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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flashback: Unga's four touchdowns leads BYU over San Diego State

Interesting fact: the Brigham Young Cougars have never won a football game on November 28. Only once in the all the years since 1922 when BYU started playing football have the Cougars even played on today’s date. That was in 1936 against Colorado College. BYU lost that game 6-0. This site doesn’t feature losses in the weekly flashback. Therefore, in honor of the announcement this week that San Diego State will be BYU’s bowl opponent, let’s look back on how BYU thumped the Aztecs five years ago.

BYU and San Diego State were scheduled to play earlier in the season, but wild fires had caused Qualcomm Stadium to be used as a shelter for displaced residents. The two teams would finally meet on December 1, 2007.

The Cougars came into the game 9-2 and looking to complete a second consecutive perfect season in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs were 4-7, but they managed to keep the game close through the first 30 minutes. At halftime, BYU led just 20-13.

Freshman running back Harvey Unga scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, but San Diego State stayed within striking distance with a touchdown of its own. The Aztecs sandwiched a 17-yard Austin Collie touchdown catch in the second quarter with field goals to allow BYU to extend the lead by just one point.

In the second half, however, San Diego State couldn’t keep pace. BYU outscored the Aztecs 2 to 1 in both the third and the fourth quarters.

Unga ran for two more scores in the third quarter. That gave him a BYU freshman record four touchdowns in the game (three rushing, one receiving). Unga would finish the game with 161 rushing yards on 23 carries and 29 yards receiving on three receptions.

As a team, BYU rushed for 311 yards. Fui Vakapuna was Unga’s running mate rolling up 97 yards of his own on 14 carries. Vakapuna scored BYU’s first touchdown of the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run that gave BYU its largest lead of the game, 41-20.

BYU had just 227 yards passing, but quarterback Max Hall threw three touchdown passes. The final one came with 4:20 left in the game to Dennis Pitta. It boosted BYU’s lead back to 21 after San Diego State scored on a 2-yard run of its own.

The 48 points was BYU’s highest scoring total of the season. It was the fifth time in the last seven games against San Diego State that BYU had topped 40 points. The 21-point margin of victory, 48-27, gave BYU its fifth win of 21 points or more over San Diego State since 2001.

The Cougar defense held San Diego State to just 68 yards rushing and gave up an average of just 4.4 yards per play.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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