Mangum's return not enough as BYU falls to Boise State

Ula Tolutau runs for a 3-yard touchdown. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)

The BYU Cougars fell to 1-5 for the first time since 1973. Quarterback Tanner Mangum played for the first time since September 9. He provided a spark early, but it faded out too early and could not be rekindled.

BYU could not have asked for a better start to the game. Grant Jones intercepted a Boise State pass and returned it 20 yards. That set up the Cougar offense near midfield.

Mangum led the offense downfield for a touchdown. Other than having to convert a 4th and 1, it looked pretty effortless. Mangum completed all four of his passes on the drive, and there was a nice balance of run and pass.

The BYU defense then forced Boise State to punt without allowing a first down.

A penalty, and lack of a penalty, stymied BYU's next drive. An obvious pass interference on Boise State was not called, but an obvious block in the back on BYU was. The penalty on BYU negated a first down pass to Beau Tanner. BYU couldn't recover and had to punt.

Jonny Linehan shanked the punt. It only went 22 yards. Boise State took advantage of the good field position and tied the game at seven.

The BYU offense was on the move, again, when Mangum connected with Matt Bushman for 24 yards to the Boise State 44-yard line. The drive stalled, however, after incomplete passes on 2nd and 9 and third down.

Linehan got off a much better punt this time, and pinned Boise State back at its own three-yard line. That helped the Cougar defense force another three and out.

With excellent field position, BYU could have retaken the lead with another productive drive. Mangum threw into coverage on first down. His pass was intercepted, and returned 51 yards to the BYU 22-yard line.

Boise State completed a 17-yard pass on first down, but the BYU defense stiffened and held the Broncos to a field goal.

The Boise State defense came alive after that interception. The BYU offense wasn't the same. Neither was the Cougar defense. BYU gave up another touchdown with just 36 seconds left in the first half to make it 17-7.

BYU had the ball just twice in the third quarter. The Cougars could only muster 46 yards of total offense in the quarter.

Boise State put together a time consuming drive that drained the final six minutes of the third quarter. With 14:18 to play in the fourth quarter, the Broncos punched the ball into the end zone making it 24-7. Boise State converted four third downs on the drive.

That's when the BYU offense finally woke up. Mangum hit Tre Dye for 18 yards on first down. He found Micah Simon for 34 yards on the next play. That moved the ball to the Boise State 27-yard line, but the play was negated by a holding penalty. Mangum found Dye, again, for 17 yards to set up a manageable 2nd and 3. BYU was unable to pick up a first down, and turned the ball over on downs.

The BYU defense made a fourth down stop of its own, and gave the Cougar offense one final chance to rally. That ended with a second Mangum interception on fourth down.

BYU had one final possession with 2:17 to play. The coaches sent Joe Critchlow in at quarterback. He completed his first two passes for eight yards, but his next two were incomplete.

BYU did not run the ball once in the fourth quarter. The Cougars had a 3rd and 3 followed by a 4th and 1, as well as a 3rd and 2 and 4th and 2 on another drive.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Grant Jones first quarter interception that was returned 20 yards.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Fred Warner (10 tackles)

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  1. So our team is lousy this year. If the same thing happens next year, we have a problem. Lousy happens to most teams sooner or later. It's not the end of the world. As a fan for well over 50 years, I'll continue to watch and hope even though it hurts. I made it through a 1-26 basketball season some years ago, I'll get through this. You will too.

    1. I haven't been around as long as you, but I am closing in on 30 years of fandom. I not going anywhere. Yes, better times are ahead.


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