Live coverage: BYU 37, Boise State 20

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

PROVO, Utah — The Boise State football team committed four turnovers Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

It forced zero from BYU.

“You might be able to start and stop right there,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.

That, of course, would ignore a litany of other mistakes that contributed to the Broncos’ 37-20 loss and the worst first half by a Boise State team in Petersen’s 100-game career.

The Broncos were 2-for-5 on fourth down. They missed a slew of tackles while digging a 24-3 halftime deficit. Their receivers missed a couple of deep balls that could have been caught. Their defensive backs got beat on several deep balls that could have been broken up.

As poorly as they played, they were down 10-3 late in the first half before a 14-point barrage from the Cougars and were giving indications that they might make the second half exciting before losing the ball on three straight possessions.

“We had a lot of chances,” said junior quarterback Grant Hedrick, who made his first start in place of senior Joe Southwick (broken ankle). “We could have swung the game in a totally different direction if we capitalize on some of those things. If we don’t, that’s what happens — we get beat by a good team. But if we make some of those plays, I think we’re right in it.”

The Broncos fell to 5-3 for the first time since 2001. They suffered a third loss for the first time since 2007, lost to a Utah team for the first time since 1997 (21 straight wins) and lost in October for the first time since 2001 (50 straight wins).

They’re 1-3 on the road, where they will be again Nov. 2 at Colorado State.

The Broncos still are 3-1 and in control of their destiny in the Mountain West Mountain Division race, but they likely won’t extend their five-year run of Top 25 finishes.

“We’re still playing for all our goals,” junior linebacker Corey Bell said. “This loss hurts, but our goals are still in place.”

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

BYU — Taysom Hill 21 run (Justin Sorensen kick), 6:46. Key plays: Hill hit JD Falslev, who took advantage of a coverage bust to gain 21 yards, and tight end Kaneakua Friel, who busted safety Darian Thompson’s tackle attempt to gain 22 yards. The TD came on third-and-3. Drive: 8 plays, 84 yards, 1:48. BYU 7, Boise State 0

Second quarter

BYU — Sorensen 28 field goal, 14:55. Key plays: Friel made an 18-yard catch and Devin Mahina made an 11-yarder on a methodical drive that was ruined by a false start. Drive: 14 plays, 56 yards, 5:06. BYU 10, Boise State 0

BSU — Dan Goodale 33 field goal, 4:50. Key plays: Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes’ nifty run after catch allowed him to gain 12 yards on third-and-11 from the Boise State 8. Wide receiver Matt Miller added a leaping, 12-yard catch on third-and-5. But on third-and-3 at the BYU 16, tailback Jay Ajayi only gained 1 yard. Drive: 14 plays, 76 yards, 4:41. BYU 10, Boise State 3

BYU — Ross Apo 37 pass from Hill (Sorensen kick), 3:45. Key plays: Cody Hoffman beat cornerback Bryan Douglas for a juggling catch on a deep ball. On the next play, Douglas thought he had a bead on the pass but it went over his fingertips to Apo for the touchdown. Drive: 4 plays, 77 yards, :59. BYU 17, Boise State 3

BYU — Hoffman 4 pass from Hill (Sorensen kick), :44. Key plays: Williams-Rhodes fumbled to give BYU the ball at the Boise State 47. Mahina made an 18-yard catch and Hoffman beat cornerback Donte Deayon on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone. Drive: 6 plays, 47 yards, 1:41. BYU 24, Boise State 3

Third quarter

BSU — Goodale 34 field goal, 10:50. Key plays: Ajayi broke free down the right sideline for a 61-yard gain. The Broncos ran it three straight times after that and settled for a field goal. Drive: 6 plays, 63 yards, 2:10. BYU 24, Boise State 6

BYU — Mitch Mathews 40 pass from Hill (Sorensen kick), 8:50. Key plays: Jamaal Williams escaped trouble in the backfield on a 10-yard run. The TD came on third down. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:00. BYU 31, Boise State 6

•••

NOTEBOOK

Petersen’s worst half

Boise State coach Chris Petersen’s 100th game began with the worst first half of his head coaching career. The Broncos trailed 24-3 at halftime — their worst performance since falling into a 24-0 hole in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl against Boston College, the last game under coach Dan Hawkins. The Broncos rallied before losing that game 27-21.

BYU outgained Boise State 376-202 in the first half. The Cougars also capitalized on the lone turnover of the half, a fumble by Boise State wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes. The Broncos were moving, down 17-3, but quickly found themselves behind 24-3 after the turnover.

Strange happenings

A Boise State drive in the second quarter included one certain mistake and another possible mistake by the officiating crew.

First, the officials lost track of downs. The Broncos lined up for what should have been a fourth-and-4 from their own 41-yard line but the down markers said it was third down. Quarterback Grant Hedrick completed a pass to wide receiver Matt Miller for the first down.

Later, on fourth-and-1 at the BYU 12, Hedrick sneaked up the middle and appeared to cross the 11-yard line. The ball was spotted short of the 11 — ending the drive.

BYU self-destructs on first drive

The Cougars drove to the Boise State 12-yard line on their first drive of the game. After two failed plays, they committed a pair of false-start penalties to set up third-and-20. They settled for a 35-yard field-goal attempt and senior Justin Sorensen hooked it wide left. Sorensen was 11-for-13 coming into the game.

Renaud, Odhiambo, Moore, Ioane out

Boise State played without three starters who were considered week to week — middle linebacker Blake Renaud, right tackle Rees Odhiambo and wide receiver Kirby Moore. Renaud missed his second straight game, Odhiambo missed his second in a three-game stretch and Moore missed his fourth straight. Renaud (replaced by Tanner Vallejo) and Odhiambo (Steven Baggett) did not make the trip. Moore (Shane Williams-Rhodes) traveled.

Starting safety Jeremy Ioane, who has been in and out of the lineup in recent weeks, did not play. Sophomore Dillon Lukehart replaced him.

Wale booms punt

Boise State freshman Sean Wale started at punter. His first kick was a low, rugby-style boot — and it traveled 62 yards to flip field position. His previous long was 54 yards.

Scary moment

BYU safety Daniel Sorensen appeared to get knocked out in the second quarter when his head collided with Boise State tight end Jake Hardee’s knee on a tackle attempt. Sorensen was flat on his back for several minutes and was the subject of quick attention from both training staffs. It appeared two of his family members came onto the field, too. After about 5 minutes, he was helped to his feet and to the BYU sideline.

QB debuts

Here are the results of the first starts by quarterbacks since Chris Petersen joined the Boise State staff in 2001. This does not include the Senior Day start by Bush Hamdan, who was intercepted on his only pass.
Ryan Dinwiddie (2001, loss at South Carolina): 18-of-31, 162 yards, 1 TD, 1 int.
B.J. Rhode (2001, win vs. Central Michigan): 13-of-27, 191 yards, 1 TD, 1 int.
Jared Zabransky (2004, win vs. Idaho): 11-of-16, 234 yards, 0 TDs, 1 int.
Taylor Tharp (2007, win vs. Weber State): 14-of-19, 184 yards, 1 TD, 0 ints.
Kellen Moore (2008, win vs. Idaho State): 14-of-19, 274 yards, 2 TDs, 0 ints.
Joe Southwick (2012, loss at Michigan State): 15-of-31, 169 yards, 0 TDs, 1 int.

Quick hits

Starting QB Joe Southwick (broken ankle) did not make the trip. He had surgery Monday. … The Broncos played on grass for the first time since last year’s season opener against Michigan State. They practiced on grass Tuesday. … Boise State wore black pants, white jerseys and black helmets. … Boise State’s captains: safety Darian Thompson, left tackle Charles Leno Jr., wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes and linebacker Ben Weaver. … Center Matt Paradis carried the Hammer, presumably for the offensive line that produced a 407-yard rushing game against Nevada. It was the second straight game that an offensive linemen carried it. Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. carried the Hammer vs. Nevada for his blocked field goal against Utah State. … x

•••

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Monday blog: Southwick injury update
Tuesday story: Weekly notes
Tuesday blog: Broncos lose WR recruit
Tuesday blog: Mountain West Football Report
Wednesday story: BYU QB Taysom Hill
Wednesday story: BYU scouting report
Live chat: Read a replay here
Wednesday blog: Boise State run game faces challenge
Wednesday blog: Name the Score contest
Thursday story: B.J. Rhode reflects on his run as backup turned starter
Thursday blog: BYU’s Kyle Van Noy is a big-time playmaker
Thursday blog: Chris Petersen’s coaching record broken down
Friday story: Grant Hedrick profile
Friday column: Petersen’s 100th game
Friday blog: Murph’s leftovers on Petersen


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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