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BYU Uses Running Game to Rout Utah

November 24, 1996|From Associated Press

The day belonged to No. 8-ranked Brigham Young's unsung running backs, but that didn't bother quarterback Steve Sarkisian, who was who was only seven for 12 for 70 yards in the Cougars' 37-17 Western Athletic Conference victory over Utah Saturday at Salt Lake City.

"It may not have helped my stats much, but I'll take a win like that over Utah any day," said Sarkisian.

The Cougars, 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the WAC, wrapped up the Mountain Division title and will face Wyoming, the Pacific Division winner, in the WAC championship game on Dec. 7 in Las Vegas.

The Utes (8-3, 6-2) were trying to beat BYU for the fourth consecutive time.

Brian McKenzie rushed for 176 yards and one touchdown in 23 carries and BYU running mate and Ronney Jenkins, a freshman from Hueneme High, had 156 yards and three touchdowns in 29 carries.

San Diego State 31, Fresno State 21--Billy Blanton completed 25 of 34 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Aztecs (7-3, 5-1) at San Diego and spoil the final game of retiring Bulldog Coach Jim Sweeney.

Sweeney, who coached 32 seasons and spent his final 19 at Fresno State, finished with a career record of 200-154-4. Fresno State finished this season 4-7 and 3-5.

San Jose State 31, Nevada Las Vegas 28--Carl Dean passed for 443 yards and three touchdowns as the Spartans (3-9, 3-5) beat the Rebels (1-11, 1-7) at San Jose to give retiring Coach John Ralston a victory in his last game.

San Jose State scored 21 points in the first quarter, then held off a fourth-quarter rally by UNLV, which was limited to minus-17 rushing yards.

Ralston, who coached Stanford to Rose Bowl victories in 1970 and 1971, finished 11-34 in four seasons at San Jose State and 97-82-4 in a 17-season college career that began at Utah State in 1959.

UNLV got a four-touchdown, 387-yard passing performance from freshman Jon Denton.

New Mexico 44, Texas El Paso 17--Lennox Gordon, hit with flu a few days earlier and still feeling its effects, rushed for 127 yards in 15 carries in the first half before taking himself out of the game and the Lobos (6-5, 3-5) went on to an easy victory over the Miners (2-9, 0-8) at Albuquerque, N.M.

Rice 42, Tulsa 14--Chad Nelson overcame a sprained left ankle with touchdown runs of 10 and six yards as the Owls (7-4, 6-2) beat the Golden Hurricane (4-7, 2-6) in a WAC game at Houston.

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