Easy points helped BYU to a big halftime lead on a late, cold night in Provo.
The scoring started early and often for BYU, as the Cougars scored on their first three possessions of the night. A 49-yard rush from Jamaal Williams set the Cougars up at the Idaho 6, where Riley Nelson hit Cody Hoffman for a score. After an Idaho three-and-out, Nelson hit Ross Apo on a 53-yard bomb on the next possession's first play. That set up Williams for a nine-yard touchdown run, and it was quickly 14-0.
Idaho went three-and-out again, and Williams scored on a ten-yard to finish a 55-yard drive and make it 21-0. The Vandals would respond, putting together a nice scoring drive. A six-play, 70-yard Vandal drive was finished when Mike Scott made a couple nice moves on a skinny post, running in for a 33-yard receiving touchdown.
The Idaho high would be short lived, however. BYU's only punt of the game thus far pinned the Vandals at the nine-yard line. Idaho bungled its first snap, and Spencer Hadley picked up the ball in the endzone for a 28-7 lead.
All that was just the scoring for the first quarter. Nelson would connect with Hoffman for two more touchdowns in the second quarter. Senior defensive back Robbie Buckner also grabbed an interception in the second frame. Buckner, who recovered from offseason testicular cancer treatment, started in place of Jordan Johnson who was sitting due to disciplinary reasons related to the Rancheritos fight that led to the dismissals of Joe Sampson and Zac Stout.
BYU moved deep into Idaho territory, but stalled. Justin Sorensen came on to attempt a 28-yard field goal and ... I can't even explain what happened. He missed badly, and I'm having trouble wondering how he still has a scholarship.
On the next play, Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble that was recovered by Simote Vea. BYU missed its final chance for points when Hoffman dropped a pass in the endzone as time expired.
Mercifully, the first half is over, and with the same score as last year's final against Idaho.