28 - 27 Final
  for this game

BYU holds off Washington to keep streak intact

Sep 7, 2008 - 12:54 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Brigham Young needed a questionable penalty to keep the nation's longest winning streak alive.

Jan Jorgensen blocked an extra point with two seconds to play, preserving the 15th-ranked Cougars' 28-27 victory over upset-minded Washington on Saturday.

Max Hall threw for 339 yards and three touchdown passes as BYU (2-0) extended its winning streak to 12 games.

"I'm proud of our team," Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "When it came down to making a play to win the football game, our players demonstrated their will one more time. That's a phenomenal thing."

BYU needed some good fortune and got the "phenomenal thing" with the big block to win at Washington for the first time in school history.

Jake Locker drove the Huskies (0-2) 68 plays in 16 yards, capping the march with a 3-yard run to cut the deficit to 28-27 with two seconds remaining.

Following the score, Locker flipped the ball in the air and was whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration, forcing a 35-yard extra point by Ryan Perkins, which was low and swatted down by Jorgensen.

"It's unfortunate, but it's one that they almost have to call," Huskies coach Tyrone Willingham said. "It really should be a no-call, but it's one that they have to call when they see it.

"It changes everything. I don't think there's any question about that. It made a difference, but it's still one that we count on ourselves being able to protect and get off the kick."

The extra point attempt never had a chance, with Brigham Young caving in the interior of Washington's offensive line.

"Earlier in the game on some PATs I was able to squeeze through a little bit," Jorgensen said. "Usually we only rush one side and the other side does another thing, but this was just line 'em up and go."

"I asked (assistant coach) Paul Tidwell if there was any chance they would have the nerve to fake it and he said, 'There's always a chance,'" Mendenhall said. "So I said, 'All-out rush.' And the players nodded like they believed they could block it. They were smiling."

Mendenhall acknowledged he did not see the infraction for which Locker was flagged, but said it should not be blamed for the outcome.

"... Celebration is a penalty. Whether it was or not, I didn't see it, but if it was it should have been called," Mendenhall said. "Even if it was our team it should have been called. The rules are the rules. I'm glad that there was one play left still to decide the outcome and I'm not sure that play or the penalty can say they determined the outcome.

"There still was another play left and in that play our young man tried hard and we blocked the kick."

Hall's 15-yard-scoring pass to tight end Dennis Pitta with 3:31 to play provided the winning margin for the Cougars (2-0).

On BYU's previous drive, the Cougars had marched 97 yards for the apparent go-ahead score, only to see Harvey Unga fumble just before he crossed the goal line.

"When you're so close and you fumble on the goal line like that, when you lose an opportunity to put them away, it's tough but you've got to regain your focus and do what we've been doing," Pitta said.

Hall finished 30-of-41 with one interception while Pitta had 10 receptions for 148 yards for BYU, which has not lost since a 55-47 defeat at Tulsa in Week Three last season.

Locker completed 17-of-32 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown and added 67 yards on 18 carries. He was brilliant on the final drive, scrambling for 13 yards on 4th-and-10 and scampering 15 yards to the 3-yard line, setting up his own touchdown run three plays later.

"He is a phenomenal player, so we used every weapon we thought we had and I think what it showed is we're going to have to look a little further if we ever play a young man like that again," Mendenhall said.

The loss dropped Washington to 11-27 under fourth-year coach Willingham.

"We've fought through a lot of adversity here at U-Dub, and this is just another thing that we have to fight through," Washington cornerback Mesphin Forrester said. "We just have to come together as a team and get better. We have to try to make more plays out there."