Quezada scores 3 TDs, BYU beats UNLV 55-7

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Freshman Joshua Quezada scored the first three rushing touchdowns of his career and BYU's defense throttled UNLV as the Cougars routed the Rebels 55-7 Saturday.

Quezada carried 13 times for 65 yards and scored in each of the first three quarters on runs of 13, 13 and 4 yards as BYU (4-5, 3-2 Mountain West) kept its bowl hopes alive.

"I feel real grateful for the opportunities I had," Quezada said. "I didn't realize how many touchdowns I had until after the game."

The Cougar defense held UNLV (1-8, 1-4) to 144 yards of offense, 70 of them coming on the Rebels' final drive of the game.

The struggling BYU offense gained a season-high 516 yards of total offense.

Cougar freshman quarterback Jake Heaps completed 19 of 31 passes for a career-high 294 yards. He threw two touchdown passes, a 37-yard bomb to Cody Hoffman and his longest completion of the season, a 42-yarder to Luke Ashworth.

"I think we played probably our most complete game today from an offensive perspective," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We had more balance than what we have had in terms of running the ball and throwing it."

JJ Di Luigi ran 19 times for 80 yards and a touchdown for BYU. Bryan Kariya ran 11 times for 46 yards and the other Cougar touchdown.

"This is the breakout game we've been talking about needing all season," Di Luigi said.

Caleb Herring threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Sullivan with 41 seconds left in the game to get the Rebels on the board.

Herring and Omar Clayton combined to complete 11 of 29 passes for UNLV for 122 yards and two interceptions.

The Cougar defense dominated from the start. The Rebels ran a single play in BYU territory in the first half, and the first 21 plays of the game happened on the UNLV side of the field. In all, 77 of the game's first 87 plays took place in the Rebels' territory.

The Cougars held UNLV to 22 rushing yards. Since head coach Bronco Mendenhall took over as defensive coordinator, BYU's defense is allowing just 62 rushing yards per game and the team is 3-1.

"Bronco and his staff did a great job," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "They had their team ready to go, and they dominated us any way you look at it. They dominated us in terms of numbers, and they dominated us out on the field."

BYU needs to win two of its three remaining games to become bowl eligible. The Cougars have games left with Colorado State (3-6 heading into Saturday's games) next week, followed by New Mexico (0-8 going into the weekend) and No. 6 Utah.

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


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