Provo, UT--The 8-0 BYU Cougars beat the visiting Air Force Academy by the score 76-20 today to move atop the Western Conference standings and to remain unbeaten at home since moving to South Field in 2009.
BYU has never lost on South Field and held serve today notching 11 tries, 9 conversions and 1 penalty goal against the Cadets of Air Force.
"We played well," said BYU assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti, "Our set piece was on and from that we were able to really build some pressure which led to some great tries."
The 11 try scoring spree didn't start right away however as has often been the case throughout the earlier part of the season.
From the kick-off Air Force would put BYU under pressure inside their own 22 meter line for the better part of the opening 7 minutes. And a Cougar penalty led to an early Air Force shot at goal in the 2nd minute.
The ensuing kick from 40 meters was just short and BYU would look to get out of the their end of the field fruitlessly until the 8th minute when Air Force was penalized for not releasing a BYU attacker and scrumhalf Shaun Davies would easily slot the 30 meter penalty goal.
The following restart was kicked out on the full and full back Tua Leai would score the opening BYU try after a well worked move from the ensuing mid-field scrum.
Leai would make another break after the next restart and he'd connect with center Paul Lasike who would race and step his way 40 meters for the next try of the game.
And after the slow start the Cougars quickly surged to a 17-0 lead by the 13th minute.
Air Force would regather themselves and eventually pressure an errant BYU kick in their own half and garner a penalty. The kick at goal was good and the Cadets would move the scoreboard to 17-3.
Again, the Cougars would find success from the ensuing restart and a break made by Davies that set up wing Malosi Te'o down the sideline led to center Seki Kofe scoring under the posts in the 16th minute. BYU led 24-3 and looked to be in full control of the game at the 16th minute.
But Air Force again wouldn't lay down lightly and would pressurize the Cougars inside the BYU half. Eventually the Air Force pressure broke the Cougars defense and two missed BYU tackles led to a try for the Academy in the 23rd minute.
More pressure led to a contested break down and Cougar wing Austin Allred was yellow carded in the 26th minute. With the resulting penalty kick Air Force would move closer to a 24-13 scoreline.
Playing a man down seemed to refocus the Cougars' resolve as BYU would score two tries in the 10 minute's sin-in span with prop Ray Forrester and captain No. 8 Ryan Roundy each scoring in the 30th and 35th minutes.
At the half BYU would lead 38-13.
The Cougars would allow one more try to Air Force but that would come in the 77th minute and after another run of 6 BYU tries in the second half.
Prop Mikey Su'a would garner his solo try in the 45th minute as he rumbled 15 meters with a host of AFA players working to drag the big prop to the ground.
More tries from flyhalf Dylan Lubbe, Roundy, replacement flanker Hynie Leaaetoa and Davies would round out the BYU scoring.
Davies would convert 9 of 11 tries, many from right-hand sideline angles.
BYU head coach David Smyth was pleased with his team's performance against the speedy and sizable AFA Cadets.
"Overall I was happy with our performance," Smyth said, "As we expected Air Force came out strong and did a fairly good job of moving the ball. It was a matter of being patient and soaking up the pressure. When we got our opportunities we did well and put points on the board. We were fairly clinical at times and that was good to see."
BYU now stands atop the Western Conference standings with two bonus-point wins and will take a week off from league play to face-off with two non-conference opponents on South Field.
The Cougars will first host local rival Utah Valley University in a mid-week tilt. Kick-off against the Wolverines is set for Wednesday, March 14th at 7pm.
BYU will then host the #2 ranked St. Mary's College Gaels on Saturday, March 10th at 12pm.
The Gaels are currently leading the CPD's Pacific Conference with huge wins over conference foes UCLA (76-19) and Cal Poly SLO (69-3).
BYU fans are invited to come to both games early as seating will likely be limited. Tickets can be bought at the gate for $10 (adults), $5 (students) and children under the age of 12 are free.