Bears Football Loses To Cougars, 44-16
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  09/08/2001

Sept 8, 2001

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AP Sports Writer

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

The Cougars (3-0) have scored 166 points this season, awakening memories of their high-scoring teams in LaVell Edwards' heyday. New coach Gary Crowton's inventive attack started slowly against Cal, but BYU scored six straight TDs after 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 matched by Jim McMahon in 1980.

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

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

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

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

Cal scored first on Marcus Fields' 25-yard TD catch less than seven minutes in, and the Bears' fired-up defense stopped BYU's first three drives. But the game 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 in the first half. BYU needed just six plays - including a beautiful 41-yard reception by Mike Rigell - to move into position for Doman's 4-yard TD sneak with 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 Cal secondary, dodged several tacklers and tumbled into the end zone for a 53-yard TD as time expired, putting BYU up 21-7.

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

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

Boller was 19-of-33 for 242 yards for the Bears, who missed tackles all day and clearly became disheartened in the second half. Fields had five catches for 79 yards.

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