This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Well, the Old Wagon Wheel stays at BYU for at least another year.
It wasn't the prettiest display of college football, but in the end the Cougars posted a 28-10 win over Utah State on a chilly Saturday night in front of 53,603 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
When it was over, Jamaal Williams presented the game ball to BYU running backs coach Reno Mahe, whose daughter Elsie clings to life at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City after an in-home accident on Tuesday.
For the third straight time against Utah State, BYU QB Taysom Hill did not finish a game. He left early in the fourth quarter with what Kalani Sitake described as a hyper-extended left elbow. Sitake said there's no fracture, but Hill will undergo an MRI and more will be known on Monday.
The Cougars (8-4) now await their Poinsettia Bowl opponent on Dec. 21, a team from the Mountain West Conference.
Once again, the Cougars started slowly, falling behind 3-0 when Utah State drove 64 yards on its opening possession and capped it with a 28-yard field goal. BYU has come from behind in each of its last 17 wins over opponents from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
"Not a perfect game," said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. "But I am just as happy with the result."
It was the Cougars' 20th straight home win in the month of November, the last loss being that overtime setback in 2005 to Utah in Bronco Mendenhall's first season.
BYU held Utah State to 200 yards, a season-low. The Aggies' previous low was 252 against San Diego State. The Aggies had just 54 yards in the second half.
After allowing USU to convert on three third-down opportunities early, the Cougars put the clamps on the visitors, who finished 3 of 13 on third down. The Cougars were 6 of 14 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.
They caught some breaks; Utah State was penalized four times for defensive pass interference, including one that brought back a pick-six.
The Cougars hogged the ball in the second half, and held the ball for 36:48.