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San Jose, Calif. • The Cougars finally found a way to win in San Jose barely.
BYU escaped San Jose State's upset bid in the final minute when the Spartans' two-point conversion try failed with 49 seconds left, and left Spartan Stadium with a 17-16 win.
San Jose State quarterback Kenny Potter ran for a 6-yard touchdown in the final minute after the Spartans had driven from their own 15-yard line for what appeared to be the tying score.
However, coach Ron Carragher opted to go for the win, and Potter's pass fell incomplete.
It was BYU's first win at San Jose since 1966 and avenged a 20-14 loss here three years ago. The Cougars improved to 7-2 with the win, while SJSU fell to 4-5.
Its offense ineffective since opening the game with two touchdown drives, BYU drove deep into SJSU territory with a 14-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, a long pass to Colby Pearson to the SJSU 5 was negated by a holding penalty on Francis Bernard, and the Cougars had to attempt a field goal.
Trevor Samson's 31-yard field goal with 11:21 remaining gave the Cougars a 17-10 lead.
The Cougars moved the ball to midfield on their next possession, but elected to punt on 4th-and-1, pinning the Spartans at their 15 before their final drive.
The key play on the drive was Potter's 34-yard run on 4th-and-1 from their own 24. Later, the Spartans were given life by a pass interference penalty on BYU in the end zone on 2nd-and-15.
The Cougars had 329 yards of offense, while SJSU had 269.
The Cougars mostly dominated the first half, but disaster struck for BYU with less than a minute remaining in the half when SJSU's Cleveland Wallace III stepped in front of a Mangum pass and streaked untouched 61 yards for a touchdown to cut BYU's lead to 14-10.
Mangum was trying to get the ball to Mitchell Juergens, but there was miscommunication and Juergens pulled up on his rout. The ball went directly to Wallace for the easy touchdown with Mangum chasing in futility.
BYU picked up 139 yards on its first two possessions and then 67 on its last three drives of the first half, not counting a end-of-half kneel down.
San Jose State took the opening kickoff and drove 59 yards before settling for a 31-yard field goal by Austin Lopez.
The Cougars scored on their first possession, too, driving 75 yards in 10 plays and taking a 7-3 lead on Mitch Mathews' 4-yard touchdown catch. It was Mangum's 15th touchdown pass, tying Jake Heaps for the BYU freshman record.
On their next possession, the Cougars put together another long drive and took a 14-3 lead, with Algie Brown scoring from 5 yards out. It was Brown's ninth touchdown in his past four games.
San Jose State threatened midway through the second quarter, but Thomas Tucker fumbled at the BYU 13 after having picked up a first down on 4th-and-1. Fred Warner jumped on the loose ball.
It appeared BYU would go into the locker room with the 11-point lead, or better, but Wallace's pick-six came a play after Mathews almost caught a 41-yard pass in the end zone.
Trey Dye returned the second half kickoff 46 yards to midfield, but the Cougars squandered the field position and had to punt. San Jose State drove to the BYU 24, but Lopez's 46-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright.
The Cougars played without three starting offensive linemen Tejan Koroma, Ului Lapuaho and Kyle Johnson and Ryker Mathews was limited. Inside receiver Terenn Houk caught four passes for 32 yards in the first half, but left the game with concussion-like symptoms before halftime.