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BYU Barely Gets Past New Mexico

September 22, 1996|From Associated Press

Not too many people thought New Mexico would give Brigham Young much of a game Saturday at Provo, Utah.

But BYU Coach Lavell Edwards said he knew when he saw film of the Lobos' multi-purpose quarterback, Donald Sellers, that the Cougars could be in for a long, tough afternoon.

"Sellers is Mr. Excitement," Edwards said after surviving a 17-14 Western Athletic Conference opener. "The worst thing you can do is flush him out of the pocket."

Sellers completed 19 of 31 passes for 157 yards, but he did the most damage when he tucked the ball and ran for 54 more.

BYU improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the WAC. New Mexico is 3-1, 0-1.

BYU quarterback Steve Sarkisian, sacked four times by the Lobos' swarming defense, managed just one touchdown pass. He finished with 276 yards in the air, but also had two passes intercepted and a fumble returned for a New Mexico touchdown.

BYU's star turned out to be unheralded Ronney Jenkins, a freshman running back from Port Hueneme who had carried only 13 times in three previous games. He got his first touchdown as a Cougar on a six-yard run late in the third quarter. It proved the winner.

Wyoming 22, Air Force 19--Receiver David Saraf caught 11 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown and Cory Wedel had his third game-winning field goal of the season as the Cowboys (4-0, 2-0) defeated the Falcons (2-1, 2-1) in an WAC game at Laramie, Wyo.

Wedel's 19-yarder with 36 seconds left capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive. The drive was kept alive by Saraf's 15-yard, third-down reception up the middle to the 10-yard line. Cornerback Lee Vaughn ensured the victory with a last-second interception of Beau Morgan's pass at the Wyoming 39.

Wedel's game-winner redeemed an otherwise poor kicking game for him. He hit 29- and 31-yard field goals, but missed attempts of 34 and 39.

Wyoming quarterback Josh Wallwork completed 33 of 45 passes for 453 yards. Saraf's better-known teammate, NCAA-leading receiver Marcus Harris, caught 13 passes for 145 yards.

Utah 45, Fresno State 17--After spotting the Bulldogs (0-3, 0-1) a 14-0 lead, the Utes (3-1, 2-0) got four rushing touchdowns from Juan Johnson to pull away to an easy WAC victory at Salt Lake City.

Colorado State 35, Nevada Las Vegas 16--Moses Moreno passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Rams opened defense of their WAC title by holding off the Rebels at Fort Collins, Colo.

Colorado State (2-2, 1-0) was clinging to a 21-16 lead and UNLV (0-4, 0-2) was threatening with 9:44 left when a receiver was stripped of the ball and the Rams recovered.

San Jose State 26, Texas El Paso 25--Carl Dean's 19-yard touchdown pass to Windrell Hayes with 1:03 left as the Spartans (1-3, 1-1) came back to defeat the Miners (1-2, 0-1) in a WAC game at San Jose. UTEP scored on a fumbled punt in the end zone and got a two-point conversion, but San Jose drove 77 yards in nine plays.

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