Ground game gets on track in Cougar victory


The BYU football team moved its record to 4-2 on the season when the Cougars beat San Jose State on Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars took a 2-0 lead over the Spartans and never looked back.


After an event-filled week, including the lighting of the Y, BYU ended Homecoming week with a victory. After Saturday night’s game, the Cougars are 12-4 during Homecoming week since 1996.

New face

[media-credit name=”Sarah Strobel” align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]
Jordan Pendleton and Travis Uale celebrate a tackle on Saturday night's game against San Jose at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars defeated the Spartans 29-16.
The Cougars continued to improve their running game, as they finished with a season-high 227 yards on the ground. BYU had more overall rushing yards than passing yards, also a first this year. Sophomore running back Michael Alisa led the team in rushing with 91 yards on 16 carries. Alisa came into the game with two career rushing yards on three total carries.

“All my credit goes to the [offensive] line, they did an excellent job up front making huge holes,” Alisa said. “Every opportunity I got in practice I tried to show the coaches that I want to play and that I’m aggressive. Luckily I got a shot tonight.”

Nelson gets the start

Junior quarterback Riley Nelson was given the start for the first time this season against the Spartans. He threw for three touchdowns in the first half, with each pass going to a different receiver. However, he also turned the ball over three times and accounted for zero passing yards in the third quarter. Overall, he said he felt he could have performed better.

“Personally, pretty average, about a C,” Nelson said of his performance. “Three turnovers in the red zone was bad news and all three were my fault.”


BYU began the game with a fumble on the 2-yard line on its opening drive. On the very next play, San Jose State snapped the ball out of the end zone, resulted in a safety to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. After the fumble, the Cougars scored on three consecutive drives, spanning the two quarters. BYU had not scored on back-to-back drives all season up until that point. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall feels his team still has plenty of room for improvement.

“[We’re] still growing, still maturing and a work in progress,” Mendenhall said. “We have not reached our potential yet and there is so much more that this team is capable of in terms of playing great football from the first quarter to the fourth quarter.”


There are a few categories football teams like to see a 0 in the stat column, such as sacks and interceptions. But not many teams plan on seeing a 0 in the number of times they are forced to punt. BYU did not punt the ball once during thitsir contest against San Jose State. Every drive was capped by a touchdown, field goal or turnover, or running out the clock to end of the game.

The other Cougar kicking team was also perfect Saturday night as Justin Sorensen kicked two field goals in the second half.


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