Michael Atkinson returns an interception for Boise State's lone… (Joe Jaszewski / MCT )
BOISE, Idaho — Nose tackle Mike Atkinson returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown and No. 24 Boise State held off Brigham Young, 7-6, on Thursday night in a game dominated by defense.
Boise State (2-1) forced five turnovers and held the Cougars (2-2) to 200 total yards. The Boise State offense wasn't that much better, managing 261 total yards.
Atkinson's big play came early in the third quarter when he dropped back into coverage, picked of Riley Nelson's short pass and rumbled into the end zone. Nelson was benched after being intercepted for the third time in the game on BYU's next possession.
Freshman Taysom Hill replaced Nelson, and late in the fourth quarter led the Cougars to their lone score. Hill scored on a two-yard run with 3:37 to go, but his pass attempt on the two-point conversion was deflected and fell incomplete in the end zone.
Arkansas' Wilson cleared to return
Tyler Wilson is back for Arkansas.
Now the question is whether the star quarterback can get the Razorbacks out of their funk.
Arkansas Coach John L. Smith said Thursday that doctors cleared Wilson to return to action Saturday against Rutgers. Last season's first-team All-Southeastern Conference quarterback missed the Razorbacks' 52-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama last week with what he called a concussion.
The senior was injured late in the first half against Louisiana-Monroe the week before, a game Arkansas (1-2) lost in overtime after leading by 21 points in the third quarter.
The Razorbacks fell from No. 8 to unranked with that loss, and their troubles continued against the Crimson Tide — a game in which they were shut out for the first time since 1995. Wilson spoke after the game, trying to rally his teammates.
He'll have the chance to back up those words on the field against the Scarlet Knights (3-0).
"He is that energy, that vocal person that we need," Smith said. "His energy and that positiveness, it just kind of breeds and it keeps going and it spirals, and that's what we need."
Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini has announced that defensive tackle Chase Rome has returned to the team and will be available to play Saturday against Idaho State. Rome left the team last week after starting the first two games. … Minnesota freshman wide receiver Andre McDonald has been hospitalized. Gophers spokesman Paul Rovnak said McDonald was undergoing tests Thursday afternoon but had no further information on the nature or severity of McDonald's condition. But McDonald told the Minnesota Daily student newspaper in a phone interview he "had a little problem" with his heart. … Montana is opening its 2014 football season at Wyoming.