NCAA Game Summary - Washington State at BYU
(Thursday, August 30th)
Final Score: BYU 30, Washington State 6
Provo, UT (Sports Network) - Riley Nelson threw for 285 yards and two
touchdowns to lead the BYU Cougars to a 30-6 win over the Washington State
Cougars in the season opener for both schools at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Nelson completed 25-of-36 for BYU (1-0) and survived a pair of sacks as the
team won for the fifth straight game and the 10th in the last 11 outings going
back to last season. Kaneauka Friel also had a huge game for the hosts as he
reeled in six passes for 101 yards and two scores.
The Cougars of Washington State (0-1), losers of three in a row and eight of
their last nine after starting the 2011 campaign with three wins in four
tries, tried to ride quarterback Jeff Tuel to victory, but the signal-caller
was sacked three times and picked off twice while completing 30-of-45 for 229
yards in the setback.
The hometown Cougars kicked off the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown pass
from Nelson to Skyler Ridley in the back of the end zone in the first quarter.
Early in the second period BYU struck again when, on 4th-and-one, backup
quarterback Taysom Hill stepped in and rolled out to the right before firing a
strike to Friel in the end zone for an 18-yard score and a 14-0 advantage.
On their ensuing possession the visiting Cougars were buried deep in their own
end, but a couple of costly personal fouls by the defense allowed WSU to march
down the field. Unfortunately for Washington State, the offense fizzled and
had to settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt which was subsequently moved
back five yards due to a penalty. Kicker Andrew Furney remained unfazed as he
knocked through the attempt to cut the score to 14-3 with just under 11
minutes remaining in the half.
BYU added to the lead with a 28-yard field goal by Riley Stephenson late in
the second quarter. The hosts continued to pile on as Nelson connected with
Friel on a 25-yard touchdown play to make the score 24-3.
Not everything went according to plan for BYU however, the team being flagged
for six major penalties in the first half. Because of those infractions
Washington State was able to move the ball down the field yet again and for a
moment appeared to have gotten into the end zone in the final seconds on a
deep pass into the corner, but a holding call against WSU brought the play
With the first half winding down, Furney was called on to try a 41-yard field
goal which he knocked through to cut the deficit to 24-6 at the break.
A long kickoff return by WSU to begin the second half should have given the
team a boost, but instead the squad was saddled with penalties and then Tuel
tossed an interception that Jordan Johnson returned 64 yards to the nine-yard
line of Washington State.
The BYU offense squandered a golden opportunity to further bury the visitors
as Bronco Mendenhall's squad had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by
A 31-yard field goal by Stephenson, who was filling in for an injured Justin
Sorensen, later in the period moved the score to 30-6 in favor of the hosts
which is how the matchup ended.
WSU, which ranked 10th in the Pac-12 and 111th in the nation last season in
rushing with just 100.2 ypg, finished this meeting with minus-five yards on
Washington State head coach Mike Leach made his return to the college game for
the first time since 2009 when he was fired by Texas Tech. With the Red
Raiders between 2000-09 Leach, who graduated from BYU in 1983 coincidentally,
produced a record of 84-43 which made him the winningest coach in school
Known for his explosive offense with the Red Raiders, the last time a Leach-
led team did not score a touchdown in a game was in September 2006 when Tech
was downed by nationally-ranked TCU in a 12-3 final in Fort Worth.
08/31 03:00:16 ET
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