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Cougar defense helps BYU beat Wyoming 25-20


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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Freshman linebacker Kyle Van Noy batted down a fourth-down pass with 16 seconds left to cap one last stand by a dominant BYU defense and preserve a 25-20 win over Wyoming.

The mostly stagnant Cowboy offense marched 61 yards on the game's final drive, but the Cougar defense held firm at its own 25. Van Noy's deflection at the line of scrimmage followed pass breakups by teammates Shane Hunter, Andrew Rich and Brandon Bradley.

Bryan Kariya ran for 88 yards and a touchdown, JJ Di Luigi rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown, and Joshua Quezada added 63 more on the ground for BYU (3-5, 2-2 Mountain West).

The Cougar defense held Wyoming (2-6, 0-4) to three positive-yardage plays in the first half. The Cowboys lost yardage on nine first-half plays and went into the locker room with negative-18 yards of total offense.

Seven of Wyoming's first 10 plays went for negative yards. The worst play was a bad snap over quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels' head that he wound up kicking out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

BYU built a 16-0 lead on the safety and short touchdown runs by Di Luigi and Kariya, but the Cowboys turned two late Cougars turnovers into scores to cut the lead to 16-10 at halftime.

Wyoming's Keith Lewis stepped in front of a Jake Heaps pass in the flat and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys lost yardage after a BYU fumble but still got a 44-yard field goal from Ian Watts.

BYU played without both of its starting wide receivers. O'Neill Chambers was suspended for the season for a violation of team rules, and McKay Jacobson was hurt on one of the game's first plays.

Without them, the Cougars stayed on the ground, running for 216 yards on 51 carries. Heaps completed just 10 passes, six of them to Luke Ashworth, including a 12-yard touchdown pass that gave BYU a 25-13 lead.

The touchdown pass was BYU's first in five games.

Wyoming's Marcell Gipson blocked a short BYU field goal attempt with eight minutes left. The Cowboy offense then struck quickly.

Robert Herron broke off a 47-yard run, and Carta-Samuels threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Chris McNeill to cut the lead to 25-20.

Wyoming converted just two third downs, but Samuels threw 20 yards to Zach Bolger on 4th-and-9 with two minutes left. Three plays later, Wyoming had a first down at the BYU 25 with 1:02 left.

Wyoming finished with 173 yards; 191 coming in the second half.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Associated Press

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