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Backup quarterback Jake Heaps threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns to lead the BYU football team to a lopsided 42-7 victory Saturday night against the Idaho Vandals at LaVell Edwards Stadium. With the win, BYU ties the series between the two teams, 2-2.
Trio of QBs
After throwing a 32-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, junior quarterback Riley Nelson left the game with an injury to his chest and didn’t return. Heaps filled the spot and played effectively, completing 15 of 20 passes. Towards the end of the third quarter, third-string quarterback James Lark came in the game. Lark finished with two completions on six pass attempts, for 21 yards.
“I think he [Heaps] managed the game well and moved the team well, made a lot of good decisions and got a lot of quality work,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “It was fun to have a chance to get Lark in there as well.”
The Cougar defense continued to be dominant, holding the Vandals to just one touchdown and 50 passing yards for the entire game.
Mendenhall said he believed Idaho had more confidence in short passes than in trying anything downfield.
“It’s hard to score any points, especially when you get a lead in a ball game like this, if they can’t throw the ball,” Mendenhall said. “There were a lot of screen attempts they were throwing, a lot of things underneath, and we had a pretty good plan for that. I don’t think they believed their protection would hold for the downfield throws.”
Sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy led the team with 10 tackles and a sack. Freshman Jordan Johnson and sophomore Spencer Hadley each intercepted an Idaho pass, quickly returning possession to the Cougar offense.
“We give all the props in the world to the DBs [defensive backs], they played awesome,” Van Noy said. “It’s good to see Jordan Johnson out there making plays; he’s a young kid and he’s got a bright future.”
Sophomores Cody Hoffman and Mike Alisa each had strong individual games Saturday night. Hoffman caught six passes for 116 yards, including two touchdowns. Alisa ran for 99 yards on just 10 carries, for an average of 9.9 yards per carry.
Alisa said he gives credit to BYU’s offensive line.
“The blocking was just unbelievable,” Alisa said. “I think some of the holes were five yards wide on some of my plays. I can’t take too much credit for it and neither can the rest of the other backs. It was all the O-line.”