Paul Lasike

Miami Beach Bowl offers plenty of offense in first half, BYU leads Memphis

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If you like offense, then the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl seems to have you entertained this Monday afternoon. Memphis and BYU put together a back-and-forth first quarter with over 300 yards of combined offense and 31 combined points. BYU leads Memphis at the half, 28-24.

BYU fumbled away the football on the game’s opening possession, which set Memphis up in great position at the BYU 35-yard line to open the scoring just three plays later with a Paxton Lynch touchdown pass to Keiwone Malone. BYU responded by driving 82 yards over five plays with BYU quarterback Christian Stewart tossing a 47-yard touchdown strike to Mitchell Juergens to tie things up.

We were just getting started.

Memphis went 58 yards and Lynch pushed one across the goal line from the one-yard line to regain the lead for Memphis. BYU answered, this time with Stewart connecting with Mitch Mathews for a 25-yard touchdown. Memphis later regained the lead with a 39-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. That helped give Memphis a 17-14 lead after one quarter of play.

Memphis extended the lead to 24-14 with another touchdown run by Lynch early in the second quarter, but BYU battled back. Stewart completed a pass down the right sideline to a back-peddling Jordan Leslie, who showed great concentration to grab the pass above his head and step back into the end zone with one foot before falling out of bounds. A video review upheld the touchdown, bringing BYU within three points of Memphis, 24-21.

BYU’s defense then came up with a big play on the ensuing possession by Memphis. On the second play from scrimmage, Alani Fua tipped a pass from Lynch and he kept his hands on the ball for the interception before returning the football 37 yards to set the Cougars up on offense from the Memphis 15-yard line. Paul Lasike eventually punched one in on the ground from three yards out to give BYU its first lead of the game in the final two minutes of the half, 28-24.

This could be an entertaining second half between BYU and Memphis if the offenses continue working like this.

BYU linebacker’s season, career over due to surgery

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BYU senior linebacker Austen Jorgensen has played his final game for the Cougars, it would seem. On Thursday BYU announced Jorgensen will undergo season-ending surgery to repair torn cartilage damage in his knee, which he injured after playing eight games this season.

Jorgensen seta  career high with 47 tackles in eight games and started three for the Cougars. Over his career, Jorgensen played in 45 games and recorded 108 career tackles. Sophomore Manoa Pikula has been listed behind him on the depth chart and should be the likely replacement

In addition to Jorgensen’s surgery, BYU also announced that receiver and kick returner JD Falslev will miss the next three or four weeks due to minor surgeries currently planned. Falslev was BYU’s primary punt returner this season. Adam Hine and Paul Lasike have been handling kickoff returns, so one of them may be used to fill in the vacancy in the punt return game until Falslev can return.

Photo courtesy BYU Athletics