BYU 47, San Diego St. 17
PROVO, Utah (AP)—John Beck passed for 267 yards and four touchdowns and Brigham Young got off to its best conference start in five years by beating winless San Diego State 47-17 Saturday.
Dustin Gabriel returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown and Curtis Brown scored twice for the Cougars (4-2), who are 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference for the first time since 2001—the last time they won the league title.
Beck completed 16 of 21 passes and got a head start on the Cougars’ week off by resting his sore ankles in the fourth quarter.
San Diego State (0-5, 0-2) has matched the worst start in school history. The Aztecs also started 0-5 in 2002, former coach Tom Craft’s first season. Craft was fired in December and replaced by Chuck Long, who hasn’t fared any better.
Kevin Craft, the former coach’s son, played well in his first career start, going 20-for-32 for 216 yards. His biggest mistake was forcing a pass that Gabriel caught in front of the Aztecs’ sideline and ran to the opposite corner of the end zone in the second quarter for a touchdown that put BYU ahead 33-3.
Atiyya Henderson had 21 carries for 93 yards Brandon Bornes and Tyler Campbell each scored on 1-yard runs in the third quarter for San Diego State.
The Aztecs surprised BYU with an on-side kick to start the game and recovered the ball, but were called from interference and the Cougars opened the first drive at the Aztecs’ 43. It was that kind of day for the Aztecs, who were called for 10 penalties in the game.
BYU led 40-3 by halftime on Beck’s third touchdown pass of the game, a 4-yard toss to Brown with 3:03 left in the second quarter. Beck had kept the drive going by converting a third-and-7 with a 43-yard pass to Zac Collie, who caught the ball in stride after Beck was leveled while throwing it.
Beck also had an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jonny Harline, putting BYU ahead 26-6, and a 29-yard scoring pass to Collie that gave BYU a 14-3 lead. Collie caught it at the 11, stopped and curled back around untouched into the end zone.
BYU’s Fui Vakapuna left the game with an ankle injury shortly after scoring on a 14-yard run to put the Cougars up 7-0. Vakapuna still led BYU in rushing with 56 yards on four carries.