(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: (17) BYU 45, Colorado State 42
Fort Collins, CO (Sports Network) - Max Hall completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta with 22 seconds remaining in the game, and 17th-ranked BYU escaped with a 45-42 win over Colorado State.
Hall completed 28-of-35 passes for 389 yards, with five touchdowns and one interception for the Cougars (8-1, 4-1 MWC), who have won two games in a row since a 32-7 setback to TCU on October 16. Harvey Unga rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown, while Pitta finished with 175 yards and two scores on 12 receptions. Austin Collie caught nine balls for 156 yards and three touchdowns.
"It came down to which team could execute one more play than the other to win the football game; certainly plenty of mistakes that occurred by both teams on both sides of the ball to make it interesting," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
Billy Farris connected on 18-of-35 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns for the Rams (4-5, 2-3), who have dropped three of their last four outings. Dion Morton had 129 yards on six receptions, including two scores, and Gartrell Johnson added a rushing touchdown.
Following the break, Farris directed an 11-play drive that ended with a six- yard touchdown pass to Rashaun Greer on a fade pattern, giving Colorado State a 28-21 lead with 6:56 left in the third quarter.
Mitch Payne drilled a 30-yard field goal, cutting BYU's deficit to four, and the Cougars reclaimed the lead early in the fourth quarter on Hall's 23-yard TD pass to Pitta.
A seven-yard TD run by Johnson put the Rams up 35-31 with 7:20 remaining in the final frame, but Unga responded less than two minutes later, breaking off a 40-yard run for the go-ahead score.
Colorado State then advanced the ball to the Cougars 46 before Farris threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-six with three minutes to play in regulation.
Looking for a big play on defense, Gerard Thomas intercepted Hall, but a personal foul negated a 56-yard touchdown return. The infraction placed the ball at the CSU 45 and the Rams went back up top, 42-38, as Farris threw a 55- yard TD pass to Morton on first down.
BYU got the ball back at its own 24-yard line and with 1:36 remaining on the clock. Hall proceeded to complete 5-of-6 passes, including a 17-yard strike to Pitta for the game-winning score.
"We're obviously disappointed that we weren't able to win the football game tonight," said Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild. "We definitely had our chances. I liked our effort. I liked the way we played physical and showed up tonight. I think our kids certainly believed we could win this game. Having said all that, it was a close game. We had our chances but we didn't make enough plays to get it done."
After Colorado State went three-and-out to begin the contest, BYU aired it out on first down and Hall completed what looked to be a 66-yard touchdown pass to Collie, but the Cougars receiver had stepped out of bounds before catching the ball, nullifying the score.
Two plays later, with BYU in the shotgun, the Rams blitzed and hurried Hall, who lost the handle on the ball. Mychal Sission recovered the fumble at the BYU 20 and raced to the end zone, giving the home squad an early 7-0 lead.
BYU quickly answered as Hall hooked up with Collie for a 58-yard touchdown on the ensuing series.
The Rams couldn't muster anything offensively on their next possession and Anthony Hartz came on to punt, but a roughing the punter infraction moved the chains. Colorado State then marched down the field, and John Mosure's nine- yard TD run capped the 12-play, 74-yard drive and put the Rams up 14-7 with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, BYU opted to go for it on fourth-and-one from the CSU three and the decision proved ill-advised as Unga was stopped for no gain.
Farris botched the exchange on the Rams' next drive and BYU's Shawn Doman scooped up the loose ball at the 39-yard line of Colorado State. Four plays later, Hall completed a 15-yard pass to Collie, who was all alone in the back of the end zone.
Farris threw a 32-yard TD pass to Morton with 3:50 to play in the half for a 21-14 edge, but then Hall countered by hooking up with Collie for a 10-yard score in the final minute, and the clubs went into the break locked at 21.
BYU has won the last five meetings...The Cougars outgained Colorado State, 551-401...Johnson rushed for 102 yards.
11/02 01:45:54 ET