SAN JOSE, Calif. — BYU beat San Jose State 17-16, but the Cougars had to stop a late two-point try to hold off the Spartans.
San Jose State quarterback Kenny Potter scored on a six-yard touchdown run to cut BYU’s lead to one with 45 seconds to play. The Spartans immediately lined up to the two-point try, but the Spartans halfback pass from Tyler Ervins was broken up by BYU safety Michael Wadsworth in the end zone to preserve the Cougar victory.
“I would have gone for two as well,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “In fact, I told their coach that after the game. When you play the game like that, and you invest that much in all the different ways you can to move the ball, you gotta go for that. I know they’re disappointed, but it was the right thing. It was the right message to their team, it was the right message for their program, and it was the right call, and they almost pulled it off.”
Tanner Mangum tied a BYU record for touchdown passes by a freshman when he found Mitch Mathews in the end zone in the first quarter to put BYU on top 7-3. It was Mangum’s 15th touchdown pass this season, tying Jake Heaps for the BYU freshman record.
Algernon Brown put the Cougars up 14-3 with a short touchdown run in the second quarter, but Spartans answered back before the half when Cleveland Wallace III returned an interception for a touchdown to cut BYU’s lead to 14-10.
BYU has now won five games in a row to get to 7-2 this season.
“Credit to San Jose,” Mendenhall said. “I think they threw everything they could at us. Their defense really played well, especially against the run. I think that was one of the keys to the game was San Jose playing the run part of our offense so well. I think we got in our way a little bit with the interception for a touchdown and a few key penalties down the stretch. We have plenty to work on, but I think our team continues to show that they hang together, they find a way to win. But there’s a lot we can clean up.”