PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Despite passing for 305 yards and a touchdown
in his first start, Jason Beck knows he's returning to the Brigham
John Beck, out with a sprained ankle, is still the Cougars'
starter, although Jason showed how well he can run the offense in a
38-0 win over Utah State on Saturday.
"I feel confident if anything happens to John that I can play
well. I feel I've played that way for quite a while," said Jason
Beck, no relation to his teammate. "I know that's my job. I knew
that coming into it -- that it's John's job."
Jason Beck completed 20 of 28 passes with one interception and
threw his first career touchdown pass as the Cougars (2-2) gained
441 yards and got their first shutout since beating UNLV 29-0 in
Utah State (0-4) was shut out for the third straight game and
has yet to score a point on offense. Facing a new starter who
hadn't completed a pass in two years didn't help the Aggies.
Other than holding for kicks and playing late in a rout over
Tulsa two weeks ago, Jason Beck was playing in his first game since
he was called on for emergency duty two years ago against Stanford.
He felt much more comfortable this time.
"I've got an easy job. We've got a lot of good guys around me
making plays," Beck said.
The Cougars completed their non-conference schedule at .500 and
open the Mountain West season at defending champion TCU on
Thursday. After resting his ankle through practice all last week,
BYU hopes to have John Beck back for the Horned Frogs.
But if Jason Beck is called again, he showed what he can do.
"There was a lot of poise and maturity in Jason," BYU coach
Bronco Mendenhall said.
Utah State's Marcus Cross ran for 127 yards -- more than half the
team's 242 yards of offense. Leon Jackson was 14-for-24 for 90
yards with one interception, which Justin Robinson returned 64
yards for a touchdown.
The Aggies' frustration showed near the end. On one play early
in the fourth quarter there was pushing and shoving at the Utah
State bench after Vakapuna was knocked out of bounds. There were no
punches thrown before the coaches broke it up, and Vakapuna got the
The Aggies had little left at that point, and the Cougars were
able to keep the shutout intact. Despite the big lead, Beck was
still throwing the ball late in the fourth quarter and added an
18-yard touchdown pass to Jonny Harline with 2:16 left.
After gaining just 15 yards in the third quarter, Beck said the
late passes were intended to get the Cougars back on track with
less than a week to prepare for TCU.
"There was no attempt to run up the score or anything," he
After Beck's first pass was tipped and nearly intercepted, his
next two were on target as the Cougars drove 89 yards in the
opening drive, which Vakapuna capped with a 6-yard run. Vakapuna
also opened the drive by running 16 yards on the first play of the
Vakapuna scored later in the half on runs of 11 and 8 yards and
BYU led 24-0 at halftime.
BYU was a yard away from another touchdown, but Utah State
stopped Curtis Brown on fourth-and-goal just before halftime.
"I thought we came out and played a little better on the
defensive side in the second half. Wish we could have started off
like that in the first half," Utah State defensive lineman Kerry
After the goal-line stand, the Aggies had a few chances to get
back into the game in the third quarter but self-destructed --
"We keep getting the same result, but in different ways," Utah
State coach Brent Guy said.
Justin Hamblin attempted a 33-yard field goal, but Russell
Tialavea swatted it back at the kicker. Utah State later tried
another field goal, but Ryan Wilson's snap went over the holder's
Wilson had been called for a personal foul on the same drive
after the Aggies had reached the BYU 12.
After the blocked kick, Utah State got the ball back at the BYU
45 on an interception. But on third down, Jackson threw a soft pass
toward the sideline and Robinson intercepted it for a touchdown
that put BYU ahead 31-0.
Jackson has thrown four interceptions this season and all have
been returned for touchdowns.