There were three plays that ultimately decided this game between San Jose State and BYU which saw the Spartans losing, 17-16. We will start in reverse order with the two-point conversion. This was a gutsy call by either offensive coordinator Al Borges or head coach Ron Caragaher but it was the right call. The San Jose State defense was not playing all that great and the offense was clicking, so why not surprise BYU and go for the win.
The Spartans fresh off of 10-play 85-yard drive that include a huge 4th-and-1 conversion when Kenny Potter rolled out and ran for 34 yards and then a late hit added 15 more yards. San Jose State was gifted a very generous pass interference call, before Potter rushed for six yards out to make it 17-16.
On the two-point pla the formation looked like one all night where it would be a Tyler Ervin run or some sort of quarterback run by Potter. The play started like that when the ball was given to Ervin to the right side of the field but then he pulled up and threw a wobbly - yet on target -- pass to tight end Billy Freeman but the tight coverage by BYU's Michael Wadsworth was too much as the ball slipped through Freeman's hands, giving the Cougars the win.
Freeman had big key to the Spartans all night with six receptions for 67 yards and Wadsworth redeemed himself from a late hit call that helped San Jose State score.
Another key play which some will call the play that lost the game for the Spartans was a rare missed field goal from Austin Lopez who hit the left upright from 46 yards out.
The other key play for the Spartans was turning the ball over when Thomas Tucker lost the ball at the Cougars 14-yard line. One also can say that the pick-six by Cleveland Wallace III.
Nonetheless, this game was much closer than expected and Wallace can be thanked because prior to the pick-six BYU dropped a pass in the end zone that could have made it 21-3 heading into the half, and with the Cougars getting the ball to start the third quarter.
The San Jose State rush defense showed up and part of that success was that BYU was down multiple starting offensive lineman, and that led to the Cougars to throw the ball a lot with Tanner Mangum and he had a good day against this Spartans secondary by completing 23 of 37 for 293 yards wit a first quarter touchdown and an interception. The second half is where the Spartans pass defense stepped up with a good showing by allowing just three points and forcing BYU to punt on all but the one field goal possession.
The numbers for San Jose State's offense do not look that good but part of that was due to the multiple long drives and won the time of possession numbers. Ervin had just 80 rushing yards and 13 receiving. Potter tossed for 147 yards but was pretty accurate at 18 of 25.
This was an ugly game at times with a lot of penalties, and most helped the Spartans throughout, but in the end it was a gutsy play call that came up short and resulted in San Jose State losing by just a single point to BYU.
San Jose State is still in bowl contention at 4-5 with game left against Nevada, Hawaii and Boise State.