Rough Start, Tough Finish for Brigham Young Cougars versus San Jose State

In San Jose, things didn’t start well, and they didn’t end well for the Brigham Young Cougars (6-5) in their 20-14 loss to the San Jose State Spartans (9-2).
The first bad omen was when Justin Sorensen’s opening kickoff sailed out of bounds, earning San Jose State the ball on the 35-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback David Fales hit receiver Noel Grigsby for a 51-yard touchdown strike. Just like that, BYU was stuck playing catch-up the rest of the game.

At first, however, it didn’t seem so bad. SJSU missed the extra point, and BYU march right down the field on their first drive and score a touchdown on a 16-yard run from Jamaal Williams. BYU converted the extra point, giving the Cougars their only lead of the night.

But the Spartans were unstoppable in the first quarter, scoring touchdowns on their next two possessions while the BYU offense stalled repeatedly. SJSU continued to move the ball well on their fourth drive and looked poise to score yet again until Daniel Sorensen picked off a Fales pass just 17 yards outside the end zone. The BYU offense continued to sputter, coming up short on 4th and 1, but the defense held strong from then on out, giving a halftime score of 20-7.

In the second half, the BYU offense finally started to move the ball well. Every drive ended in SJSU territory, but turnovers repeatedly kept them out of the end zone. Four drives inside the 30-yard line ended without a score – two on fumbles, one on an interception, and one a turnover on downs.

One of those four was BYUs final drive of the game. BYU finally converted a drive into a touchdown when Riley Nelson escaped the pressure and found David Foote open on 4th and 10 from the San Jose State 20. Foote took the catch and ran it into the end zone to give what would be the final score of 20-14.

At this point there was only 2:36 left in the game, and BYU attempted an on-sides kick. The kick bounced off a SJSU player and was recovered by Cody Hoffman at the BYU 46-yard line. BYU moved up to the 21-yard line with close to a minute and a half to play, and seemed poised to pull off a miracle. On 1st and 10, San Jose State blitzed. BYU tried to pick it up, but the defender leaped over Jamaal Williams. Nelson fumbled the ball while being sacked and the Spartans recovered it.

From there they just lined up in victory formation. Game over.

Nelson finished with 335 yards and a touchdown on 28 for 51 passing, but he also had an interception and two fumbles lost. Nelson took a lot of hits throughout the game (he was sacked four times), and his back was clearly bothering him toward the end of the game. BYU played tough at the end, fighting back for a chance to win it, but in the end it was tough luck for the Cougars.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Cody Hoffman recovering the on-sides kick with 2:36 left to play, giving the Cougars a shot at winning the game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cody Hoffman – 13 receptions, 155 yards, on-sides kick recovery.  

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at


Post a Comment