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Thrilling OT Win For BYU


BYU kicker Owen Pochmanwas vindicated. Utah State coach Dave Arslanian and 31,220 of his friends were heartbroken.

Pochman kicked a 33-yard field goal in overtime after missing on a fourth-quarter chance to pad BYU's lead and Kevin Feterik threw for four touchdowns as the Cougars beat Utah State 34-31 on Friday night.

When Pochman's kick sailed through the uprights, the Cougars (3-1) celebrated on their sideline while 31,220 fans, the third-largest crowd in the 32-year history of Romney Stadium, went away silent and disappointed.

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Game summary

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  • "For those who think there are moral victories, we don't think there are," Arslanian said. "To moralize anything about overtime against a great team like BYU, our objective was to win."

    BYU blew a 31-20 lead in the fourth quarter and caught a huge break when Utah State's Brad Bohn, who kicked a career-best 55-yard field goal as the first half expired, missed from 42 yards on the Aggies' overtime possession.

    Bohn had connected on a 37-yard attempt seconds earlier, but the Aggies (1-3) were penalized for illegal procedure and moved back five yards. Bohn's 42-yard try was wide left and BYU took over.

    "We went after it hard and our kids deserved a victory," Arslanian said. "We just need to get a little closer to perfection than this. We had too many things hurt us."

    Utah State had rallied in the final six minutes of regulation. Bohn made a 47-yard field goal with 5:42 to play to pull the Aggies within 31-23.

    The Cougars seemed poised to put the game away by driving to Utah State's 26 but Pochman missed a 43-yard field goal attempt with 1:07 to play. BYU coach LaVell Edwards was relieved Pochman was able to make up for the miss.

    "He is a very good kicker and it's nice for him to come back and win one like that," Edwards said.

    After Pochman missed in the fourth quarter, Utah State quarterback Doug Crosbie took advantage. He directed a 74-yard drive in 38 seconds, throwig a 4-yard TD pass to Demario Brown with 21 seconds remaining to make it 31-29.

    On fourth-and-10 from the Aggies 41, Crosbie found Aaron Jones on a crossing route for a 44-yard gain to the BYU 15 with 29 seconds to play. Two plays later, he found Brown in the right corner of the end zone for the TD.

    "The offensive line did a great job," Crosbie said. "They gave me that time back in the pocket that I needed to find Aaron Jones. That's what our offense can do when we pull it all together."

    On the ensuing 2-point conversion, Crosbie threw a timing route in the same spot to Jones, who outleaped BYU's Heishu Robertson to force overtime.

    Feterik took a beating but showed he could handle it, throwing two of his four touchdowns to reserve tight end Doug Jolley, including a 5-yard score that gave the Cougars a 24-20 lead with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter.

    The Aggies came hard at Feterik and delivered lots of hard hits, usually on his release. Feterik left briefly during the third quarter after two Aggies converged on his knees, leaving him sprawled on the turf for three minutes.

    "We had a very good plan to get to Feterik," Arslanian said. "Our style is to attack and we wanted to slow down his quick passes."

    The injury, a stretched ligament in Feterik's right knee, wasn't considered serious and he was expected to play next week against California.

    "I'm sore, man, my hip, my elbow and my knee," Feterik said afterward.

    After going to the locker room, Feterik returned on BYU's next possession to lead a six-play, 65-yard drive, capped by his second TD pass to Jolley.

    BYU stretched the lead to 31-20 midway through the fourth quarter when Feterik threw a 14-yard TD strike to Tevita Ofahengaue.

    "We probably should have won by a lot more," Feterik said. "You have to give those guys (Aggies) credit. They had two weeks to prepare, plus their crowd was really into it."

    The game was played on Friday because the annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begins Saturday. BYU is owned and operated by the church.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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