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Pac-who? BYU downs Arizona State

SHARE Pac-who? BYU downs Arizona State

Another "Miracle in the Deseret" was staged here Saturday - only this one belonged to the BYU Cougars.

Owen Pochman drilled a 32-yard field goal with 4:38 remaining in the game to give BYU a hard-fought 13-10 victory over the No. 14-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils.Pochman's field goal culminated an impressive 10-play, 77-yard drive engineered by quarterback Kevin Feterik. It also brought redemption to the freshman kicker, who hit on only two of five field goals on the evening.

After the two teams played to a 10-10 draw through the first half, BYU threatened to score at the start and end of the third period.

In the Cougars' first second-half series, BYU marched convincingly down the field, keyed by a 39-yard snag of a Feterik pass by Cahoon. McKenzie was called on five straight times as BYU got within two yards of a touchdown, but McKenzie was hit by Damien Richardson and fumbled to Stephen Trejo.

In the closing moments of the third, Feterik found - who else? - Cahoon for a 44-yard pass to start a possession, and later the two connected on an 18-yarder as the Cougars rambled down to the Sun Devil 12. But the drive stalled, and Pochman was blocked on his 31-yard field-goal attempt.

For BYU, the first half was anything but special for the Cougars' special teams, which were the victims of several critical blunders.

The most costly came on a fumble by receiver/return specialist Aaron Roderick, who dropped the ball on BYU's own 13-yard line. It was a costly error, considering that the Cougar defense had held the Devils in the previous possession, which was stymied by a Rob Morris sack of Kealy, with Kealy's fumble recovered by a teammate.

It appeared on TV replays that BYU's Tony Fields had fallen on the ball to retain possession, scooping in the ball as he was sprawled on the field. The officials, however, didn't rule possession until players had wrestled in a rugby-like scrum for an extended time, finally pulling players off and awarding ASU the ball.

Following the recovery of Roderick's muff by Andre Smith, ASU needed only four plays - aided in part by a Cougar personal foul - to score its sole touchdown of the first half, a 1-yard plunge by Martin. Robert Nycz's PAT kick made it 10-7 ASU with 10 minutes before intermission.

The other miscues on special teams in the opening quarters: missed field goals of 42 and 48 yards by Pochman on the Cougars first two possessions of the game, and a 15-yard punt late in the second by J.D. Hartsfield.

However, Arizona State was able to capitalize on only the first missed opportunity, a 44-yard field goal by Nycz midway in the first quarter, and it was the sole scoring in the period as ASU led 3-0.

Feterik led BYU on a 10-play, 80-yard drive at the end of the quarter, highlighted by a leap-and-lean-back catch by Cahoon for 22 yards. The Cougars appeared headed for a score four plays later from the ASU 38 as Feterik tossed down the middle to Kalani Sitake, but he dropped the underthrown pass as he backpedaled across the goal line.

But the Cougars, themselves helped by an ASU personal foul, scored several plays later on the first play of the second quarter on a 6-yard burst by McKenzie behind the blocking of left-side linemen John Tait and Joe Wong. Pochman's PAT put BYU in front 7-3 as the second period got under way.

After ASU took the lead on Martin's TD, Pochman later knotted the score at 10-all with a 45-yard field goal with 4:32 left in the game. Neither team really threatened the rest of half, although Roderick flirted with another bobble on a fair catch of a punt.