3:00 PM ET, October 21, 2006
LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A long layoff wasn't a problem for Brigham Young.
The Cougars quickly answered any questions about how they would return after a week off by scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and gaining 574 yards of offense in a 52-7 win over UNLV on Saturday.
John Beck passed for four touchdowns and ran for a score and Curtis Brown rushed for 148 yards to move into second on BYU's career rushing list in another offensive outburst for the Cougars (5-2, 3-0 Mountain West).
But the defense also stood out Saturday, forcing six turnovers and allowing the Rebels (1-6, 0-3) just one touchdown.
"They create a lot of momentum," Beck said. "Right now I think our defense is playing great."
Beck was 18-for-23 for 250 yards and had his second straight game with four touchdown passes.
Brown went from fourth to second on BYU's rushing list with 20 carries for 148 yards, giving him 2,717 yards in his career. He needs 253 yards to match Jamal Willis' school record of 2,970 rushing yards.
"It's a lot of fun, but I'm more excited that we got the win today. I've never been on a team that's just won -- just dominated as well as we have," Brown said.
Mike Hague added an 87-yard run late in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown and finished with 123 yards, giving the Cougars two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time in five years.
UNLV lost its sixth in a row, the school's longest streak since the Rebels lost the last five games of 1997 and went 0-11 in 1998.
"It was just a bad, bad game," UNLV coach Mike Sanford said. "Give credit to BYU. They're a good team. But we made them look better than they were or are."
Rocky Hinds completed 16 of 32 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown, but also had three of UNLV's four interceptions. The Rebels also lost two fumbles, giving them 10 turnovers in the past two games.
Hinds' 3-yard touchdown pass to Casey Flair with 7:48 left in the second quarter was UNLV's only score.
Even after the Cougars pulled their starters for the fourth quarter, BYU still gained 127 yards and scored 10 points in the final period.
"I told our team if I was a professor and I was grading this class, I'd give us an 'F'," Sanford said.
UNLV lost backup quarterback Shane Steichen was carted off the field with his right leg in an aircast. Steichen broke and dislocated his ankle when he was tackled during a 17-yard run in the third quarter. Running back Erick Jackson was on crutches after the game with a broken bone in his leg.
Brigham Young remained unbeaten in the Mountain West and visits Air Force next week. About all that went wrong for the Cougars two weeks after beating San Diego State 47-17 was 12 penalties for 114 yards Saturday.
"It's just something now that I think I need to go back and focus on a bit more as we did not at all in the bye week," coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I thought we had that addressed."
Other than the penalties, Mendenhall didn't have much to criticize.
Beck and Brown got to sit out the fourth quarter after the Cougars took a 42-7 lead on a 20-yard pass to Jacobson, who also caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Beck in the second quarter.
BYU scored touchdowns on its first three possessions, needing just six plays to take the opening kickoff 81 yards for a score and following that with two more scores off of two turnovers.
After Justin Robinson's interception gave the Cougars the ball at their own 14, Beck completed the 86-yard drive on a 1-yard touchdown run with 5:32 left in the first quarter. UNLV fumbled a handoff on first down and the Cougars recovered at the 19.
Nathan Meikle made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch to put the ball at the 1, then Brown added another 1-yard touchdown to put the Cougars up 21-0 with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
The first time BYU had the ball but failed to scored was in the second quarter, when the Cougars had first-and-goal from the 8 and John Guice intercepted Beck's pass in the end zone.
Beck put BYU ahead 7-0 on short pass to Harline, who easily broke a feeble tackle attempt and ran it for a 48-yard touchdown.