TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — BYU had to wait out a 2 1/2-hour weather delay to get its season started, then took just 11 seconds to score its first touchdown.
The No. 25 Cougars scored 38 straight points in the first half and cruised to a 50-21 victory over South Florida on Saturday night.
Wide receiver Puka Nucua scored on a 75-yard inside run on the first play from scrimmage of the game and added a second rushing touchdown. Christopher Brooks rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown as BYU dominated the line of scrimmage and ran the ball for 314 yards.
Jaren Hall was efficient, completing 25 of 32 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He completed passes to 12 receivers.
South Florida was sluggish out the gate. Gerry Bohanon, a highly touted transfer from Baylor, had an interception returned for a touchdown by Max Tooley in the first quarter.
Wide receiver Xavier Weaver had five catches for 113 yards from the Bulls and Jimmy Horn scored on an 89-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
BYU: The Cougars have loaded up their schedule with ranked opponents in hopes of getting some consideration for a New Year’s Six bowl six. It was important to get off to an impressive start Saturday and BYU came out the gate strong, taking a 28-0 lead in the first 11 minutes.
USF: Bulls coach Jeff Scott is 3-19 at USF. This year USF was expected to at least be in contention for a bowl going into the final stretch of the season. But with a tough slate of games in September and October, it’s unlikely that will be the case.
BYU looked sharp from the opening snap and should gain some traction in the Top 25 with many tougher games coming up on the schedule.
BYU: Host No. 11 Oregon on Sept. 10.
USF: Host Howard of the Championship Subdivision on Sept. 10.