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Gilligan stars as Cougars get cold shoulder

10/31/2003

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Only the snow seemed to slow down Boise
State's offense against Brigham Young.

The Broncos compensated for a slow start in heavy snow with
early touchdowns on a blocked punt and interception return then
turned the offense loose in the second half after the weather let
up for a 50-12 win over the Cougars on Thursday night.

"It might not have been as pretty as it was at times, but
scoring that many points and our defense playing like it did proved
a lot for us," said Ryan Dinwiddie, who passed for 247 yards and
two touchdowns and ran for a score.

Dinwiddie was 12-of-23 and Tim Gilligan caught eight passes for
209 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score for the Broncos
(8-1), who gained 220 yards after halftime against a tired defense
on a cold, wet field.

David Mikell rushed for 84 of his 113 yards in the second half
as Boise State opened up the offense and added 22 points. The
Broncos were well short of their 517.9-yard average with 381 yards,
but it was more than enough against the struggling Cougars.

"We really felt like we had some pressure to get some things
done tonight. We did that. Definitely, it ranks up there with the
best," Dinwiddie said.

Boise State hopes the win was impressive enough to crack the
national rankings. The Broncos made The Associated Press' media
poll last season for the first time ever, but haven't been ranked
yet this year despite the 8-1 start.

"We're just trying to get Boise State on the map," Gilligan
said. "No matter what team we play, we feel we have a good enough
team to come in and win."

BYU (4-6) was trying to win consecutive games for the first time
this season. The loss means the Cougars need to close the year with
wins at Notre Dame and at home against Utah to avoid their first
consecutive losing seasons since 1970 and '71.

"There's not a lot to say. They're a good football team and
they played well," BYU coach Gary Crowton said. "We've got a
little time to rest and work out some problems."

Four BYU quarterbacks combined to throw four interceptions,
including three by starter Matt Berry. John Beck was 4-of-8 after
replacing Berry, but he was woozy after a hard hit in the second
quarter and didn't play again. He may miss the rest of the year
with a broken finger.

Crowton was optimistic even after watching the Cougars allow 50
points for the second time in a month.

"This is a team that is moving up. It's not moving as fast as I
want," Crowton said. "We're still not playing together. We're
making too many errors. One guy plays well and the other guy
doesn't."

The Cougars offense was shut out for nearly three quarters.

Two safeties on two bad punt snaps were the Cougars' only points
until Tafui Vakapuna's 1-yard run on fourth down with 2:04 left in
the third quarter. A 2-point conversion cut Boise State's lead to
28-12, but the remaining fans who sat through the snow hoping for
the Cougars to make a comeback didn't have long to celebrate.

On first down, Dinwiddie threw a quick sideline pass to
Gilligan, who sprinted for a 69-yard gain to the BYU 4.

"They got that touchdown, the crowd started getting into it and
we got that big play. That was it. That was the dagger right there.
From there we just played well and just ran out the score,"
Dinwiddie said.

Gilligan, who had a 28-yard touchdown catch in the first half,
scored on a 4-yard run and the Broncos added a 2-point conversion
with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.

Dinwiddie added a 2-yard touchdown run and a 27-yard scoring
pass to Gilligan in the fourth.

Boise State took control of game early. Cam Hall recovered a
punt in the end zone for a touchdown and Mikell scored on a 2-yard
run for a 14-0 lead less than halfway through the first quarter.

The Broncos weren't done. Wes Nurse intercepted a pass by Berry
and needed to break just one tackle on his way to the end zone for
a 21-2 lead, then after a BYU punt, the snow had tapered off and
Boise State took advantage with a nine-play, 69-yard drive.

Dinwiddie ended it with a 28-yard pass to Gilligan, who broke a
tackle at the 15 and slid across the snow-covered end zone after
diving across the goal line.

Boise State punter Kyle Stringer may have saved the Broncos some
points in the third quarter when instead of diving on a snap that
sailed over his head, he scooped it up and ran into his own end
zone to avoid giving the Cougars the ball inside the 10.