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(AP Photo/George Frey)
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Max Hall threw three touchdown passes and Harvey Unga ran for 118 yards and a score in No. 20 BYU's 35-17 victory over Utah State on Friday night.
The Cougars (4-1) capitalized on two critical mistakes by the Aggies deep in their own territory while winning for the 10th straight time in the state series.
Utah State (1-3) turned it over on a bad option pitch with 39 seconds left in the first half and the Cougars stopped the Aggies on fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. Both plays led to quick touchdowns that gave the Cougars a safe cushion even before Hall's third TD pass gave BYU a 35-10 lead with 2:45 left in the game.
Utah State fell to 1-50 against teams ranked in the AP poll.
Hall was 16 for 23 for 218 yards with the three touchdowns and two interceptions, giving him one more TD pass (11) than interception on the season.
The Cougars also had a fumble on the opening series, which led to a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Diondre Borel that gave Utah State a 7-0 lead. Borel added a touchdown pass with 3 seconds remaining before the Cougars recovered an onside kick and Utah State transfer Riley Nelson took a knee on the final play to end it.
Borel finished 20 of 28 for 213 yards and Robert Turbin, who ran for 100 yards in each of the first three games of the season, finished with 47 on 17 carries.
Utah State finished with 322 yards of offense, gaining 73 on a meaningless touchdown drive at the end. The Aggies only lead of the game ended when Hall threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta with 2:14 left in the first quarter. Hall added a 48-yard touchdown pass to Luke Ashworth early in the second quarter, then the Aggies gave the Cougars an easy touchdown just before halftime on a risky play call with an option and fumbled it. The pitch was way off and BYU recovered at the Utah State 29.
Hall hit Pitta for 26 yards on first down, then Manase Tonga ran it in from 3 yards for a 21-7 halftime lead.
BYU got another break when Utah State went for it on fourth-and-1 and Robert Turbin lost his feet while trying to cut up field. BYU has had problems with the new field that was installed over the summer and a chunk of the young grass went up under Turbin when he tried to cut.
He ended up losing a yard, giving BYU the ball at the 31. Unga ran 23 yards on first down, getting a nice block from Hall after he bounced it toward the BYU sideline, and then scored on an 8-yard run to give the Cougars a 28-10 lead with 13:09 left in the game.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)