YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Brigham Young's defense good for nothing -- again

September 21, 2008|From the Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- So much for that inexperienced defense holding back Brigham Young. The Cougars are looking as strong on that side of the ball as they usually do on offense.

No. 14 BYU recorded its second straight shutout, beating Wyoming, 44-0, Saturday and extending the nation's longest winning streak to 14.

The Cougars (4-0 overall, 1-0 in the Mountain West Conference) forced six turnovers and returned two of them for touchdowns.

"If they keep playing like that, with the aggressiveness and the hard hitting and the passion that they're playing with right now, good luck to the other teams' offenses," said Max Hall, who threw three touchdown passes before sitting out the fourth quarter for the second straight week.

BYU was coming off a 59-0 win over UCLA and has consecutive shutouts for the first time in 23 years. BYU last held two straight opponents scoreless in 1985, beating Wyoming, 59-0, and Utah State, 44-0 -- identical scores to the 2008 shutouts.

"That's something we try to do every time we come out and play," said David Nixon, who returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and also recovered a fumble he forced in the first half. "Any time you get turnovers, the game's going to be swinging your way. You get that emotion and momentum on your side it's going to be a great day."

The Cougars had eight new starters on defense when the season started and were planning to lean on Hall and the offense. Through four games, the defense has more than held its own.

BYU is on its longest winning streak since winning the last two games of 2000 and starting the following year 12-0. The Cougars, who have won 15 straight at home and 17 in a row in the Mountain West, are off until visiting Utah State on Oct. 3.

Hall finished 16 for 27 for 189 yards with no interceptions and Austin Collie had two catches for touchdowns. Harvey Unga ran for a score and caught a pass for another.

The Cowboys fell to 2-2, 0-2.

Los Angeles Times Articles