Jaren Hall threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns Thursday night as 19th-ranked BYU pulled away in the second half for a 38-26 win over Utah State in Provo, Utah.
Hall completed 17 of 27 passes for the Cougars (4-1), who won their second straight game after a 41-20 loss at Oregon on Sept. 17. His 14-yard scoring strike to Ethan Erickson less than three minutes into the third quarter gave BYU a 24-17 advantage it wouldn’t relinquish.
The Aggies (1-4) countered with Connor Coles’ 33-yard field goal at the 10:03 mark to pull within 24-20, but they wouldn’t get any closer. The Cougars made it 31-20 when Hall hit Kody Epps for an 8-yard touchdown with 6:12 left in the third.
BYU put the game away with Christopher Brooks’ 18-yard scoring jaunt up the middle with 8:18 remaining. That occurred six plays after Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Aggies’ 44-yard line.
Legas completed 19 of 31 passes for 188 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Aggies, who used their ground game to control the ball during the first half. Calvin Tyler led Utah State’s attack with a game-high 104 yards on 18 attempts.
The Aggies marched 75 yards on a crisp game-opening drive, Legas covering the last seven with a scoring run at the 10:39 mark of the first quarter. The Cougars counted with a pair of scores in 81 seconds. Hall hit Keanu Hill with a 31-yard touchdown pass, followed by Max Tooley’s 34-yard interception return.
Utah State responded with a pair of second-quarter scores to grab a 17-14 edge. Coles hit a 50-yard field goal at the 9:34 mark, followed by Legas’ 14-yard scoring strike to Brian Cobbs with 5:04 left.
BYU responded with a 45-yard field goal by Jake Oldroyd with 2:32 remaining — allowing the Cougars to tie the game at halftime despite rushing for minus-21 yards in the half.