Quarterback Sean Covey was having problems getting Brigham Young's offense moving against Air Force. Then Mike O'Brien bolted through the line for a 20-yard gain.
"We just needed one big play to break us out of our psychological shell," Covey said after BYU came from behind to defeat the Falcons, 24-13, in a Western Athletic Conference game Saturday at Provo, Utah.
O'Brien's run came as the Cougars, trailing 10-0, were backed up at their eight-yard line in the second quarter.
After the run gave the Cougars some operating room, BYU drove to its first touchdown of the day behind Covey, who got his first start in place of Bob Jensen.
BYU, 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the WAC, kept alive hopes of reclaiming the conference title it held for 10 seasons until losing it to San Diego State last season. Air Force is 6-3 and 4-2.
Wyoming leads the WAC with a 4-0 record.
Covey, named the starter earlier this week, finished with 17 completions in 27 attempts for 294 yards.
Wyoming 20, Colorado St. 15--Tailback Gerald Abraham, who gained 143 yards in 26 carries, scored in the first quarter on a 69-yard pass play and late in the fourth quarter on a 58-yard run as the Cowboys beat the error-prone Rams in a WAC game at Laramie, Wyo.
The Cowboys, 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the WAC, twice allowed Colorado State inside their 10-yard line in the fourth quarter but each time Tony Carr fumbled the ball away.
Colorado State is 1-7 and 1-4.
"Colorado State just played an all-out game," Abraham said. "Those turnovers helped us a lot, like we've got nine lives."
Texas El Paso 34, New Mexico 0--John Harvey rushed for 209 yards and Luther Johnson returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown at El Paso, Tex., to assure the Miners of their first winning season since 1970.
The win improved the Miners' record to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the WAC. The Lobos are0-7 and 0-4.
Texas El Paso jumped into the lead when Harvey took a handoff on the first play and burst up the middle on a 68-yard touchdown run. After New Mexico ran three plays and punted on its first possession, Johnson returned the punt 76 yards to make the score 14-0.
Both teams were scoreless for the remainder of the first half.
The Lobos passed for 183 yards as quarterback Barry Garrison completed 20 of 37 attempts. But the Miners held New Mexico to 103 yards rushing.
Utah 31, Boise State 27--Freshman quarterback Scott Mitchell rallied the Utes to victory at Boise, Ida., running for one touchdown in the fourth quarter and passing for the winning score.
Boise State of the Division I-AA Big Sky Conference held a 27-17 lead over Utah of the WAC entering the fourth quarter. But Mitchell replaced senior Chris Mendonca and got Utah to within three at 27-24 with a three-yard quarterback sneak with 8:19 left.
Utah got the ball again, and Mitchell capped the winning drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Curt Jones with 3:04 left.
The victory ended a two-game losing streak for Utah (5-4). Boise State fell to 4-4 with its third straight loss.