BYU did just enough on the offensive side of the ball to come away with a season-opening 20-6 win over the Portland State Vikings at LaVell Edwards Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars scored through the air and on the ground while putting up 365 yards of total offense to secure their first win of the season. They also came away with a big defensive effort as they limited the Vikings to just 220 yards of total offense while recording eight tackles for loss, including three sacks.
Neil Pau’u got the Cougars on the board late in the first quarter as he caught a pass from Tanner Mangum and took it 28 yards to paydirt for the early lead. The touchdown capped off a four-play, 64-yard drive that included a 36-yard completion to tight end Matt Bushman to move the ball into Viking territory.
BYU pushed the lead to 14-0 when Squally Canada punched it in from 1 yard out midway through the second quarter. Talon Shumway came up big on the drive as he made an acrobatic 33-yard catch to put the Cougars just inches from the Portland State goal line.
The Vikings answered the BYU score on their next possession as Darnell Adams scored from 4 yards out on a pass from Jalani Eason. Charlie Taumoepeau played a massive role in the 87-yard drive as made receptions of 12, 13 and 14 yards to keep the chains moving.
Rhett Almond gave the Cougars an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter as he converted on a 27-yard field goal. Canada made his presence felt on the drive as he totaled 57 yards on four carries and a reception, including a 34-yard scamper to put the Cougars into the red zone.
Almond closed the scoring for the Cougars as he drilled a 35-yard kick in the final three minutes to give BYU a 20-6 lead. It was a score set up by the Cougar defense, which forced a turnover when Zayne Anderson intercepted Eason and returned it 27 yards to the Portland 23-yard line.
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