By MICHAEL MILLER
The story of Thursday’s football game was dominating defense and rain, rain and more rain.
BYU showcased its 11th-ranked defense to a national television audience with frightening results. The San Diego State Aztecs were so overwhelmed by the stingy Cougar defense that they left Provo with nothing but a doughnut on the scoreboard.
Final score: BYU 13, San Diego State 0.
BYU cornerback Brian Gray and linebacker Rob Morris were just two of a handful of monsters on defense who gave the Aztecs nightmares.
Only a minute and a half into the game, Gray stepped up and intercepted quarterback Brian Russell’s pass and returned it 39 yards to put BYU up 7-0. Little did anyone know that would be the only touchdown of the game.
Russell’s pass was intended for San Diego speedster Damon Gourdine, who Gray played with in junior college.
“The fact that I played with him in junior college, I figured I could shut him down because in practice I was always used to him,” Gray said.
Gray said he knew which way Gourdine was going to turn because he always gives the opposite move he’s going to make.
On its first possession, BYU took the ball 37 yards in eight plays and finished with a 46-yard field goal by Owen Pochman to open a 10-0 lead.
After halftime, the rain came and the defense took over, led by Morris.
“Rob’s outstanding. I think there are very few linebackers around that are better than that guy,” BYU head coach LaVell Edwards said.
Morris finished the game with 17 tackles, including three tackles for a loss.
“He had a big night tonight, as did our whole defense. His tackling was crisp, he’s quick and he’s smart,” Edwards said.