BYU vs. Stanford: A low-tech preview

<b>Game 5 in a series</b> <p> On the heels of a heart-stopping win last week against nationally ranked Boise State (3-1), the 14th-ranked Cougars (4-0) now face a surprising Stanford team (3-1) -- which upset #10 ranked USC (2-2) last week for their second loss of the season, defeating the Trojans 31-17 in Palo Alto.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an exclusive COMPUTER vs. COMPUTER PS2 simulation with exact scores and stats for ANYONE that replicates these games with updated team rosters -- Cougar fan or not. In reality, the Boise State game has not happened yet, but it was moved to Friday, October 31, as a nationally televised ESPN game. That game, however, is already programmed into PS2 software based on BYU's original schedule. We have pre-played BYU's upcoming season for Cougar fans waiting out the post-spring football doldrums. This article is part of a fantasy game-by-game series with actual player names and stats provided.)

Nationally, BYU is currently ranked No. 2 on defense. Defensive Coordinator Bronco Mendhenhall has done exactly what head coach Gary Crowton hired him to do.

Meanwhile, what may have been viewed as one of its easier BCS out of conference games this year, BYU faces a determined Stanford Cardinal team that promises to give the Cougars all they can handle in Provo.

Game time.

It's a surprisingly cold night in Provo. The temperature have now dropped to 37 degrees, but Lavell Edwards Stadium is packed to the brim. Stanford wins the coin-toss and elects to kick off.

Matt Berry takes an early game hit when he is intercepted on the first play of the game and the ball is returned to the BYU 15. Stanford runs one play up the middle, good for 5 yards followed by a running play into the end-zone on an option run by the quarterback.

BYU drives down the field on the ensuing kick off return to the Stanford 49 by fleet-footed Thomas Stancil. However, BYU's second drive is stalled at the 35 and Matt Payne kicks a 50-yard field goal.

The Cougar defense holds the Cardinal on the next series. On its third drive, true freshman linebacker David Nixon jumps in front of a Stanford pass, bobbles the ball and drops it. The capacity crowd sighs. Had he caught the pass, it would have been returned for a sure touchdown with no one in front of him.

Stanford drives down to the BYU 38 on their next series, but BYU cornerback James Allen intercepts a Stanford pass at the 32. BYU drives down to their own 46, but Berry fumbles the ball on a blind-side sack and Stanford recovers the ball.

Stanford's offense works its way to the BYU 31, but misses a field goal wide right. Meanwhile, BYU goes 3-and-out and is forced to punt on its next series.

After a terrible punt, which wobbles out of bounds at the BYU 39, Stanford throws a well executed pass to the BYU 12 as the first quarter ends.

1st Quarter - BYU 3 - Stanford 7

BYU gives up another touchdown on the first play of the quarter on a play action fake and Stanford's quarterback finds a wide open receiver in the corner of the end zone.

Stanford is on a roll.

For the rest of the second quarter, Stanford gains 95 yards on rushing and score two more field goals while holding BYU to scoreless in the second quarter.

Halftime - BYU 3 - Stanford 20

Aided by a 65-yard returned fumble recovery by Chad Barney, running back Marcus Whalen dive into the end-zone from two yards out, cutting the Stanford lead to 10 with just five minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.

BYU holds the Cardinal scoreless in the 3rd. However, Stanford drives down to the BYU 30 right before the end of the quarter.

3rd Quarter - BYU 10 - Stanford 20

Stanford adds a 43-yard field goal with just 9:32 remaining in the game. Playing its worst game of the season, BYU gives up another 18-yard touchdown run with less than five minutes remaining in the game. BYU comeback attempts are to no avail and the clock runs out.

Final Score - BYU 10 - Stanford 30

BYU drops to 4-1 in the standings and falls to #19 in the poll. Meanwhile, Stanford moves up to #15.

Stanford ~ BYU

1st Downs 22 ~ 11 Total Off. 424 ~ 227 Rushes - Yds. 37-130 ~ 21- -3 Comp-Att-TD 20-37-1 ~ 17-37-0 Pass Yds. 294 ~ 230 Sacks 0 ~ 2 Redzone-TD-FG 3-3-2 ~ 1-1-0 Turnovers 2 ~ 5 T.O.P 43:14 ~ 26:46 Berry 17-37/227 yds. ~ 0 Td ~ 45% ~ 2 sack ~ 3 Int.

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