BYU gets win in final home game of 2011

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The BYU football team trampled the New Mexico State Aggies 42-7 in the final game of the season at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday. The Cougars scored at least once in every quarter, while holding the Aggies to just one touchdown in the game.

“I think we were executing at a high level,” senior running back JJ Di Luigi said. “We were able to run the ball on them and throw the ball on them. Guys were just making plays out there and that ultimately just kept us moving down the field.”

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While being pulled back by NMSU defensive back Courtney Viney, BYU wide receiver Ross Apo stretches the ball across the line to score his second touchdown of the night on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars smashed the Aggies 42-7 in their final home game of the season.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps, who played in place of the injured Riley Nelson, threw for 238 yards and tied his carer high with four touchdowns, including two to freshman wide receiver Ross Apo. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Heaps controlled the game well and said one of his touchdown passes — a 27-yarder to JD Falslev in the fourth quarter where the quarterback had to evade defensive pressure from the Aggies before making the pass — was the best play Heaps has made in his career at BYU.

“[Heaps] delivered the ball where it needed to go the majority of the time,” Mendenhall said. “A couple throws were rushed; there are a couple decisions I’m sure he would take back. He was poised and he was confident and he made a lot of great throws.”

Mendenhall said earlier in the week that New Mexico State’s offense would be one of the best his team would play all year. New Mexico State came into the game ranked 13th in the nation in passing yards, averaging 302 yards per game. However, BYU held the Aggies to just 159 yards through the air.

“It’s an explosive offense with good and talented players,” Mendenhall said. “[Our] defensive players responded and played excellent, not just good.”

In addition to limiting the amount of yards the Aggies tallied, the Cougars forced and recovered two fumbles, both of which led to touchdowns by the Cougar offense. Sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who had six tackles, including two for a loss, said the defense is continuing to improve each week.

“We love to play football, that’s why we play,” Van Noy said. “It’s all to have fun. It’s just another chance to get better and improve ourselves. We really bond together and we bleed and cry together.”

Nineteen seniors were recognized during their last home game. Two of those seniors, tight end Matthew Edwards and wide receiver Matt Marshall, each scored their first career touchdown Saturday night against the Aggies. Edwards caught a 9-yard pass from Heaps, while Marshall ran in a 2-yard score as the quarterback in a Wildcat formation.

“Give credit to Matt Marshall and Matt Edwards for being ready when their number was called to execute their assignment and make a play,” Mendenhall said. “I bet it will be one of those things they remember forever. That’s a great gift to give as a coach to a player.”

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