BYU vs. New Mexico: A low-tech preview

<b>Game 3 in a series</b> <p> Coming off last week's huge road win at No. 3 ranked USC (1-1) in Los Angeles, it would be easy for 18th ranked BYU (2-0) to relax their guard this week against New Mexico after two impressive back-to-back wins against high profile BCS teams. Not likely.

(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 -- whether you are a Cougar fan or not. 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 summary and analysis with actual player names and stats provided.)

Two weeks ago, the Cougars hammered Georgia Tech 31-3 in Provo. Last week, they edged the Trojans 24-17 in the final 10 seconds of play in one of BYU's most satisfying and thrilling upsets in years.

BYU's defensive pressure was key in both wins. USC had enough defensive power to beat the Cougars to get the job done, holding BYU to just 13 first downs and 281 yards of total offense. However, BYU's defense caused USC's untested quarterback to make bad passes, resulting in interceptions. We doubt BYU would have stood a chance with last year's defense.

Game time.

This one is for Bronco Mendenhall, the Lobos' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator last season. He didn't have to say a word to motivate his defensive troops. They know it. They feel it. They want it.

It's a battle of undefeated teams. BYU enters the New Mexico with more than pride riding on the line. Last season's loss in Provo left a bitter taste in the mouth of Cougar fans and players, which took BYU out of bowl contention. However, everybody knows this BYU game is UNM's Bowl Game.

Entering the sold out game in Albuquerque vs. New Mexico (2-0), BYU knows what they need to do to win. New Mexico, meanwhile, coming off two road wins to SW Texas State 55-10 and Texas Tech 24-14.

BYU wins the coin toss and elects to kick off. New Mexico starts and ends the drive at the 20 of UNM going three-and-out. Thomas Stancil fields the punt at the BYU 38 where BYU's offense takes the field. Matt Berry leads the BYU charge to the UNM 48 until Terrell Golden of UNM intercepts a Berry pass and returns it to the BYU 49.

UNM drives down to the BYU 12 until James Allen of BYU picks off Casey Kelly's pass in the end zone on 1st and 10, bringing the ball out to the BYU 20. BYU works its way down to the UNM 18 where Berry connects with Daniel Coats for an 18-yard touchdown strike.

1st Quarter - BYU 7 - UNM 0

BYU, aided by an impressive secondary performance, had a tremendous second quarter with two interceptions deep in BYU territory by Jernaro Gilford at the 10 and another by Aaron Francisco at the 22. BYU converts both turnovers into points with a 9-yard run by Marcus Whalen and an 8-yard pass from Berry to Breyon Jones. Matt Payne adds a 24-yard field goal right before half-time.

Halftime - BYU 24 - UNM 0

BYU starts off what may be their worst third quarter showing this season when Stancil fumbles the ball at the BYU 2-yard line on a kick off. On the very next play, Whalen is stopped behind the line of scrimmage, resulting in a safety. Berry was also sacked four times and threw another interception to Terrell Golden, who returned it for a touchdown and New Mexico adds two more from a two point conversion.

3rd Quarter - BYU 24 - UNM 10

Until the 4th quarter, BYU struggles offensively all game. Had it not been for the turnovers caused in the red zone, New Mexico would be looking at a different ball game.

However, aided by another fumble recovery at the UNM 35, BYU scores on a 1-yard run by Whalen with just 2:24 remaining in the game. On the next drive, New Mexico goes four-and-out at the BYU 36 and Payne adds a 49-yard field goal with just 1:13 remaining.

>b>Final Score - BYU 34 - UNM 10

BYU improves to 3-0 (1-0) and looks ahead to another huge game next week against a surprising 13th ranked Boise State (2-0) team in Provo.

BYU ~ UNM 1st Downs 16 ~ 14 Total Off. 299 ~ 325 Rushes - Yds. 26-38 ~ 32-98 Comp-Att-TD 20-30-2 ~ 18-32-1 Pass Yds. 261 ~ 227 Sacks 5 ~ 0 Redzone-TD-FG 5-4-1 ~ 2-1-0 Turnovers 2 ~ 5 Penalties-Yds 1-10 ~ 2-14 T.O.P 28:37 ~ 31:23 Berry 20-30/261 yds. ~ 2 Td ~ 63% ~ 5 sack ~ 2 Int. Nixon 5 Tackle ~ 2 TFL ~ 2 Pass Defl. Interceptions by: James Allen, Aaron Francisco, Jernaro Gilford and Mike Tanner

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