PROVO, Utah (AP) -- John Beck threw for 313 yards and three
touchdowns to lead BYU to its third straight victory, 49-16 over
San Diego State on Saturday.
The Cougars (5-4, 4-1 Mountain West) scored 23 points in the
third quarter to break open a game after leading 13-3 at halftime.
Curtis Brown ran for 106 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown for
BYU, which moved within one victory of a guaranteed winning season
and qualifying for a bowl with two games to play. San Diego State
(2-7, 0-5) lost its sixth straight.
The third-quarter outburst was similar to BYU's 21-point total
in the third quarter against Air Force two weeks ago, which
propelled the Cougars to a 41-24 victory. BYU has now piled up 90
points in their last two games.
"I think the best thing for us offensively is the way we
practice," Beck said. "Were trying to make it as game-like as
possible and as close as we can in practice, so when we come out in
game time, its just a matter of execution. We don't have to raise
it up a level for the game."
Brown got the Cougar scoring started in the third on a 3-yard
touchdown run after San Diego State was called for holding on
third-and-goal the play before. Fahu Tahi added a touchdown run
later in the game, followed by a Matt Payne field goal.
Payne added a 43-yard field goal late in the second -- his 13th
straight from between 40-49 yards, breaking the NCAA record from
that distance. Notre Dame's John Carney previously held the record
with 12 in a row.
Payne added two more field goals, from 34 and 42 yards out.
Payne also had a 59-yard attempt blocked, but he picked up the ball
and ran 24 yards for a first down. The play led to the Cougars'
final touchdown of the game.
"How many times can you get one blocked that goes right to him
and he runs down like a fullback?" San Diego State coach Tom Craft
said. "He's pretty impressive. He's got a great leg, he's tough."
San Diego State's Kevin O'Connell had a rough day passing,
completing just 21 of 47 passes for 229 yards, one touchdown and
two interceptions. He was more effective on the ground, however,
rushing for 101 yards on 15 attempts.
The Cougars took an early lead when Beck hit Todd Watkins, who
got behind the defense for a 68-yard touchdown pass on BYU's second
offensive play of the game. The Aztecs responded with a 47-yard
field goal by Garrett Palmer early in the second quarter.
USC athletic director Pat Haden spoke Tuesday about the decision to fire head coach Steve Sarkisian, calling it "very difficult," while also defending his handling of the situation.
Steve Sarkisian has been plagued of late by apparent substance-related circumstances, including arriving to team facilities appearing intoxicated Sunday, according to sources.
Steve Spurrier, the visor-slinging, slick-talking "Head Ball Coach" who is the second-winningest coach in Southeastern Conference history, announced his resignation on Tuesday.
Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier has been suspended for the year after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance found in a supplement, coach Jim McElwain announced Monday.
Tennessee defensive tackle Shy Tuttle will miss the rest of the season with a broken fibula and torn ankle ligament.
Former NFL safety Tyler Sash died from an accidental overdose after mixing two powerful pain medications, and a history of injuries was a contributing factor, a medical examiner said.