Bears Football Loses To Cougars, 44-16

Sept 8, 2001

AP Sports Writer

BERKELEY, Calif. - Brandon Doman rushed for three touchdowns and passedfor three more as Brigham Young and its high-powered offense rolled pastanother overmatched opponent, beating California 44-16 Saturday.

The Cougars (3-0) have scored 166 points this season, awakening memories oftheir high-scoring teams in LaVell Edwards' heyday. New coach Gary Crowton'sinventive attack started slowly against Cal, but BYU scored six straight TDsafter a scoreless first quarter.

Doman, the Cougars' senior quarterback, was responsible for all six TDs,falling two short of the school record set by Marc Wilson in 1977 and matchedby Jim McMahon in 1980.

Doman was 16-of-24 for 272 yards as the Cougars rolled up 488 yards of totaloffense - 365 in the middle two quarters.

Doman is the first BYU quarterback to win his first five starts since RobbieBosco in 1984. That season ended with the Cougars' only national title.

California (0-2) took its second straight embarrassing home loss underembattled coach Tom Holmoe, a BYU alumnus.

The Golden Bears, who were beaten 44-17 by Illinois last week, also loststar tailback Joe Igber to a sprained left ankle at the end of the thirdquarter.

Cal scored first on Marcus Fields' 25-yard TD catch less than seven minutesin, and the Bears' fired-up defense stopped BYU's first three drives. But thegame changed abruptly in the closing minutes of the first half.

The score was tied 7-7 when Igber fumbled at the BYU 19 with 2:04 left inthe first half. BYU needed just six plays - including a beautiful 41-yardreception by Mike Rigell - to move into position for Doman's 4-yard TD sneakwith 52 seconds left.

Cal quarterback Kyle Boller then fumbled near midfield with 14 seconds left.Doman threw a short slant to Brian McDonald, who sprinted through the Calsecondary, dodged several tacklers and tumbled into the end zone for a 53-yardTD as time expired, putting BYU up 21-7.

Luke Staley opened BYU's scoring with a 27-yard TD reception, and Reno Mahecaught a 16-yard TD pass late in the third quarter to put BYU ahead 41-10. Mahehad six catches for 64 yards.

The Cougars also got two penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. Left tackleDustin Rykert, a native of nearby Roseville, was ejected in the third quarterafter a series of taunts.

Boller was 19-of-33 for 242 yards for the Bears, who missed tackles all dayand clearly became disheartened in the second half. Fields had five catches for79 yards.

After opening the season against the weak defenses of Tulane, Nevada andCal, BYU gets a much stiffer test next week at Mississippi State.

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