PROVO, Utah – Brigham Young University proved too much for the Idaho Vandals to handle on a chilly Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium and the result was a 52-13 victory by the Cougars.
Interim coach Jason Gesser applauded the Vandals’ effort and heart but said there is much to do to turn the corner.
“At the end of the day,” he said after serving as head coach of his second collegiate game, “if we’re in position to make a play, make the play. If we’re in position to make the tackle, make the tackle.
“We have to clean up some stuff. It’s pure fundamentals.”
Idaho’s first drive ended when Trey Farquhar missed wide left on a 54-yard field goal attempt.
The Cougars made the most of a fourth-and-one near midfield on their first drive when Jamaal Williams broke through for a 49-yard pickup to set up a six-yard scoring pass from Riley Nelson to Cody Hoffman with 9:25 left in the first.
A 53-yard pass play set up BYU’s next score – a two-play, 62-yard drive capped by Williams nine-yard run with 7:50 to go in the opening quarter for the 14-0 lead.
Williams’ third TD came less than three minutes later when he ran in from the 10 with 4:08 to go in the first and a 21-0 Cougar lead.
Mike Scott lit the scoreboard for the Vandals when he pulled in a Bushnell pass and turned it into a 33-yard TD with 1:47 left in the first. Farquhar’s successful PAT made it 21-7.
The Vandals held BYU on its next possession and forced the Cougars to punt. It didn’t take long, however, for the Cougars to respond – and less time to score, when Spencer Hadley recovered the errant snap from Mike Marboe to Bushnell and trotted two yards in to score with :04 left in the first to make it 28-7.
“That was a little bit of a back-breaker,” Gesser said. “That one hurt.”
The Cougars benefited from the short field after the Vandals failed to convert on a fake punt and BYU started a drive on the Idaho 33. Nelson found Ross Apo on a nine-yard pass with 11:04 left in the first half for the 35-7 BYU lead.
Cody Hoffman pulled in a four-yard pass from Nelson to push the Cougars out to a 42-7 lead with 6:49 to go in the second quarter.
The half ended at 42-7 after a botched BYU field goal was followed by an Idaho fumble to give the Cougars the ball at the Idaho 23. The Cougars advanced to the Idaho 12 when Nelson scrambled for 11 yards after three unsuccessful pass attempts. His final throw of the half also was off-target to end the half.
Idaho scored for the second time when Farquhar’s 39-yard field goal was good with 8:28 to go in the third. Bushnell connected with Najee Lovett for a 33-yard pickup to start the drive and went to him again for another 11 on the next play. Mike LaGrone covered four yards with Bushnell’s next pass before back-to-back incompletions (one an attempt from Scott to Todd Handley) to set up Farquhar’s field goal that made it 42-10.
BYU made it 49-10 as the fourth quarter unfolded when James Lark connected with Cody Raymond on a two-yard TD pass with 12:00 left in the game.
Farquhar was good on a 35-yarder as time expired for the final 52-13 score.