Brigham Young University
Nov 05 | 05:05 PM
31 - 28
Boise State University
Joseph Hovey | Posted: 5 Nov 2022 | Updated: 21 Nov 2022
Joseph Hovey

Nacua hauls in game-winner for 31-28 win over Boise State

Nacua game-winning TD at BSU
Team at Boise State 2022 Ropati vs. Boise Defense vs. Boise 2022 Nelson vs boise state Jaren at BSU Hinckley Ropati run vs BSU
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BOISE, Idaho — BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua reeled in a go-ahead 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jaren Hall in the closing minutes of the game to give BYU a 31-28 win over Boise State at Albertsons Stadium on Saturday night.

Nacua was Hall’s go-to man throughout the game. The junior from Provo, Utah hauled-in 14 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns to lead BYU in receptions and receiving yards. Nacua led a team that overcame a few miscues throughout the game but battled back for a win to snap a four-game losing streak. 

"I just wanted our guys to keep fighting through it," BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. "There were plenty of mistakes made but I think we were able to overcome it because of our belief and trust in each other. It just felt good to play football and get a win."

After an incompletion and two unsuccessful quarterback keepers, BYU faced 4th and goal at the Bronco 6-yard line with 1:52 remaining. Hall aired out the ball to the back left corner of the end zone on a fade route and Nacua did the rest, fighting off a defender for a juggling 6-yard touchdown grab with 1:46 to go in the game. After an official review confirmed the call, Jake Oldroyd booted the PAT and BYU secured a 31-28 lead.

The finishing touches were up to the Cougar defense. After a holding call stalled the Broncos’ last-gasp efforts, Jakob Robinson would seal the deal for BYU with a pass breakup on 4th and 8, allowing BYU's offense to kneel it out for the win. 

Despite two first-half interceptions, Hall went 29-of-42 for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Hall also led the Cougars with 82 rushing yards on 12 carries. Lopini Katoa totaled 46 yards on 12 carries, but the emergent threat in the BYU backfield came from Hinckley Ropati in his first extended action with the Cougars. The junior college transfer from Downey, California compiled 110 yards of total offense with 82 through the air and 28 on the ground. 

In addition to Nacua and Ropati's big night, BYU also got production out of Keanu Hill, Brayden Cosper and Chase Roberts all logging multiple catches. The Cougar pass catchers posted 209 yards after the catch to move the chains all night. 

Linebackers Ben Bywater and Keenan Pili totaled six tackles each, while Pili added a tackle-for-loss and a forced fumble. Tyler Batty took second on the defense with five tackles (four solo) and a fumble recovery. Jakob Robinson, Pepe Tanuvasa and Kaleb Hayes each recorded key pass break-ups as well.

Overall, BYU outgained Boise State 532-324, including 155-104 on the ground and 377-220 through the air. The Cougars converted on 7 of 12 3rd downs and held the Broncos to 4 of 10 on third. BYU also dominated in first downs gained (27-16) and time of possession (36:01 to 23:59).




First Quarter
BYU got off to a fast start on offense and early 7-0 lead after a 12-play 75-yard touchdown drive. Hall connected with four different receivers on the drive, including completions of 14 and 16 yards to Rex and Roberts, respectively. Ropati recorded his first-career reception and picked up five yards on a crucial 3rd and 5 to set up BYU in goal-to-go position. Hall would finish off the drive with 3-yard plunge at the 8:48 mark in the first.

Pepe Tanuvasa and Jakob Robinson helped the BYU defense force a three-and-out on Boise State’s opening drive. Tanuvasa stuffed a run at the line of scrimmage and Robinson helped the Cougars get off the field on 3rd down with a quarterback hurry that disrupted a Bronco pass attempt.

Despite early first downs on completions from Hall to Nacua, the Cougar offense was stopped short of the line to gain on a 4th and 1. Boise State responded to the turnover on downs with a 6-play, 67-yard drive that concluded in a game-tying touchdown.

Second Quarter
Three promising BYU drives came up short of points in the second quarter, with two ending in interceptions and the last ending with a stop just inches short of the Bronco goal line.

Katoa jump-started the Cougars’ first drive of the quarter as he eluded defenders both on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield on three chunk plays. Despite the hot start to the drive, BYU came up empty as a pass from Hall was picked off in Boise State territory.

Two drives later, the Cougars’ were stymied when a would-be touchdown pass from Hall to Rex fell off the tight end’s fingers and into the hands of a Bronco defensive back for the touchback in the end zone.

The BYU defense would come up with a forced turnover of its own moments later as John Nelson and Pili worked together to strip the ball away and Batty collected it inside the Boise State 10-yard line.

On the final play of the half, BYU came up short of making points out of the fumble recovery when Katoa was stopped a hair shy of the goal line after an official review. 

The Cougars and Broncos then headed to the locker room deadlocked 7-7.

Third Quarter
Boise State broke the stalemate in the third on a 10-play, 71-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 9-yard scoring strike from Green to McAlister with 4:23 to go in the quarter.

The Cougars responded quickly to the 14-7 Bronco lead as Hall plowed deep into plus territory  on a 49-yard quarterback keeper. While two false start penalties impeded the BYU offense from a touchdown, Jake Oldroyd nailed a 25-yard field goal, cutting the Boise State lead to 14-10 with 3:59 in the third.

Following a fourth forced three-and-out from the BYU defense, Hall orchestrated a go-ahead touchdown drive through the air. Nacua and Cosper each hauled-in receptions of 21 yards to begin the drive. Hall would finish the drive and the quarter finding Nacua for a 25-yard touchdown pass as the junior receiver planted both feet in-bounds in the back far corner of the end zone.

Fourth Quarter
BYU’s 17-14 edge was short-lived as Boise State marched down the field on a 12-play, 78-yard drive. The Broncos finished the drive in the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown dive from Holani and retake a 21-17 lead with 9:45 remaining.

The Cougars began their ensuing drive with prime field position after a short Boise State kickoff allowed BYU’s Talmage Gunther a return to the 36 yard-line. Hall and the offense would make the most of the field position, converting a 3rd and 7 with at 13-yard completion to Cosper and springing a screen pass to Ropati for a catch-and-run 48 yards to the house. Following Ropati’s circuitous path to paydirt, BYU led 24-21 with 8:12 on the clock.

 The Bronco offense struck back quickly, galloping across the field on a 4-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in just under two minutes. Holani again punched it into the end zone, this time from 11 yards out. The score returned the lead to Boise State’s favor at 28-24 with 6:28 to go.

Hall and Nacua then took the field and went to work. The BYU signal caller completed consecutive passes of 27 and 8 yards to Nacua, then called his own number to move the chains with a keeper on 3rd and 1.

The Cougars returned to Ropati on the screen pass and found favorable results again as the junior college transfer scampered 29 yards to set up 1st and goal from the Boise State 7.

Facing another fourth down, BYU finally got its conversion in the biggest moment with a 6-yard fade route to Nacua, who juggled it but secured it with a toe down in bounds to put the Cougars in front. After Oldroyd's PAT, BYU led 31-28 with 1:46 to go. 

The Cougar defense came through with two pass breakups, one by Tanuvasa on second down and Robinson with the final breakup on fourth down to send the Cougars home winners. 

BYU returns to LaVell Edwards Stadium for its final home game of the season versus FCS opponent Utah Tech at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. Watch BYU battle the Trailblazers on BYUtv and ESPN3 or listen live on BYU Radio SiriusXM 143, Radio App or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM. 


Kenny Cox | Posted: 31 Oct 2022 | Updated: 21 Nov 2022
Kenny Cox

BYU Football Game Week – at Boise State

Game Week Boise State

PROVO, Utah – BYU football will play at Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. MT at Albertsons Stadium. The game will be televised on FS2 (Fox Sports 2). 

Use this page as a one-stop shop for everything related to the game leading up to kickoff, including broadcast plans, news and game notes. 

BYU (4-5) at Boise State (6-2)
Saturday, Nov. 5
Kickoff: 5:00 P.M. MT
Boise, Idaho
Albertsons Stadium (36,387)

TV/Streaming: FS2
RADIO (3:00 p.m. MT pregame):  BYU Radio SiriusXM 143, Radio app, KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM
Pregame (3:00 p.m. MT pregame)/Postgame: BYUtv

Live Stats
BYU Game Notes
Boise State Game Notes
Monday Media Availability