Scoring summary:

BYU 28, San Diego State 14

First quarter

BYU, Dax Milne 5-yard pass from Zach Wilson (10:56), Jake Oldroyd kick

SDSU, Kaegun Williams 25-yard run (5:56), Matt Araiza kick

SDSU, Elijah Kothe 15-yard pass from Jordan Brookshire (3:08), Matt Araiza kick

Second quarter

BYU, Isaac Rex 2-yard pass from Zach Wilson (8:34), Jake Oldroyd kick

BYU, Jake Oldroyd 50-yard field goal (0:00)

Third quarter

BYU, Jake Oldroyd 29-yard field goal (5:47)

Fourth quarter

BYU, Isaac Rex 20-yard pass from Zach Wilson (10:53), Lopini Katoa pass from Zach Wilson

BYU’s defense came up with three fourth-down stops in the fourth quarter as the Cougars beat visiting San Diego State 28-14 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday.

The second was a goal-line stand with under three minutes remaining — Aztec quarterback Jordon Brookshire slipped at the BYU 3 on the fourth-and-goal play — as the Cougars (10-1) finished the home slate of their schedule with a victory.

The BYU offense also came up big in the win over the Aztecs (4-4), as the Cougars scored the final 21 points of the game and 10 points off San Diego State turnovers.

3 takeaways

Defense allows yards, makes game-changing plays

BYU gave up 399 yards of total offense to San Diego State, but when it mattered most, the Cougar defense stood tall.

The Aztecs were just 1 of 4 on red-zone trips, including two inside the BYU 10 in the game’s final minutes. BYU also came up with a huge stop early in the final period, stopping Brookshire short of a first down on a fourth-and-2 at the BYU 28. That led to the Cougars’ final score — a 20-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Rex.

BYU’s defense also forced two turnovers — one an interception, the other a forced fumble in the third quarter inside the Cougar red zone — that BYU turned into 10 points.

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BYU honors 15 seniors before SDSU game, including a player who was just put on scholarship

Rex totally redeems himself (and so does Wilson)

Speaking of Rex, he had a rough early moment in the game, fumbling after a reception in the first quarter that led to a San Diego State touchdown that gave the Aztecs a 14-7 lead.

The freshman tight end didn’t let that keep him down, though, as he finished with five receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns. His first score — a 2-yarder in the second quarter — tied the game, and his second touchdown gave BYU a two-score lead.

Any talk of the BYU offense, of course, has to include quarterback Zach Wilson, who had himself yet another solid game in what’s been a standout season. He completed 25 of 34 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

Ball control keeps SDSU in it

The Aztecs took a page out of the Coastal Carolina playbook and tried to play keep away from the BYU offense. San Diego State possessed the ball for 14 minutes more than BYU, and a lot of that came on the ground, as the Aztecs rushed for 169 yards (95 more than the Cougars).

San Diego State was able to keep its drives going by having success on third down (10 of 17 in the game), though BYU held the Aztecs to 3 of 7 on third downs in the final quarter.

End of fourth quarter

BYU 28, San Diego State 14

The Cougars wrap up their 10th win of the season after San Diego State drove inside the BYU red zone with under a minute to play, but the Cougars hold again.

2:51, fourth quarter

BYU 28, San Diego State 14

The Cougars come up with another huge fourth-down stop, this one a goal line stand. Jordon Brookshire tried to score but slipped at the BYU 3, and the Cougars hold. That’s huge, with under three minutes to play.

10:53, fourth quarter

BYU 28, San Diego State 14

The Cougars add to their lead with an impressive 20-yard touchdown grab from Isaac Rex — his second of the day. BYU’s defense came up with a fourth-down stop on SDSU’s previous drive, and the Cougars drove 72 yards in seven plays — including passes of 34, 14 and 20 yards from Zach Wilson — to take control.

End of third quarter

BYU 20, San Diego State 14

The Cougars hold onto a slim lead heading into the final quarter. A few third-quarter notes:

  • The Aztecs own a 169-66 edge in rushing yards.
  • BYU is a perfect 3-for-3 on red-zone chances and has turned two Aztec turnovers into 10 points.
  • SDSU is in ball control mode and has converted 7 of 10 third downs.
  • Zach Wilson has 239 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns.

5:47, third quarter

BYU 20, San Diego State 14

The Cougars turn another Aztec turnover into points. This time, after SDSU fumbled inside the BYU 10, the Cougars drive 80 yards to set up a 29-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal. The 13-play drive took nearly seven minutes.

End of second quarter

BYU 17, San Diego State 14

The Cougars retake the lead on the final play of the half, as Jake Oldroyd nails a 50-yard field goal to give BYU the three-point lead. The Cougars drove 35 yards on six plays to set up the field goal after getting the ball back with 1:18 until halftime.

A few first-half notes:

  • BYU has the edge in total yards — 225 to 192 — and outscored the Aztecs 10-0 in the second quarter.
  • SDSU is utilizing the same philosophy that Coastal did last week — keep the ball away from the BYU offense with a strong running game. The Aztecs have rushed for 119 yards and have more than a six-minute edge in time of possession.
  • Zach Wilson is 16 of 23 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target — no surprise — is Dax Milne, who has seven receptions for 73 yards and a score.

8:34, second quarter

BYU 14, San Diego State 14

Just like SDSU scored off a BYU turnover in the first quarter, the Cougars make the Aztecs pay for a mistake, when Drew Jensen intercepted Jordon Brookshire in BYU territory. The Cougars drive 54 yards, most of them coming on a 43-yard Lopini Katoa fourth-down run that set up a 2-yard Isaac Rex touchdown grab.

End of first quarter

San Diego State 14, BYU 7

The Cougars were outplayed in the first quarter after taking an early TD lead. A few first-quarter notes:

  • The Aztecs outgained BYU 134-103 in total yards.
  • SDSU scored 7 points off a Cougar turnover, so far the difference in the game.
  • Zach Wilson is just 2 of 5 after completing 5 of 7 passes on BYU’s TD drive.

3:08, first quarter

San Diego State 14, BYU 7

The Aztecs got the ball in prime position at the Cougar 33 off an Isaac Rex fumble, and SDSU made BYU pay for the mistake. Elijah Kothe scores on a 15-yard pass from Jordan Brookshire on a six-play, 33-yard drive that included a converted fake field-goal attempt.

5:56, first quarter

BYU 7, San Diego State 7

The Aztecs answer the Cougars’ early score with one of their own, driving 77 yards on nine plays and capping it with a Kaegun Williams 25-yard touchdown run on third-and-5.

10:56, first quarter

BYU 7, San Diego State 0

The Cougars take the first lead in the game, driving 75 yards in 10 plays on the opening possession to take a touchdown lead after Zach Wilson hit Dax Milne on third-and-goal for a 5-yard score. Wilson completes 5 of 7 passes for 58 yards on the drive.


Here are a few links to stories you may want to read prior to or during the game:

BYU vs. San Diego State: How to watch, listen to and stream the game
How BYU weatherproofed its offense for occasions like Saturday night’s tilt with San Diego State
Why the San Diego State-BYU football game is a rivalry for the still-angry Aztecs
BYU’s Zach Wilson says he won’t opt out of bowl game, will decide after season about turning pro
BYU scrambling to fix its suddenly leaky run defense as ground-oriented San Diego State comes calling