RENO, Nev. (AP)—After a first half with zero points, five first downs and nine penalties, BYU found its groove in the second half.
Taysom Hill threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as BYU beat Nevada on Saturday, 28-23.
Hill led the second half charge for the Cougars (8-4), as he completed 14 of 18 passes for 98 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 154 yards and a score.
Hill had an 18-yard first down run with 1:42 left that sealed the win in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Wolf Pack (4-8, 3-5 Mountain West) led by seven at halftime and scored with 2:42 left in the game to shrink the deficit to five, but failed on a 2-point try and BYU ran the clock out to win it.
BYU running back Jamaal Williams rushed for 219 yards with a 66-yard touchdown 32 seconds into the second quarter. He had 188 rushing yards in the second half alone.
The BYU defense had an interception in the end zone by Robertson Daniel and blocked a field goal that helped spur the win.
But the win didn’t come easily.
BYU had 14 penalties for 142 yards compared to Nevada’s four. The Cougars were flagged when a defender tried to jump over a Nevada lineman to block a punt, which gave Nevada a first down, and in the second half were flagged for a late hit that negated an interception in the Nevada red zone.
Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo completed 23 of 33 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Brandon Wimberly caught 10 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
BYU will play a yet to be named opponent in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 27.
The Wolf Pack will not play a postseason game for the first time since 2004.