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BYU QB Berry learning, getting better

PROVO — Midway through the third quarter, Matt Berry looked as though he had this "BYU quarterback" thing down pretty well.

He had just passed the 300-yard passing mark for the first time in his BYU career. Throughout the night he looked comfortable in the pocket, completing passes at will and rolling up the first downs.

More importantly, he had led the Cougars to a 28-17 advantage by passing for two touchdowns and setting up two more.

To cap it all off, he now stood a mere 19 yards from passing for another score and closing the book on the Wyoming Cowboys.

It had all the makings of a storybook ending until Wyoming safety Jacque Finn stepped in front of his pass in the end zone, returning it 100 yards for a touchdown.

So instead of BYU leading the game by 18, the Cougars found themselves in a dogfight, 28-23.

A few minutes and an illegal forward pass penalty later, Wyoming had snatched the lead 31-28.

For his first time as a Cougar, Berry found himself on the hot seat and with a large task to accomplish: rallying the team to retake the lead with under five minutes to play.

"I don't think there was a guy on our side of the ball that thought we were going to lose," Berry said.

Berry responded with the poise of a seasoned veteran, leading the Cougars on a 10-play, 80-yard drive, finished off by his four-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Reid that proved to be the margin of victory.

Berry can now add a come-from-behind victory to his BYU quarterback resume.

"It felt good to have a come-from-behind win," Berry said. "But I don't think it should have been that way in the first place."

The redshirt freshman finished the game completing 31 of 45 passes for 360 yards, three scores and two interceptions.

"Matt Berry's learning and he's getting better," said BYU coach Gary Crowton. "I'm really impressed with Matt. He's a competitive guy. He made some bad mistakes but did what he had to do to win the game."

MAHE'S BIG NIGHT: BYU receiver Reno Mahe moved into tenth place on BYU's all-time receiving list with 2,067 yards with his six catches for eighty yards. Mahe also passed Todd Christensen on the all-time receptions list with 157.


E-mail: poyfair@desnews.com