PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU finally found a team struggling worse than they were.
The Cougars snapped a 7-game losing streak, it’s longest since 1968, with a dominating 41-20 win at home over San Jose State in, by far, it’s best performance of the season.
“It’s been a long time coming,”said head coach Kalani Sitake. “It wasn’t perfect, but we’ll take the win and grow from this and take it to next week. We still left a lot of points out there, made some mistakes and had some turnovers, we went through some adversity and hopefully on our way back.”
Tanner Mangum played his best game of the season, completing 18 of 34 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. 11 different receivers caught passes for the Cougars.
“I think we played with a lot of energy,” Mangum said. “We played up tempo with a lot of no huddle throwing the football. The receivers made a lot of good plays, so it feels good to come out and get a win in front of the home crowd and get some momentum going.
The BYU defense forced five turnovers and the Cougars improved to 2-7 on the season.
The Cougars opened the scoring when Mangum hit Micah Simon for a 23-yard touchdown.
After the Spartans fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Mangum found tight end Matt Bushman for an 11-yard score to make it 14-0.
The Cougars were without starting running back Ula Tolutau, who was cited for marijuana possession a few weeks ago and did not suit up. But BYU still had 266 yards rushing, led by KJ Hall, who had 112 yards rushing, including a 75-yard scamper to give the Cougars a 21-6 lead.
BYU took a 31-6 lead into the half when Squally Canada scored on a 9-yard touchdown.
The Cougars backed off the pedal a bit in the second half, with its only touchdown coming on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Mangum to Simon.
BYU next hits the road for its next two games, beginning next Saturday at Fresno State.