Washington pulls away from BYU with big third quarter

Washington struggled to cover Matt Bushman all game (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News).

The BYU Cougars stayed in striking distance of the Washington Huskies through 30 minutes of play. The breaks went Washington's way to start the second half, and it was far too much for BYU to recover.

For the second straight week, BYU hosted a Pac-12 team ranked in the Top 25. For the second straight week, the visitors made it look easy as the Cougar defense put up little resistance allowing a touchdown on the opening drive of the game.

The BYU offense answered with a sustained drive that moved the ball as close as the 19-yard line. In the end, BYU had to settle for a 43-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal to make it a 7-3 game.

Washington got backed up by a holding call on its ensuing possession. That helped the Cougar defense get a stop on 3rd and long, but a facemask penalty on a BYU defensive back away from the ball gave Washington a first down. A second defensive facemask penalty on the drive moved the ball to the BYU 28-yard line. Three plays later, Washington was in the end zone, again, to go up 14-3.

The BYU offense took over with great field position following a 48-yard kickoff return by Lopini Katoa. BYU continued to move the ball. The offensive line, however, was struggling against an aggressive Washington defensive line. Wilson got hit as he was cocking his arm for another throw, and the ball came loose. A Washington defender scooped up the ball and raced 69 yards for a touchdown.

That was followed by a short BYU drive that ended in a punt on the second play of the second quarter.

Washington found little resistance quickly moving into scoring territory. Then, the BYU D stiffened, and held the Huskies to a field goal.

That made the score 24-3.

That's when the Cougars started to claw back. Back-to-back completions from Wilson to Matt Bushman moved the ball 51 yards. Bushman drew a pass interference call in the end zone, which set up Emmanuel Esukpa's one-yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed.

Washington was able to get inside the BYU five-yard line, again, but came away with no points after a fake field goal failed.

BYU was able to move the ball 59 yards, and with less than 30 seconds to play in the half, Oldroyd kicked a 54-yard field goal to close the gap to 24-12.

The BYU fumble that was returned for a touchdown was, essentially, the difference in the game, at that point.

BYU received the second-half kickoff. On 3rd and 4, not only did Wilson complete a pass for a first down, but it moved the ball onto Washington territory. However, the receiver fumbled, and Washington recovered.

Three plays later, Washinton was back in the end zone. Four plays later, BYU was punting, and Washington returned it 88 yards for a touchdown.

The BYU offense couldn't move the ball on its next possession, but the Husky offense could. They drove 85 yards in eight plays to score another touchdown.

Just like the first half, Washington scored three straight touchdowns to start the second half. It was now a route, 45-12.

The only bright spot for BYU in the second half was Max Tooley intercepting a pass and returning it 33 yards to the Washington seven-yard line. That set up a touchdown pass to Bushman on the final play of the third quarter.

There was a fumble recovery by the BYU defense in the fourth quarter, but a BYU receiver fell on the next play. Washington's defensive back was right there to intercept the ball.

BYU lost running back Ty'son Williams to a knee injury in the second half.

Final score: Washington 45, BYU 19.

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