No. 19 Brigham Young 63, UNLV 28
PROVO, Utah (AP) _ Steve Sarkisian threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, leading 19th-ranked Brigham Young to a 63-28 rout of winless UNLV on Saturday.
Sarkisian, who didn’t have a TD pass last week against Utah State, threw all of his TD strikes in the first half. He finished 22-of-35 for 400 yards for the Cougars (6-1).
Freshman Ronney Jenkins caught two of Sarkisian’s TD passes against UNLV (0-7), which entered Cougar Stadium rated last in four NCAA defensive categories.
UNLV struck first when freshman quarterback Jon Denton scrambled 23 yards. And the Rebels, who have now lost 11 straight on the road, flirted with a 14-0 first-quarter lead before BYU’s Brad Martin recovered Omar Love’s fumble at the Cougars’ 8-yard line.
Sarkisian’s first TD throw, a 14-yarder to Aaron Cupp, tied the game. The senior added second-quarter scoring tosses of 16 yards to K.O. Kealaluhi and 21 and 33 to Jenkins to put the Cougars comfortably ahead.
Denton’s 17-yard pass to Len Ware cut BYU’s lead to 28-14 before halftime, but the Rebels would get no closer.
On the opening drive of the second half, Sarkisian marched the Cougars 68 yards on six plays _ including passes of 14 and 21 yards to Itula Mili _ before Brian McKenzie scored on a 3-yard run.
A UNLV fake punt play came up short on the next series, giving BYU possession on the Rebels’ 32. Five plays later, Sarkisian ran 18 yards to give the Cougars a 42-14 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Sarkisian left early in the final period, but BYU reserves continued the onslaught. After UNLV scored on Denton’s 7-yard pass to Carlos Baker, McKenzie scored again on a 14-yard sprint, and BYU’s Paul Shoemaker threw an 18-yard TD pass to freshman John Moala.
Freshman Chris Stevens ran in from 2 yards out for BYU’s final points.
Denton was 24-of-36 for 314 yards and three TDs.
Although BYU and UNLV are members of the Western Athletic Conference, the game did not count in league standings because the Rebels scheduled the date months before joining the WAC.