10:00 PM ET, October 24, 2002
Hughes Stadium (CO), Fort Collins, CO
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Cecil Sapp has a simple philosophy when it comes to running the ball.
''I feel like I'm unstoppable,'' the Colorado State tailback said.
Brigham Young had to agree Thursday night, after Sapp carried 25 times for 164 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-10 victory.
''I just have to keep running hard, get every inch and every yard,'' Sapp said. ''That's when the big plays are going to come. That's what happened tonight.''
Colorado State (7-2, 3-0 Mountain West) also converted two turnovers into 14 points, and with the victory became eligible for one of the conference's four bowl berths.
BYU (3-5, 0-3), the defending conference champion, dropped its third consecutive game, during which the usually prolific Cougars have scored a total of only 22 points.
In the fourth consecutive meeting between the teams on a Thursday night, the Rams atoned for the 56-34 defeat last year, in which BYU gained 694 total yards. Colorado State outgained BYU 493-213 this time, and the Rams had 342 yards rushing.
''After last year's game, I was proud of this,'' CSU coach Sonny Lubick said. ''But BYU isn't the same team they were last year.''
BYU trailed 27-10 entering the fourth quarter, and whatever hopes the Cougars had of rallying ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down, followed by freshman Ben Stratton's interception of a pass thrown by redshirt freshman Matt Berry. Berry was making his second consecutive start for BYU.
Sapp ran 7 yards for his second touchdown with 7:16 remaining, and Jeff Babcock kicked his third field goal with 3:19 left.
''We wanted to get off to a good start,'' BYU coach Gary Crowton said. ''Then we had a couple of fumbles and got ourselves in a hole. CSU is playing well, and right now we're going through this situation with young players.''
Berry hurt his non-throwing hand in the fourth quarter when he got it caught between two face masks. He was scheduled for an X-ray.
Sapp, who increased his season rushing total to 1,090 yards, said, ''It feels great to get 1,000 in the regular season. In 2000 I did it, but it didn't count because it included a bowl game.''
Sapp missed nearly all of last season with a foot injury.
Colorado State fashioned a 24-10 lead at halftime as Sapp carried 12 times for 132 yards. The Rams also turned two fumbles into back-to-back touchdowns.
Despite a temperature of 33 degrees at kickoff, Colorado State warmed up quickly, taking a 17-0 first-quarter lead.
On the Rams' first play from scrimmage, Bradlee Van Pelt passed 29 yards to Chris Pittman to help set up Babcock's 31-yard field goal.
Two plays later, Berry was sacked by defensive end Peter Hogan and fumbled, and Colorado State's Patrick Goodpaster recovered at the BYU 19. Sapp scored on a 7-yard run a minute later, marking the 13th consecutive game he has scored a touchdown.
Three plays later, Berry fumbled a snap, and the Rams' Bryan Save recovered at the 32. Van Pelt's 3-yard run made it 17-0.
BYU, which had only 4 total yards on its first three series, launched an 84-yard scoring drive on Curtis Whalen's 39-yard run late in the first period. Berry passed 17 yards to Andrew Ord on third down, and Berry plunged the final yard.
Colorado State had another scoring opportunity when Whalen fumbled a pitchout at the BYU 30, but CSU's pass on a fake field-goal try fell incomplete.
After Matt Payne cut the deficit to 17-10 with a 25-yard field goal, Sapp broke free on a 64-yard run to the BYU 12, where he fumbled when hit from behind by Aaron Francisco.
Colorado State got the ball back after a punt, and Rahsaan Sanders capped a 56-yard drive with a 21-yard run with 46 seconds left in the half.
Rams freshman quarterback Justin Holland, who typically plays two series a game, led CSU on a third-quarter drive that resulted in Babcock's 27-yard field goal. Holland also guided the drive that ended in Babcock's final kick.