2:00 PM ET, October 7, 2006
LaVell Edwards Stadium, PROVO, UT
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Brigham Young needed to go just 43 yards on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead against San Diego State.
The next two drives were farther, but seemed to go just as quickly as BYU scored on its first three possessions and beat winless San Diego State 47-17 Saturday.
The Cougars (4-2) are 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference for the first time since 2001, which was the last time they won the league title.
Beck completed 16 of 21 passes for 267 yards and missed tying his career high for touchdown passes in a game by one. If he had played the whole game, he may have had a shot at it, but Beck rested his ailing ankles with BYU comfortably ahead.
BYU has next weekend off, so Beck and the Cougars have plenty of time to recover and savor a win over the Aztecs, who beat BYU 31-10 last season.
"Coming into this week, there was a lot of motivation to kind of show them this is what we can do. This is what we should have done last year," Beck said. "This game today was just a reflection of how we practice."
San Diego State (0-5, 0-2) has matched the worst start in school history. The Aztecs also started 0-5 in 2002, former coach Tom Craft's first season. Craft was fired in December and replaced by Chuck Long, who hasn't fared any better.
Kevin Craft, the former coach's son, played well in his first career start, going 20-for-32 for 216 yards.
"I just really liked the way he handled himself in a tough environment," Long said.
Craft is the third quarterback to start for the Aztecs this season after the first two were knocked out with injuries.
His only glaring mistake was forcing a pass that BYU's Dustin Gabriel caught in front of the Aztecs' sideline and returned for a touchdown that put BYU ahead 33-3 in the second quarter.
"Our guys are starting to develop an attitude, which I really like," Long said. "It's not happening right now, but it will pay off down the road."
The Aztecs surprised BYU with an on-side kick to start the game and recovered the ball, but were called from interference and the Cougars opened the first drive at the Aztecs' 43. It was that kind of day for the visitors, who were called for 10 penalties in the game.
BYU led 40-3 by halftime on Beck's third touchdown pass, a 4-yard toss to Brown with 3:03 left in the second quarter. Beck had kept the drive going by converting a third-and-7 with a 43-yard pass to Zac Collie, who caught the ball in stride after the quarterback was leveled while throwing it.
"To score 40 points in one half tells you how precise our offense is," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "John's accuracy and efficiency were really good. He was calm, confident, poised and accurate."
Beck also had an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jonny Harline, putting BYU ahead 26-6, and a 29-yard scoring pass earlier to Collie, who caught it at the 11, stopped and curled back around untouched into the end zone.
BYU's Fui Vakapuna left the game with an ankle injury shortly after scoring on a 14-yard run to put the Cougars up 7-0. Vakapuna still led BYU in rushing with 56 yards on four carries.
"It's easy out there. We want it to be easy," Brown said. "We have a bunch of playmakers on our team. We have a bunch of guys who want to get out there and win."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-13||6-9|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-1|
|TD||13:19||FUI VAKAPUNA 14 YD RUN (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)||0||7|
|FG||10:12||GARRETT PALMER 48 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yards.
|TD||6:47||ZAC COLLIE 29 YD PASS FROM JOHN BECK (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 81 yards.
|TD||2:38||CURTIS BROWN 4 YD RUN (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 55 yards.
|TD||10:06||JONNY HARLINE 8 YD PASS FROM JOHN BECK (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 46 yards.
|TD||8:13||DUSTIN GABRIEL 38 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)||3||33|
|TD||3:03||CURTIS BROWN 4 YD PASS FROM JOHN BECK (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||12:20||BRANDON BORNES 1 YD RUN (GARRETT PALMER KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||9:41||MANASE TONGA 18 YD PASS FROM JOHN BECK (JARED MCLAUGHLIN KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 63 yards.
|TD||4:35||TYLER CAMPBELL 1 YD RUN (GARRETT PALMER KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 74 yards.