2:00 PM ET, November 8, 2008
LaVell Edwards Stadium, PROVO, UT
PROVO, Utah -- After narrow wins, BYU got a much-welcomed rout.
The 15th-ranked Cougars closed out their third straight unbeaten season at home with a 41-12 win over San Diego State on Saturday, setting a school record with 18 home victories in a row and staying in the Mountain West Conference title race.
• Austin Collie had 127 receiving yards and two touchdowns to lead BYU. It was his 14th career 100-yard receiving game, which breaks the Mountain West record previously held by J.R. Tolliver of San Diego State.
• BYU has won 18 straight home games, which is tied with Boise State for the second longest active home win streak in the nation. They've also won 21 of their last 22 conference games.
• San Diego State has lost seven straight road games and 12 of its last 13 games overall.
-- ESPN research
The Cougars (9-1, 5-1) had allowed 87 points in their past two games. They won both, but by a total of just 10 points and were ready for a blowout.
"It was nice to have an all-around team effort," said Hall, who was 25-for-30 for 317 yards. "Our defense played well and I think that boosted their confidence. But our offense has got to keep on rolling."
BYU scored the first 27 points, then after two field goals by San Diego State, Hall found Collie for two more touchdowns early in the fourth quarter against the injury-plagued Aztecs (1-9, 0-6).
San Diego State had four turnovers, including a fumble on the second-half kickoff that set up a quick score to put BYU up 27-0 early in the third quarter.
"We knew coming out today we were going to hit hard and get after them," said David Nixon, who had an interception and 14 tackles in his final home game. "Fortunately enough they turned the ball over and we were able to capitalize on it."
BYU needs to close the season with wins at Air Force and No. 8 Utah for at least a share of a third straight conference title.
Utah's 13-10 win over No. 12 TCU on Thursday ended the Horned Frogs' hopes of an outright MWC championship. TCU is the only team to beat BYU this season.
"Now it's back in our hands, depending on what we do. We hold our own destiny and we realize that," Nixon said. "We don't have to depend on anybody else to do anything."
San Diego State has been hurt by injuries this season. Only seven Aztecs have started every game and 40 players have had at least one start for coach Chuck Long.
"You have to get through these times to get better. You just have to," Long said.
Collie had 48 yards receiving at the end of the third, then took a short pass from Hall and ran it in for a 61-yard touchdown early in the fourth to break 100 for the eighth straight game and put BYU up 34-6. Hall found Collie again for a 9-yard TD to make it 41-6 with 10:07 left to go.
Hall has thrown 32 touchdown passes this season and Collie has 13 TDs receptions.
"I think they would compete no matter what they were playing. They don't like to lose," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "They think they can make every play at any time to help our team win."
The Aztecs gambled a couple of times in the first quarter while trying to keep the ball out of the Cougars' hands. San Diego State converted on a fourth-and-1 and later a fake punt. If either play had failed, BYU would have taken over around midfield and had only a short distance to go.
San Diego State's first play was telling. Lindley lined up in the shotgun and wasn't ready for the snap, which hit him in the facemask and BYU recovered at the 49-yard line. The Cougars took seven plays to reach the end zone on Vakapuna's 7-yard run with 9:42 left in the first quarter.
The Aztecs' beleaguered defense held BYU to 10 points, then finally broke in the second quarter. Hall threw a 56-yard pass to Michael Reed, then a 6-yard touchdown pass to Andrew George to put BYU up 17-0 with 5:19 left in the half. David Nixon, also playing in his final home game, got the Cougars the ball back with an interception at the 32 and BYU added a field goal by Mitch Payne to take a 20-0 lead at halftime.
San Diego State entered the game ranked 119th in the Bowl Subdivision, allowing 292.78 yards, but held BYU to 104 yards on the ground.
"We grew defensively today," Russell Allen said. "If you told me before the game we'd hold them to 104 yards rushing, I would have thought we had a chance to win the game."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... BYU's first 27 points went unanswered for the entire first half and then some.
Gameball goes to... Max Hall. No surprise here, as the signal-caller completed 25 of 30 passes for 317 yards and three TDs.
Stat of the game... 18. BYU set a school record Saturday with its 18th straight home win, the third consecutive season in which the Cougars have gone undefeated in Provo.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||6-13|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||1-1|
|TD||09:42||Fui Vakapuna 7 Yd Run (Mitch Payne Kick)||0||7|
|FG||08:37||Mitch Payne 34 Yd||0||10|
|TD||05:19||Andrew George 6 Yd Pass From Max Hall (Mitch Payne Kick)||0||17|
|FG||00:36||Mitch Payne 25 Yd||0||20|
|TD||12:55||Wayne Latu 3 Yd Run (Mitch Payne Kick)||0||27|
|FG||04:18||Lane Yoshida 49 Yd||3||27|
|FG||01:10||Lane Yoshida 34 Yd||6||27|
|TD||14:03||Austin Collie 61 Yd Pass From Max Hall (Mitch Payne Kick)||6||34|
|TD||10:07||Austin Collie 9 Yd Pass From Max Hall (Mitch Payne Kick)||6||41|
|TD||00:49||Darren Mougey 9 Yd Pass From Ryan Lindley (Pat Failed)||12||41|