BYU Pulls Away From San Diego State To Secure 10th Win

Dec 12, 2020, 9:41 PM | Updated: 11:13 pm
BYU - SDSU - Football...
BYU and SDSU during a regular season game on December 12th, 2020. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – No. 18 BYU is hosting San Diego State in the latest regular-season game in BYU football history. It’s also the first-ever home game in the month of December at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

BYU enters the game with a 9-1 record and the Aztecs from Montezuma Mesa come into the matchup with a 4-3 record.


BYU running back Tyler Allgeier, wide receiver Gunner Romney, and offensive lineman Clark Barrington are out due to injuries.

BYU/SDSU: 1st Quarter

The BYU offense was the first to take the field and they move down the field with ease despite not having three starters in the lineup. Wilson hit Dax Milne for the eighth time this season for a touchdown giving BYU an early 7-0 lead with 10:56 remaining.

San Diego State offense which has had its fair share of struggles this season moved down the field to score a touchdown on their first drive to tie the game. The Aztecs first drive was capped off by an incredible highlight grab from Elijah Kothe for a touchdown.

Zach Wilson and the BYU offense took the field and on the first play of their second drive, redshirt freshman tight end Isaac Rex made a catch for nine yards but had the ball stripped by Aztecs Field Warrior Tariq Thompson.

The Aztec offense appeared to stall with a three-and-out, the kicking team took the field for a 41-yard field goal, but they faked it on 4th & 1 and pulled off the first down. A few plays later Aztec RB Kaegun Williams scored his first career touchdown to give SDSU a 14-7 lead with 3:08 remaining.

BYU’s offense stalled on its next drive after one first down and was forced to punt. SDSU took over on their own 18-yard line after a hard hit by Max Tooley at the end of punt coverage.

At the end of the first quarter, San Diego State had a 14-7 lead.

2nd Quarter

San Diego State’s offense led by running back Greg Bell, a former Nebraska transfer, was moving down the field looking to go up 21-7 on BYU. Aztec quarterback Jordon Brookshire tossed a pass over the middle of the field and linebacker Drew Jensen.

There was a facemask called on the SDSU offense while Jensen was returning the interception so BYU was given excellent field position starting on the Aztec 40 yard line. BYU’s offense stalled early on in the drive following the pick, going for it on a 4th & 1. Running Back Lopini Katoa converted the first down on a fullback dive setting BYU up on the SDSU 2 yard line.

One play later, Wilson found tight end Isaac Rex for the ninth time this season in the endzone to tie the game back up at 14 with 8:34 remaining.

SDSU quarterback Jordon Brookshire was put in some third and long situations on the following drive where he had to pass. He converted one on 3rd & 11 and nearly converted a second on 3rd & 10 but his receiver Elijah Kothe bobbled the pass forcing the Aztecs to punt.

BYU’s offense then stalled as well punting the ball back to the Aztecs with two minutes remaining in the half.

The Aztecs took over on their own 15 yard one but BYU’s defense stuffed the SDSU ground attack for only two yards on the first two plays. True freshman Micah Harper made a tackle in the open field over the middle to stuff San Diego State and force a three-and-out.

SDSU punted the ball with 1:33 left giving BYU’s offense a chance to get points before the end of the first half.

The Cougar offense started the drive on their own 32-yard line with 1:18 remaining.

BYU had a pair of penalties with an illegal formation and an illegal snap causing a 10 second runoff. But the offense was able to get kicker Jake Oldroyd in a position to attempt a 50-yard field goal. The Lou Groza semifinalist hit the kick to give BYU a 17-14 lead at the half.

3rd Quarter

San Diego State opened the second half on offense and began their drive on their own 25. Two plays later, they were down to the BYU 25 yard line after a pair of big runs from Aztec running back Greg Bell. BYU’s defense bent, but didn’t break as starting safety Kavika Fonua forced a fumble which defensive lineman Seleti Fevaleaki recovered.

BYU took over from its own eight yard line after the fumble recovery. Two plays later, the Cougars were in a third and long situation that Zach Wilson made sure BYU converted. Wilson completed a flick pass to Lopini Katoa that popped off for a gain of 28 yards, giving BYU some breathing room.

BYU got down to the SDSU 18 yard line where they then pulled out a special play lining Wilson up under center and handing the ball off to wide receiver Neil Pau’u on a reverse. The play gave BYU a loss of three yards, putting them behind the sticks.

On 2nd & 13, Wilson dropped back and was under pressure by SDSU’s defensive line who hit Wilson hard on a pass attempt intended for Isaac Rex in the back of the endzone. Wilson remained in the game on the following play and completed a pass to Milne for nine yards to set up a 29-yard field goal from Jake Oldroyd to build BYU’s lead to six at 20-14.

The Aztecs would not roll over with the game still a one-possession score. On 3rd & 9, Brookshire connected with Dominic Benson through the air to move the sticks. The Aztecs moved into BYU territory and converted another 3rd down on a 3rd & 2.

After three quarters, BYU held a 20-14 lead.

4th Quarter

BYU’s defense dug deep and forced SDSU to a 4th & 2 on the BYU 28-yard line. SDSU’s Brookshire ran it with a quarterback keeper and BYU defensive lineman Gabe Summers stuffed it to force a turnover on downs.

Zach Wilson then went to work for BYU putting on a clinic passing the football with a deep strike to Dax Milne to put the Cougars in Aztec territory. Then three plays later, Wilson found Neil Pau’u for a first down on 3rd & 7. The drive was capped off by a second TD pass to tight end Isaac Rex who grabbed his 10th touchdown of the season.

BYU attempted a two-point conversion and converted it on a Wilson pass to Katoa to build BYU’s lead to 14 at 28-14 with 10:53 remaining.

San Diego State put together a long drive to get back into it, but Jordon Brookshire slipped on 4th & 1 deep in BYU territory to secure the win for the Cougars.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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