The BYU Cougars started slow, but eventually ran away from the Sun Devils by the score of 54-13.
With a crowd of over 1,000 BYU fans on hand, easily out numbering those in attendance for the home team, the Cougars scored a total of 8 tries, but didn’t get on the score board until the end of the opening quarter of the game.
Despite an overly narrow field at the make-shift venue of Mountain Point High School the Cougars found space but were inconsistent in their ability to finish the opportunities they generated.
“It seems strange to say it,” said BYU captain Ryan Roundy, “But the field width really was an issue. It was kind of like playing with handcuffs on in a way. But we still shouldn’t have made the number of mistakes that we made.”
Despite the mistakes the first scoring opportunity came as prop Ray Forrester rumbled over the goal line for the game’s opening try after a well worked series of phases by the BYU forwards.
The return of scrum half Shaun Davies from injury saw him marshall the BYU attack well and also convert the opening try. A confident kicking afternoon saw Davies go 7 out of 8 on the day.
More possession exchanges by the Cougars and Sun Devils led to an ASU penalty kick in the 27th minute to bring the score line to 7-3.
BYU center Paul Lasike would put his stamp on the game in the 32nd minute as he raced through a crowd of ASU defenders to score from 60 meters out.
And Lasike’s backline team mate wing Malosi Te’o would find space up the middle off a pop pass from flyhalf Dylan Lubbe to round out the scoring in the first half.
BYU led 21-3 at the half time whistle.
The Sun Devils would use the field width to their advantage as they continued to attack up BYU’s midfield. Eventually a missed BYU tackle would give ASU all the opportunity that it needed and the Sun Devils would turn it into a try in the 46th minute after a Cougar penalty and continued ASU pressure. BYU led 21-8 after a missed ASU conversion.
The Cougars didn’t wait long to respond with a try from Lasike in the 48th minute.
BYU would find it’s stride a bit and Lubbe would score BYU’s 5th try in the 57th minute after a quickly recycled possession caught the ASU defense thin and he would race 40 meters for the score. Conversions by Davies on both tries gave BYU the 35-8 lead.
ASU wasn’t about to let BYU run away and scored another well-worked try that was finished from a 5 meter lineout and maul in the 60th minute. However a missed conversion put the score at 35-13.
BYU’s defense would hold for the final quarter of the game as the Cougar subs entered the game with fresh legs and the BYU attack also livened up with three more tries from Te’o in 69th minute, center Seki Kofe in the 72nd minute and replacement flanker Kyle Sumsion in the 75th minute respectively.
Davies converted 2 of the final 3 tries and BYU would leave Phoenix with a 54-13 win despite the mixed performance.
“We saw some very good things from our guys,” said BYU head coach David Smyth, “ASU played a smart game and we had some moments where we didn’t adjust as good as we could have. But we got a great win in our conference opener on the road in front a great BYU crowd. We’ll go back to work and get better for next week.”
The ASU win moves BYU to the early leader position in the Western Conference garnering the bonus-point victory.
BYU’s next game will be in the familiar confines of South Field as BYU hosts the Air Force Academy for its season home opener on Saturday, March 10th at 1pm.
For more news and information on the BYU Cougars stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter.
BYU 1st XV vs. ASU Sun Devils:
1. Mikey Su’a (David Collins @ 67′)
2. Ishmael Tilialo (Chad Harker @ 69′)
3. Ray Forrester (Joey Mount @75′)
4. TJ Allred
5. Mark Bonham (David Rowly @ 42′)
6. Kumi Tua’one
7. Hynie Leaatoa (Kyle Sumsion @ 49′)
8. Ryan Roundy ©
9. Shaun Davies (Adam Kuchin @ 75′)
10. Dylan Lubbe
11. Malosi Te’o
12. Seki Kofe
13. Paul lasike
14. Jordan Lowry (Austin Allred @ 67′)
15. Will Taylor
Tries: Forrester 18’; Lasike 32’, 48′; Te’o 35’, 69’; Lubbe 57′; Kofe 72’; Sumsion 75’
Conversions: Davies 7/8 (18′, 32′, 48′, 35′, 57′, 72, 75′)
Tries: ASU 46’, 60’
Penalties: 1/1 (27′)
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