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Pac-12 football: BYU gamble fails and Utah hangs on for win

Utah v BYU
Utah defensive end Pita Taumoepenu hits BYU quarterback Taysom Hill (7) as he throws in the second half.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Sunia Tauteoli had two interceptions as the Utah defense saved the day in a disjointed 20-19 victory over rival Brigham Young on Saturday.

With BYU trailing by seven, Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill scored on a seven-yard touchdown run with 18 seconds to play. First-year Coach Kalani Sitake decided to go for the win on a two-point conversion, but a draw up the middle by Hill was stuffed.

The Utah defense was routinely put in bad position as the offense committed six turnovers. Troy Williams threw for 194 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Starting running back Joe Williams was benched for a spell after losing a fumble in the first quarter. Utah totaled six fumbles, losing three. 

But the Cougars didn’t take advantage. 

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The Utes’ defense dominated up front and forced three turnovers of its own. Hill threw for 176 yards and had two touchdown runs, but he also threw three interceptions. 

at Arizona State 68, Texas Tech 55: Kalen Ballage tied an NCAA record by scoring eight touchdowns and had 185 all-purpose yards to lead the Sun Devil to a wild win.

Two teams known for scoring points in bunches put on an offensive show in the desert, trading big plays and touchdowns on seemingly every snap. 

Arizona State (2-0) opened up its playbook in an attempt to keep up with the Red Raiders. 

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Ballage was the focal point, scoring seven touchdowns on direct-snap runs and another on a 39-yard, double-reverse flea flicker. The junior matches the record set by Illinois’ Howard Griffith in 1990. 

Texas Tech (1-1) tried to keep up behind Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 540 yards and two touchdowns. The Red Raiders bogged down offensively in the second half, though, and had little defense against the quick-snapping Sun Devils. 

at No. 24 Oregon 44, Virginia 26: Dakota Prukop threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns, Royce Freeman ran for 207 yards and two scores, and the Ducks improved to 2-0. 

Olympic hurdler Devon Allen caught four passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, which he celebrated by pretending to clear hurdles in the endzone, and the Ducks got their second win to start the season before next Saturday’s game against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium.

at Arizona 31, Grambling State 21: Brandon Dawkins, starting in place of injured Anu Solomon, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, all in the second half, and the Wildcats rallied from an 18-point deficit to escape with the victory. 

Arizona (1-1), 45-point favorites, trailed 21-3 at halftime and looked in danger of their first-ever loss to an FCS school. 

But the Tigers (1-1), who lost quarterback DeVante Kincade to injury late in the first half, committed six second-half turnovers, four of them in a row in the third quarter. Backup Trevon Cherry threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball away once. 

Dawkins, a redshirt sophomore, completed 15 of 29 passes for 223 yards and gained 97 yards in 16 carries. He scored on runs of 21 and 2 yards and threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Trey Griffey. Nick Wilson rushed for 116 yards, including an 11-yard TD run. 

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at No. 8 Washington 59, Idaho 14: Jake Browning matched the school record with five touchdown passes — two each to Dante Pettis and John Ross — and finished with 294 yards in the Huskies’ romp.

Browning has helped Washington (2-0) to its highest ranking since 2001. After throwing for 287 yards and three touchdowns last week against Rutgers, he was nearly flawless against Idaho. 

Following a fumble on the opening kickoff by Lloyd Hightower that was recovered by Washington, Browning threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Pettis on his first attempt of the game. He completed 13 consecutive passes at one point as the Huskies marched through the Vandals en route to a 35-0 halftime advantage. 

at Colorado 56, Idaho State 7: Sefo Liufau passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 54 yards and another score in less than a half as the Buffaloes earned their second straight blowout win.

Phillip Lindsay ran for two scores as Colorado built a 49-0 halftime lead.

Liufau, who had 384 yards of offense in the 44-7 win over Colorado State last week to earn Pac-12 player of the week honors, had another big game with touchdown passes of 15 and 4 yards. He ended his day with a 19-yard touchdown run late in Colorado’s 35-point second quarter that made it 42-0. 

at San Diego State 45, California 40: Donnel Pumphrey rushed for three touchdowns, a career-high 281 yards and surpassed Marshall Faulk as the Aztecs’ all-time leader in rushing yards in the Aztecs’ victory. It still almost wasn’t enough. 

San Diego State (1-1) held the lead for the majority of the game, but the Bears closed the gap to 45-40 with 21-yard touchdown catch by Raymond Hudson and then an onside kick recovery with 55 seconds left. Damontae Kazee’s interception at the SDSU 17 with 9 seconds left sealed the victory. 

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at Boise State 31, Washington State 28: Jeremy McNichols rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, Tyler Horton returned his first career interception 85 yards for a touchdown and the Broncos held on for the win.

Brett Rypien threw for 299 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown to Thomas Sperbeck, but was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter, giving Washington State chances until the final play when Luke Falk’s desperation heave was batted down. 

Boise State (2-0) won its 34th straight regular season non-conference home game, knocking off the last out of conference team to win on “The Blue.” 

Falk was 55-of-71 passing for 480 yards and four touchdowns.


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