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Blue turf special

Boise St. keeps win streak alive when BYU misses field goal

Posted: Saturday September 25, 2004 2:14AM; Updated: Saturday September 25, 2004 3:24AM

  Jared Zabransky
Jared Zabransky completed 20-of-28 for 299 yards for the unbeaten Broncos.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Boise State's Jared Zabransky threw a touchdown pass to T.J. Acree with less than four minutes remaining and Brigham Young missed a field goal try in the final minute, helping the No. 21 Broncos to a 28-27 victory Friday night that extended the nation's longest winning streak.

Boise State, which won its 15th straight game, charged to a 16-0 lead, but BYU rallied to take a 27-22 advantage.

After Zabransky tossed a 44-yard scoring pass to Acree to put the Broncos ahead with 3:42 left, BYU drove deep into Broncos' territory. Kicker Matt Payne, who hadn't missed all season, had his 38-yard-attempt drift wide left with about 19 seconds remaining.

Boise State improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1994, the year they were the national runner-up in Division I-AA.

BYU is off to a 1-3 start for the first time since 2000, LaVell Edwards' final season as coach. The Cougars haven't beaten a ranked opponent since Gary Crowton took over for Edwards in 2001.

John Beck led BYU with 390 passing yards, completing 20 of 35 with two touchdowns. But again, he had no help from the running game. BYU finished with just 25 yards rushing.

Zabransky passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns, both to Acree, and the pair appeared to have the Broncos ahead to stay after a late score.

BYU got the ball back at its own 23, and got a huge break on a disputed pass interference call. Beck continued to lead the drive into field goal range, only to have Payne miss.

Payne had already made kicks of 32 and 42 yards as the Cougars rallied from a 16-0 deficit. He also had two of the hardest hits of the night when he leveled Chris Carr to end two long returns.

BYU had stunned the 30,601 fans on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Beck to Austin Collie, who got behind the defense along the BYU sideline and went untouched to put BYU up 27-22 with 34 seconds left in the third.

BYU had just gone for it on 4th-and-inches from its own 42, barely converting it on a sneak by Beck. The Cougars also stopped Boise State on a fourth-and-2 from inside the 5, but had a final breakdown on the touchdown pass to Acree.

Boise State beat BYU 50-12 last year in Provo and appeared headed for another blowout by scoring the first 16 points, starting with a safety when Beck was called for throwing the ball away to avoid a sack in the end zone about 4 minutes into the game.

The Broncos got two touchdowns within a 5-minute span on a 20-yard pass from Zabransky to Acree and a 5-yard run by Antwaun Carter -- both set up on big returns by Chris Carr.

But BYU finally caught a break when Lawrence Bady fumbled and the Cougars recovered at the 22 to set up Curtis Brown's 2-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter.

BYU's defense finally had a chance to catch its breath and got more pressure on Zabransky, sacking him three times in the quarter.

Matt Payne kicked two field goals to get the Cougars within three at halftime, although BYU could have been leading. The Cougars had first-and-goal at the 1, but lost three yards on the first two plays, then were called from delay of game and had to settle for Payne's first field goal.

BYU's offense went from just 23 yards in the first quarter to 133 by halftime -- still not impressive but a vast improvement.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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