The Boise State Broncos and BYU Cougars had met three times previously, with Boise State coming away the victors each time, often by the narrowest of margins. A rivalry is starting to form between the two teams, with a series between the two scheduled to run for at least another decade.
On this night, though, BYU got its first win in the series in rather emphatic fashion. The Cougars won 37-20, in a game that was honestly even more lopsided than the final score would suggest.
BYU came out in the first half much more prepared and pumped up than Boise State and entered the locker room at halftime with a 24-3 lead.
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, BYU QB Taysom Hill found WR Cody Hoffman in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown pass. It was especially significant, as it was the 31st touchdown reception of Hoffman's BYU career, moving him past Austin Collie for first on the school's all-time touchdown receptions list.
This is the second week in a row in which Hoffman has broken a school record, as he passed Dennis Pitta in last week's game against Houston for most receptions in BYU history.
In the second half, Boise State did manage a little more offense, but 10 of those 17 points were due in large part to just two plays, a 61-yard run by Jay Ajayi that set up a field goal and a 47-yard pass from Grant Hedrick to Aaron Burks that led to a touchdown.
While Boise State put up a respectable yardage total of 499 yards, the BYU defense was absolutely ruthless in forcing turnovers, getting an interception and forcing and recovering three fumbles.
While BYU's defense was causing turnovers, the Cougars offense did a superb job at preventing them, as the Broncos' defense wasn't able to force a single turnover. About the only excitement the Boise State defense produced was when safety Dillon Lukehart got ejected for a vicious targeting foul on Hoffman in the end zone. The foul saved a touchdown but cost the defense Lukehart for the second half of this game and the first half of their next game.
Hill continued his growth as BYU's QB, notching 339 yards and three touchdowns passing and another 69 yards and a touchdown rushing. He also significantly lessened the number of big hits he took, which is important given his injury history.
BYU RB Jamaal Williams continued to be a workhorse, racking up 102 yards on 21 carries. He now has 728 yards rushing on the season and looks poised to be the first BYU running back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Harvey Unga in 2009, despite having missed about two full games' worth of playing time this season already due to injury.
The BYU tight ends had their best game of the season after having little impact at all up to this game. Kaneakua Friel, Devin Mahina and Marcus Mathews combined for eight receptions for 102 yards.
Overall, it was a convincing win for BYU, who put to rest any doubt over which team is better this season.
The win gave BYU their sixth of the season, making them bowl eligible. Shortly after the game, BYU accepted a bid to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, to be matched up against a Pac-12 team that will be determined later.
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