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
The Cougars and Golden Hurricane traded touchdowns in that final
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
"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
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.