Gilligan stars as Cougars get cold shoulder

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Only the snow seemed to slow down Boise

State's offense against Brigham Young.

The Broncos compensated for a slow start in heavy snow with

early touchdowns on a blocked punt and interception return then

turned the offense loose in the second half after the weather let

up for a 50-12 win over the Cougars on Thursday night.

"It might not have been as pretty as it was at times, but

scoring that many points and our defense playing like it did proved

a lot for us," said Ryan Dinwiddie, who passed for 247 yards and

two touchdowns and ran for a score.

Dinwiddie was 12-of-23 and Tim Gilligan caught eight passes for

209 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score for the Broncos

(8-1), who gained 220 yards after halftime against a tired defense

on a cold, wet field.

David Mikell rushed for 84 of his 113 yards in the second half

as Boise State opened up the offense and added 22 points. The

Broncos were well short of their 517.9-yard average with 381 yards,

but it was more than enough against the struggling Cougars.

"We really felt like we had some pressure to get some things

done tonight. We did that. Definitely, it ranks up there with the

best," Dinwiddie said.

Boise State hopes the win was impressive enough to crack the

national rankings. The Broncos made The Associated Press' media

poll last season for the first time ever, but haven't been ranked

yet this year despite the 8-1 start.

"We're just trying to get Boise State on the map," Gilligan

said. "No matter what team we play, we feel we have a good enough

team to come in and win."

BYU (4-6) was trying to win consecutive games for the first time

this season. The loss means the Cougars need to close the year with

wins at Notre Dame and at home against Utah to avoid their first

consecutive losing seasons since 1970 and '71.

"There's not a lot to say. They're a good football team and

they played well," BYU coach Gary Crowton said. "We've got a

little time to rest and work out some problems."

Four BYU quarterbacks combined to throw four interceptions,

including three by starter Matt Berry. John Beck was 4-of-8 after

replacing Berry, but he was woozy after a hard hit in the second

quarter and didn't play again. He may miss the rest of the year

with a broken finger.

Crowton was optimistic even after watching the Cougars allow 50

points for the second time in a month.

"This is a team that is moving up. It's not moving as fast as I

want," Crowton said. "We're still not playing together. We're

making too many errors. One guy plays well and the other guy


The Cougars offense was shut out for nearly three quarters.

Two safeties on two bad punt snaps were the Cougars' only points

until Tafui Vakapuna's 1-yard run on fourth down with 2:04 left in

the third quarter. A 2-point conversion cut Boise State's lead to

28-12, but the remaining fans who sat through the snow hoping for

the Cougars to make a comeback didn't have long to celebrate.

On first down, Dinwiddie threw a quick sideline pass to

Gilligan, who sprinted for a 69-yard gain to the BYU 4.

"They got that touchdown, the crowd started getting into it and

we got that big play. That was it. That was the dagger right there.

From there we just played well and just ran out the score,"

Dinwiddie said.

Gilligan, who had a 28-yard touchdown catch in the first half,

scored on a 4-yard run and the Broncos added a 2-point conversion

with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.

Dinwiddie added a 2-yard touchdown run and a 27-yard scoring

pass to Gilligan in the fourth.

Boise State took control of game early. Cam Hall recovered a

punt in the end zone for a touchdown and Mikell scored on a 2-yard

run for a 14-0 lead less than halfway through the first quarter.

The Broncos weren't done. Wes Nurse intercepted a pass by Berry

and needed to break just one tackle on his way to the end zone for

a 21-2 lead, then after a BYU punt, the snow had tapered off and

Boise State took advantage with a nine-play, 69-yard drive.

Dinwiddie ended it with a 28-yard pass to Gilligan, who broke a

tackle at the 15 and slid across the snow-covered end zone after

diving across the goal line.

Boise State punter Kyle Stringer may have saved the Broncos some

points in the third quarter when instead of diving on a snap that

sailed over his head, he scooped it up and ran into his own end

zone to avoid giving the Cougars the ball inside the 10.