Cowboys Can't Corral Cougars

Oct. 26, 2000

Box Score

By TIM KORTE
AP Sports Writer

PROVO, Utah-- The numbers in the victory column indicate LaVell Edwardshas pulled even with Tom Osborne. Yet the retiring BYU coach insists it's a gaphe'll never close.

Owen Pochman kicked two long field goals, getting a great bounce on thefirst, to give Edwards career victory No. 255 as the Cougars beat Wyoming 19-7on Thursday night.

Edwards improved to 255-100-3, tying Osborne for sixth place on the NCAA'scareer list. Edwards is retiring after 29 seasons this year, Osborne retiredthree years ago after 25 seasons at Nebraska.

"It took him 25 years and it's taken me about 100," Edwards said. "Tom'sa great guy and a very good friend. I don't know if anyone has done a betterjob coaching in a 25-year period than he has."

The Cougars (4-5, 2-2 Mountain West) went ahead 9-7 late in the thirdquarter when Pochman's wobbling line-drive attempt from 48 yards struck thecrossbar and bounced through the posts.

Pochman missed three second-half field goals during BYU's 16-15 loss to SanDiego State last weekend, but he celebrated on the field this time. Thenormally stoic Edwards cracked a smile on the sideline.

"We play better when everybody contributes and I'm just glad I was able tocome through," Pochman said. "That first ball was ugly, no question, but I'lltake it because it put three points on the board."

The Cougars extended the lead to 16-7 on Marcus Whalen's 4-yard touchdownrun early in the fourth quarter and Pochman added a 42-yard field goal, thistime with plenty of height, with 4:15 to play.

Tyson Smith made his third interception, picking off reserve quarterbackBrandon Neill's pass, to end a late scoring threat by the Cowboys (1-8, 0-5),who lost their sixth straight.

For a while, it seemed neither team wanted to win. It was a woeful secondquarter, with each punchless offense trading fumbles and interceptions. Over aspan of 1:38 late in the half, possession changed three times.

"We must have set a record tonight for turnovers, both teams," Edwardssaid. "I don't have a clue how many we had."

Wyoming starter Jay Stoner threw three first-half interceptions, but theCougars seemed determined to give the Cowboys another chance.

It came with 1:29 before halftime, when Charlie Peterson threw a passstraight to Wyoming's Jacque Finn at midfield. Stoner threw a 13-yard TD passto Malcolm Floyd with 49 seconds before the break.

Stoner left midway through the third quarter with an injured right ankle.Although trainers taped it heavily and Stoner threw passes on the sideline, hedidn't return.

The Cougars, meanwhile, established the run and wore down the Cowboys.

"The offensive line did a great job in the second half," Peterson said."We controlled the game better, we stayed out of third-and-long and we put theball into the end zone."

The Cougars finally scored on Peterson's 5-yard TD run with 6:49 remainingin the third quarter. The PAT effort failed on a botched snap, and when Pochmantried to throw he was stripped by Wyoming's Jason Jones.

Although Pochman didn't appear to be stopped, officials blew their whistles.The Wyoming coaches and players protested unsuccessfully on the sideline asJones jogged into the end zone.

"The second half was a microcosm of our season," Wyoming coach VicKoenning said. "When there's a break, it goes the wrong way.

"We take the ball away from their kicker. That's points for us. The ballhits the crossbar, not on the top but square in the middle and bounces over.Finally, our defense plays well and Stoner gets hurt."