Cowboys Drop Road Contest to Cougars

Nov. 9, 2006

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -John Beck passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns and moved up to second on Brigham Young's career passing list as the No. 25 Cougars clinched a share of their first conference title in five years by beating Wyoming 55-7 Thursday night.

Beck also had two 1-yard touchdown runs to lead BYU (8-2, 6-0 Mountain West) to its seventh straight win and an emphatic return to the Top 25.

Curtis Brown also ran for two touchdowns, McKay Jacobson returned a punt 77 yards for a score and BYU gained 454 yards of offense against the Cowboys (5-6, 4-3), who had the top-rated defense in the Mountain West.

Wyoming allowed 50 points for the first time since a 51-34 loss to Air Force in October 2000.

Beck was 20-for-26 and overtook Jim McMahon for No. 2 on BYU's career passing list. Beck now has 9,806 yards passing, second only to Ty Detmer's total of 15,031.

Nathan Meikle returned the opening kickoff 84 yards to the 2-yard line to set up a quick touchdown, and Quinn Gooch returned an interception 38 yards to the 3 in the third quarter for the Cougars.

The Cowboys avoided a shutout when Devin Moore broke a 71-yard touchdown run with 6:25 left to play.

BYU was playing as a ranked team for the first time since the end of the 2001 season, and Cougar fans were savoring every moment on a chilly night in Provo. About the only time they stopped cheering was to boo briefly when coach Bronco Mendenhall had Jared McLaughlin kick an 18-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 late in the third quarter with BYU already up 38-0.

No lead was going to be big enough for BYU fans, who haven't had a winning season to celebrate since the Cougars went 12-2 in 2001.

BYU can clinch the conference title outright with a win at home next week against New Mexico or at Utah on Nov. 25.

Beck needed 43 yards to pass McMahon for second on BYU's passing list and did it on his second completion of the night. Michael Reed made a leaping grab on a sideline route for a 36-yard play.

Before the stadium announcer had a chance to tell the fans, Beck threw a 6-yard pass to Jonny Harline for a touchdown that put the Cougars ahead 14-0.

BYU needed just two plays to go 68 yards on its next drive. Beck started it with a 35-yard pass to Harline, then the Cougars scored on Beck's 33-yard throw to Reed that put BYU up 21-0 with 6:58 left in the first quarter.