BYU vs. Boise State: A Low Tech Preview

<i><b>10th in a series</b></i> <P> Still no respect. The high-flying Cougars, with an impressive 8-1 record after a dismal season last year, still have not broken into the Top 25 national rankings. BYU are now hosting undefeated WAC leader Boise State in Provo before a national ESPN audience. The Cougars know all to well that for them to gain any respect, they have to defeat Boise State decisively.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an exclusive COMPUTER vs. COMPUTER 2004 NCAA 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 summer football doldrums. This article is part of a fantasy game-by-game summary and analysis with actual player names and stats provided.)

The Broncos are currently projected to face Louisiana State in the Humanitarian Bowl. They also feature the nation's leading Heisman candidate in senior running back David Mikell.

So far this season, he has amassed a very impressive 1,406 yards on 260 carries and 16 TDs. Mikell has also proven to be an effective pass catching threat with 29 receptions for 402 yards and four touchdowns. If BYU can stop Mikell, something that no team has been able to do thus far, BYU hopes to win the game and some national respect.

Freshman offensive guard standout Ofa Mohetau returns after suffering a torn abdomen in the USC game. He is reportedly fully healed and ready to play, according to team doctors.

Game time. P> Boise State wins the toss and elects to receive. Using a medium range quick passing attack, the Broncos inch up the field to BYU's 6-yard line, Boise State quarterback Ryan Dinwiddle connects with Tim Gilligan for a touchdown less than four minutes into the game.

BYU moves the football adequately enough throughout the quarter, but cannot find the end zone -- or BSU territory for that matter. BYU shows good presence on defense and ends the quarter without giving up any more points.

End of 1st Quarter - BYU 0 Boise State 7

After a few exchanged punts, BYU finally gets on the scoreboard with an interception by Jernaro Gilford, who returns it 39 yards for a touchdown. On the next series, DL of the Year Award finalist Manaia Brown forces and recovers a fumble from Heisman candidate Mikell. The Cougars add a Matt Payne field goal as a result of the turnover and head into the locker room with a three point lead.

Halftime - BYU 10 Boise State 7

Midway through the 3rd quarter, BYU quarterback Matt Berry is intercepted by defensive back Julius Brown who returns it to the barn for six points. Undaunted, BYU responds with an eight play, 80-yard drive which results in running back Fahu Tahi diving three yards into the end zone and a touchdown. With just 20 seconds left in the quarter, BYU's spirits are dampened as Boise State connects on a Dinwiddle pass to Jerry Smith for 61 yards.

End of 3rd Quarter - BYU 24 Boise State 21

If the Cougar football brain trust wanted to keep the home crowd in their seats for the entire game, they succeeded. The Cougars score two 4th quarter scores on a pass from Berry to receiver Rod Wilkerson with 6:40 remaining and a 4-yard run by Tahi with less than two minutes remaining. The BYU cleans up with a safety as Boise State attempts a comeback.

Final Score - BYU 40 Boise State 21 With another satisfying victory under their belt, BYU improves to 9-1 and prepares to face the 12th ranked Irish of Notre Dame (6-3) in South Bend on NBC TV.

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