4:00 PM ET, September 9, 2006
LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- So much for Brigham Young only being able to pass the ball.
BYU made up for a dismal rushing day in the season opener with an overpowering performance in it second outing, beating Tulsa 49-24 Saturday in a game delayed for nearly an hour by lightning.
"We knew we could run the ball better than we showed last week," said Brown, who also had 82 receiving yards. "Our guys came out physical -- ready to hit somebody in the mouth."
Brown and Vakapuna made it an easy day for John Beck, who still threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns on just 21 passes -- a small number for BYU.
BYU nearly had two 100-yard rushers in one game for the first time since 2001, but Vakapuna came up four yards short. Another carry probably would have done it. Vakapuna had 11 carries and averaged 8.7 yards.
"Just give us the ball. That's what we want," he said.
The Cougars avoided an 0-2 start for the first time in 11 years and atoned for their 24-yard rushing game against Arizona. Brown took the ball 11 yards on his first carry, and the Cougars just kept on running, finishing with 227 yards.
"I think the biggest thing today was we didn't tackle well enough," said Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe, son of former BYU assistant Dave Kragthorpe.
The Golden Hurricane also hurt themselves by setting up the Cougars with great field position through penalties and turnovers.
Paul Smith completed 19 of 32 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown to lead Tulsa, which struggled to run the ball all day. The Golden Hurricane finished with 31 carries for 82 yards and just 303 total yards.
"We did a lot of good things today, but obviously we did a lot of things that we have to get corrected," Kragthorpe said.
The weather delay only prolonged the outcome, which was decided long before the storm hit.
Steady rain began falling at the beginning of the fourth quarter, then the lightning got close enough that the officials sent both teams to the locker room with 6 minutes remaining. About 45 minutes later, the teams were summoned to warm up and finish the game.
The Cougars and Golden Hurricane traded touchdowns in that final stretch.
Tulsa took a 10-7 lead after a blocked punt led to a field goal midway through the second quarter, then BYU scored touchdowns on its next three possessions.
"Our plan was to have a balance and be better at what we were already doing," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We wanted to run the football like we did today."
The Cougars scored twice in the final few minutes of the second quarter to take a 21-17 lead at halftime, then came out again with another quick score when Brown turned a short pass from Beck into a 62-yard touchdown play.
Tulsa had Brown stopped twice on the play, but he broke four tackles as the Golden Hurricane couldn't hang on and keep him from scoring.
"In my head I was just thinking 'Get a first down. Keep the drive going," Brown said. "I thought I was going to lose my balance a couple of times, but was able to regain it and just kept on chugging along and was able to get into the end zone."
Zac Collie caught a touchdown pass and blocked a punt on the first possession of the game, setting up BYU for a quick 45-yard drive that ended with Vakapuna scoring on a 7-yard run.
It was the first touchdown since Oct. 30, 2003 for Vakapuna, who added an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
"We knew it was going to come to us," he said.
Manase Tonga scored on a 6-yard run for his first career touchdown, which put BYU ahead to stay at 14-10 late in the second quarter.
Smith tied the game at 7-all with a 6-yard pass to Kyle Grooms. Then after a blocked punt set up the Golden Hurricane at the BYU 15, Jarrod Tracy gave Tulsa a brief lead with a 25-yard field goal.