Nov 10, 2001
By ROBERT W. BLACK
Associated Press Writer
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Levi Madarieta broke up a fourth-down pass at the goalline with 23 seconds left as No. 9 BYU barely stayed unbeaten by holding offWyoming 41-34 on Saturday.
Luke Staley's fourth touchdown, an 8-yard run with 2:08 left, provided thewinning margin for the Cougars (10-0, 6-0), who also clinched a share of theMountain West Conference title for the second time in three years.
Brandon Heaney's interception and Brandon Doman's 14-yard pass onthird-and-4 to Justin Anderson set up the winning score for BYU.
The Cougars, who survived four turnovers, will shoot for the outright titlenext week at home against Utah, which needs a victory to share in the crown.The win also kept BYU's hopes alive for crashing the Bowl Championship Series.
Wyoming (2-7, 0-6), which has lost 14 straight league games over threeseasons, matched BYU blow-for-blow all day.
Doman, who was averaging 314 yards of offense, completed 23 of 38 for 268yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 33 yards and threw one interception.
Bramlet, averaging 275 yards of offense, completed 24 of 52 passes for 358yards and one touchdown. He was Wyoming's leading rusher with 52 yards on 16carries.
However, his last-second fourth-and-goal throw to Scottie Vines was batteddown by Madarieta after the Cowboys had driven 64 yards to the BYU 5.
A fumble by BYU's Mike Rigell after a 15-yard reception set up Bramlet's1-yard quarterback sneak with 9:28 left to tie it at 34.
Damon Roark forced the fumble and teammate Gary Wright scooped it up andreturned it 11 yards to the BYU 32.
Staley had given BYU its fourth lead, 34-27, on a 4-yard run late in thethird quarter.
His 1-yard score put BYU up 27-20 early in the third quarter but Wyominganswered with a 80-yard, 10-play drive, capped by Kit Bradshaw's 2-yard scoringrun at the 7:10 mark of the period.
BYU turned the ball over twice in the final 5:05 of the first half, helpingWyoming rally from 10 points down to forge a 20-all tie at intermission.
The Cougars' Toby Christensen fumbled a punt return and John Wilsonrecovered for Wyoming at the BYU 43, setting up a 37-yard field goal by JarvisWallum to draw the Cowboys to 20-13 at the 2:31 mark of the third quarter.
Three plays later, Doman overthrew Doug Jolley and Wyoming's Eric Leeintercepted at the BYU 43. It was Lee's fourth interception of the season andonly the fourth thrown by Doman.
Paul Walkenhorst's pass-interference penalty on third-and-19 kept theensuing Wyoming drive alive and set up a 37-yard over-the-shoulder touchdowncatch down the sideline by Vines, tying the score at 20 with 41 secondsremaining in the half.
Early in the second quarter, Doman's 16-yard TD to Reno Mahe over the middlelifted the Cougars to a 17-10 lead. The score was set up by Ned Stearns'42-yard run on a fake punt.
On the Cougars' next possession, Staley peeled off a 58-yarder to set upMatt Payne's second field goal, from 27 yards, making it 20-10.
BYU scored on its first two drivers, taking a quick 10-0 lead as Paynekicked a 40-yard field goal and Staley ran for a 3-yard TD.
Wyoming answered with a 9-yard quarterback draw by Bramlet for a score andWallum added a 37-yard field goal.
Wallum's two field goals gave him 20 for the season, tying the 5-year-oldrecord school record set by Cory Wedel.