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BYU vs. San Jose State Recap: Cougars end losing streak against the Spartans

Turnovers helped the Cougars to their second win.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at San Jose State John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU football team broke their seven game losing streak by blowing out visiting San Jose State 41-20. In a season where the BYU football program has seen the longest losing streak since 1968 and an offense that had yet to produce 100 points on the season, the Cougars broke out against the struggling Spartans. BYU coaches, players, and fans have all been looking for a sign of progress and they may have found it in this game.

Tanner Mangum followed up his first 300-yard passing game by almost equaling that mark for the second week in a row. Tanner was 18/34 for 283 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. San Jose State, who has struggled consistently against the run all year, saw 39 rushing attempts by BYU for 266 yards. KJ Hall was electric with 112 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 75 yard scamper (though he didn’t play in the second half due to an injry). Squally Canada also scored a touchdown to go along with his 44 yards. Even Mangum got in on the running attack with 30 yards rushing, making good decisions to take off when there was good coverage and scrambling for what yards he could. Austin Kafentzis added 40 yards — including a 36-yard run down the sideline. Brayden El-Bakri had 21-yards and Riley Burt had 20 yards.

The BYU defense was solid for most of the game as they gave up just over 300 yards and forced five turnovers. The two SJSU touchdowns came basically in garbage time when the game was clearly out of reach, and BYU had pulled their starters.

BYU forced a punt to start the game and then marched down the field and scored a touchdown on a great catch by Micah Simon in the end zone. On the kickoff, El-Bakri absolutely crushed the SJSU kick returner which forced a fumble that he subsequently recovered. Mangum then hit Matt Bushman for a touchdown.

This season has left fans starving for excitement and BYU gave them some today. The El-Bakri hit and fumble recovery was the big hit that everyone has been waiting for. Offensively, the Cougars showed some life in the passing game. Mangum hit Jonah Trinnaman for a 45-yard gain on the first offensive play of the game. Micah Simon had two spectacular touchdown grabs and Aleva Hifo also had an incredible catch for a 42-yard gain.

Hopefully this is a game that BYU can build off of as they head to California to face a hot Fresno State team who is 5-2.