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Hoffman, Williams help BYU get off to fast start, cruise by Idaho 52-13

Cody Hoffman caught three first-half touchdown passes and freshman running back Jamaal Williams rushed for 104 yards and two TDs, all in the first half, to lead BYU to a 52-13 rout of Idaho on Saturday night.

BYU (6-4) put 28 points on the board in the first quarter and scored on five of its first six possessions en route to a 42-7 lead at the half.

Hoffman finished with nine catches for 108 yards. Riley Nelson was 19 of 31 passing for 236 yards and three TDs for BYU before departing early in the second half.

Idaho (1-9) entered the game allowing 42 points and almost 500 yards per game. BYU had 367 yards at the half and finished with 539.

The Cougars held the Vandals to 61 rushing yards on 23 carries and 273 total yards.

With the win, BYU becomes bowl eligible and will face a team from the Mountain West Conference in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20 in San Diego. It will mark BYU's eighth straight bowl appearance.

While compiling 252 yards on the ground and 285 through the air, BYU took advantage of excellent field position and three Idaho turnovers. Of the Cougars' first seven possessions, their worst starting field position was their own 36.

BYU scored on its first possession after a 49-yard run by Williams set up a 6-yard TD pass from Nelson to Hoffman. Williams added a 9-yard TD run minutes later after Nelson found Ross Apo open for a 53-yard catch.

After Williams added a TD run from 10 yards to put the Cougars up 21-0, the Vandals finally got on the board when Logan Bushnell hit Mike Scott for a 33-yard TD strike. Idaho forced BYU to punt on its ensuing possession, but Cougar linebacker Spencer Hadley recovered a bad Idaho snap in the end zone for a 28-7 lead.

Two second-quarter TD catches by Hoffman, from 4 and 6 yards, put the Cougars comfortably ahead at the break. All the Vandals could manage in the second half were field goals of 39 and 35 yards by Trey Farquhar, the last coming on the game's final play.

The game was Idaho's second since the firing of head coach Robb Akey and the dismissal of quarterback Dominique Blackman and linebacker Conrad Scheidt. The Cougars were without senior safety Joe Sampson and sophomore linebacker Zac Stout, who were suspended for the season early in the week after a brawl at a Provo restaurant.