 7
With 2:36 to play, the BYU offense finally broke through. On 4th and 10, BYU scored a touchdown on a 20-yard pass.
Momentum shift! BYU closed the gap to 20-14. Since San Jose State had missed its first extra point, all BYU needed was a touchdown to tie, and the extra point would win. BYU recovered the onside kick, and had plenty of time to win the game.
Mo Moment 8
BYU overcame two false start penalties and moved the ball all the way to the San Jose State 21-yard line. Deja-vu? Unfortunately, yes. The last time BYU was at the 21-yard line, San Jose State forced a fumble on a sack. BYU was unable to make a block on the blitz, and San Jose State forced a fumble and recovered it.
Momentum shift! The fumble recovery gave San Jose State the ball, thus ending BYU’s final threat. All the Spartans had to do was kneel on the ball three times.
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