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BYU football: Late-arriving fans miss little with BYU's slow start

Published September 8, 2012 2:55 pm

BYU football • Riley Nelson heated up as the first half wore on.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • Where have all the Cougar fans gone?

LaVell Edwards Stadium was barely more than half full when Saturday's 1 p.m. game against Weber State of the Football Championship Subdivision began.

It started to fill during the first quarter, but wasn't close to a sellout.

BYU drew 57,045 for the Pac-12's Washington State in the 63,725-seat stadium last week.

Fans couldn't use the weather as an excuse for staying away. The temperature at kickoff was a San Diego-like 74 degrees.

Slow start

The Cougars picked up two first downs on their first possession, but the drive stalled after two straight incomplete passes. They also punted after their second possession.

Riley Nelson finally got hot, completing all five passes on a 90-yard TD drive. He capped it with a beautifully thrown 37-yard TD pass to Cody Hoffman.

The Cougars rushed for just 17 yards in the first quarter, but they got 21 on Mike Alisa's scamper to open the second quarter. The run and a 26-yard reception by Alex Kuresa set up Taysom Hill's 2-yard touchdown run.

Hoffman stays hot

Hoffman extended his receptions streak to 21 straight games with an 11-yard reception in the first quarter.

Hoffman's running mate at receiver, Ross Apo, did not start the game due to a sore hamstring. Kuresa started in his place and caught a 15-yard pass on BYU's first possession on third-and-7.

Turnover troubles

The Cougars led 21-0 at halftime but probably should have had more points after racking up 312 yards of offense in the first half.

The culprit was turnovers. Hoffman fumbled after a 10-yard reception at the Weber State 14 when it appeared BYU was driving for a score.

In the second quarter, Nelson was intercepted for the first time this season. Weber State's Tony Epperson, who also doubles as the team's punter, made the pick.

Briefly

Former BYU running back Brian McDonald (2000-2001) carried the alumni flag onto the field. Safety Daniel Sorensen and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah carried the team's flags. .... Linebacker Alani Fua wore No. 5 on Saturday, instead of No. 36.

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay —