PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Brigham Young quarterback John Beck had a
nice, easy night.
Beck handed the ball off most of the night instead of throwing
it and BYU held off Colorado State 24-14 Saturday, giving the Rams
their first loss in the Mountain West Conference this season.
"It was great tonight. Our big guys up front, hats off to
them," said Beck, who threw just 18 passes. "They just drove the
defense back. Coming into the game we had a game plan to establish
the run, but when the run was working that well we just stuck with
Curtis Brown ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns and converted
a critical fourth down with 3:09 remaining for the Cougars. Fahu
Tahi ran for 88 yards on 14 carries and converted on a third-and-1
after almost getting stopped on the live during the clinching
BYU (3-3 overall, 2-2 MWC) nearly blew a 17-0 lead when the Rams
(3-3, 2-1) rallied with two second-half touchdowns. But the Cougars
were able to take nearly 7 minutes off the clock with a 76-yard
drive that Brown capped with a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:07
"Basically, people just look at me and Fahu and say 'The game
was in your hands. You took over the game.' Our O-line took over
the game," said Brown, who had his second-straight 100-yard game.
"They set the tone. They got after it and just dominated."
Three plays earlier, Brown converted on fourth-and-2 from the
7-yard line with a run up the middle. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall
opted to go for the first down instead of trying a field goal,
which would have only put the Cougars up by six.
The Rams got the ball back and were driving, but Bryan Kehl
forced Johnnie Walker to fumble after a long catch and BYU
recovered at the CSU 44 to seal it.
Beck completed 13 of 18 passes for 168 and a touchdown. It was a
light night for Beck, who passed for 371 yards and three touchdowns
the week before in a 27-24 win at New Mexico.
The Cougars didn't need to rely on their passing game and the
Rams didn't help themselves with four offsides penalties in the
first quarter -- half of their penalties.
"Defensively we had trouble stopping the running game. And then
we just put ourselves in some difficult situations on offense with
penalties early in the game," Rams coach Sonny Lubick said. "They
were in a pretty good rhythm all night because they could run the
ball so well and they didn't have to throw it as much as we thought
The Cougars also shut down Kyle Bell, the Mountain West's
leading rusher, holding him to nine carries for 36 yards -- about 85
below his average.
Justin Holland was 22-for-30 for 281 yards and two touchdowns to
lead Colorado State, which entered the game as one of two teams
without an MWC loss. After Saturday, TCU was the only team with an
unblemished record in the league standings.
Holland threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Kory Sperry as time
expired in the third quarter and a 19-yard touchdown to David
Anderson, who made a nice sliding catch at the goal line, 6 minutes
later to get the Rams within a field goal.
But the Cougars kept the ball for the next 6:47, going 76 yards
on 14 plays.
BYU led 14-0 at halftime and could have easily been up by twice
that, but the Cougars turned the ball over twice deep in CSU
Beck overthrew Todd Watkins from the 33 and Darryl Williams
intercepted it and returned it 9 yards to the 22. The Cougars got
down to the 17 later in the quarter and Beck completed a 14-yard
pass to Jonny Harline, who fumbled on a hard hit by Miles Kochevar
at the 2 and Colorado State recovered.
"I think we're going to look at the film and see that this game
shouldn't have been close," Beck said. "If we didn't make those
mistakes and get points, then this game is not close."
The Cougars finally scored on their third visit deep into CSU
territory when Brown converted on third-and-goal with a 4-yard run
with 12:27 left in the half. BYU scored again with 1:32 left in the
half on a 2-yard pass from Beck to Daniel Coats, who caught the
ball at the back of the end zone and kept his feet in for the