Game Recap: Brigham Young Cougars 40, New Mexico Lobos 7

The Brigham Young Cougars defense had two takeaways on the New Mexico Lobos first two drives. The BYU offense turned the first (an interception) into a touchdown. The second (a fumble recovery) led to a field goal. BYU scored a touchdown on its next drive to push the first quarter lead to 17-0. The momentum from this early surge carried the Cougars to a 40-7 win.

Jake Heaps had been on fire the last two games, but he came out cold in this one. He was just 8-19 for 112 yards in the first half. A few passes were near interceptions. He did, however, run for his first career touchdown. In the end, Heaps had his third straight 200 yard passing game, and third consecutive game with 2 or more touchdown passes.

The BYU offense used a balanced attack (236 passing yards, 258 rushing yards). Freshman running back Joshua Quezada led all rushers with 107 yards on just 15 carries.

The defense ended the game with four total takeaways, for the second straight week. They also kept New Mexico below its season averages in passing yards, rushing yards, and points. Kyle Van Noy made the only sack, but the defense was in the back field pressuring the Lobo QB a lot.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Eathyn Manumaleuna interception that he returned 30 yards. First, he was the nose tackle. Second, it set the tone early and gave BYU a lot of momentum.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Senior Strong Safety Andrew Rich, 7 tackles (second on the team), 2 interceptions.

Things that I watched for:
  1. Will BYU become bowl eligible? Yes. This was win number six. Unlike 2000 when the MWC didn't have enough bowl tie ins for six win BYU to get a bowl berth, there are plenty of bowls for MWC teams this year. BYU will play a 13th game sometime in December.
  2. What will Jake Heaps do for an encore? How about a score on the ground? Heaps rushed for the first score of the game. His first career rushing touchdown. That was the best news for the first half. The second half was a work of art. Heaps was 10-13, 119 yards, 2 TD passes. He ended the day 18-32, 231 yards, 2 touchdown passes.
  3. Shutout? Those dreams ended earlier this week. New Mexico got on the board with 4:14 to play in the third.
  4. Cody Hoff-return-man. Cody Hoffman looked mortal today. He had one return for 14 yards. The defense isn't letting teams score enough, so he appears to be getting rusty.
  5. Sensational Seniors. Shane Hunter led the team with 11 tackles. The next three leading tacklers were seniors as well (Brian Logan, Vic So'oto, and Andrew Rich). Rich also had two interceptions in the fourth quarter. Brandon Bradley recovered a fumble in the first quarter that helped build momentum and extend an early lead. Mitch Payne scored 10 points, which gave him 314 career points—the most in MWC history.
Other observations:

  • Going the distance. BYU had 4 scoring drives of 80 yards or more. The first was a 7 play 80 yard drive that ended in a touchdown. The second was 16 plays for 84 yards and a field goal. The third was 12 plays, 82 yards, and a touchdown. The fourth was 10 plays and 80 yards and another touchdown.
  • The future is now. A freshman was the leading passer (Heaps, 231 yards), rusher (Quezada, 107 yards) and receiver (Hoffman, 71 yards). That is the first time it has happened this year, and probably the first time ever for BYU.
  • Tight ends were involved. Three tight ends caught passes (Devin Mahina 2-24, Mike Muehlmann 1-22, Austin Holt 1-17). Their totals (4 receptions, 63 yards) accounted for 22% of the receptions and over 25% of the receiving yards. While the tight end position has been a larger part of the offense in recent years, the production today was a nice sign of progress.
  • Penalties a Plenty. BYU has not been penalized a lot this year. Today, however, the Cougars were flagged 14 times for 141 yards. While it is disappointing to see the team commit that many infractions, the fact that the game ended 40-7 even with all these penalties is another testament to how far the team has come. Earlier in the year, these penalties would kill drives on offense or lead to easy scores for opposing offenses.
NEXT: at Utah
DATE: November 27
TIME: 1:30 PM

Other recent posts on BYU FOOTBALL TALK:
Game Preview: Brigham Young Cougars vs. New Mexico Lobos
Thursday Trivia: Last Shutout of New Mexico
Flashback: Cougar Stadium is Renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium
Poll Results: Which TD Pass Was More Important?
Should BYU Cougars Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Be the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year?


  1. That was the most lopsided officiating that I have seen in a long time. They robbed Andrew Rich of his interception return and picked on Brian Logan. All this on senior day. I don't know, maybe the viewers at home had a better vantage point, but some of those calls seemed completely bogus. The actual score of the game was:

    BYU - 40
    New Mexico - 0
    Referees - 7


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