Behind another scintillating day from Jamaal Williams and timely big plays from Taysom Hill, BYU went into East Lansing, Michigan, and came away with a win over the Michigan State Spartans, 31-14.
The win pushes BYU’s record to .500 at 3-3 on the season.
The Cougars got off to a slow start in the first half, allowing the Spartans to drive down the field and score a touchdown in 15 plays on their first drive. BYU’s defense tightened up after that drive and didn't allow Michigan State to score until the fourth quarter.
Despite moving the ball well, the Cougars’ offense struggled to finish drives and failed on several 4th down attempts in the first half. BYU kicker Rhett Almond put the Cougars on the board as time expired in the first half, making it 7-3 in favor of the Spartans.
It was all BYU coming out of the locker room, as the Cougars dominated both sides of the ball. BYU’s defense turned back the Spartans time after time and the offense continued to move the ball.
The third quarter saw BYU grab their first lead after Taysom Hill found Colby Pearson for a 4-yard touchdown, and a 10-7 lead.
BYU would pour it on in the fourth quarter with three more touchdowns and key plays by Hill and Williams. On several occasions, Hill found the sticks at cricital moments to pick up first downs to keep scoring drives moving.
Hill finished the game with 138 yards passing, one touchdown pass, 47 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Williams once again led the charge on the ground, finishing with 163 yards rushing — aided by a 61-yard scamper ending inside the 5-yard line — and two touchdowns.
Williams needs 64 rushing yards to surpass Harvey Unga as BYU’s all-time career rushing leader.
The defense did allow one more touchdown as the Spartans replaced their quarterback, giving the Spartans their 14 points late in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars finally showed their potential in all the phases of the game as the 31-14 victory fall on the shoulders of the entire team, and not just one group. For the first time this year, a BYU game did not come down to the wire, and it has to have Cougar fans excited.