Nelson and BYU Come Back to Win 27-24

by Kenny Cox | BYU Athletic Communications | Posted Sep 30, 2011 10:17 PM  | Updated Oct 2, 2011 9:24 PM

          Sophomore Marcus Mathews caught his first-career touchdown pass, the game-winner, in BYU’s 27-24 win over Utah State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – Quarterback Riley Nelson connected with tight end Marcus Mathews off a deflected pass for a 13-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left on the clock to give the BYU football team a 27-24 come-from-behind victory over the Utah State Aggies on Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 63,513 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

To watch video click here

Starting at the BYU 4-yard line, the 96-yard winning drive started with just 2:36 remaining in the game. Nelson created play after play with his feet, highlighted by a 40-yard pass to wide receiver McKay Jacobson. Nelson completed 4 of 5 passes for 66 yards and rushed four times for 30 yards on the drive.

“Our team is battered and bruised and sweating and dripping and that is the way I want to win games,” head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “It’s right to the end to find a way to win and that should make for an exciting season.”

The Cougars (3-2) rattled off 14 points in the fourth quarter to come back from a 24-13 Utah State (1-3) lead. Nelson entered the game with 5:06 left in the third quarter and put together two touchdown drives to lead BYU back for the win. He finished the game 10 of 14 passing for a career-high 144 yards with two touchdowns and rushed 11 times for 62 yards.

“We have a tough schedule and every game is going to be decided by a touchdown or less,” Nelson said. “We are ready for it and I know Cougar fans are too. It’s going to be a fun season.”

Rushing for its highest total of the season, the Cougar backfield accounted for 200 yards on the ground. Nelson led the way with his 62 yards but all three running backs contributed with at least 10 carries each. JJ Di Luigi had 50 yards on 11 carries, Bryan Kariya picked up 42 yards on 11 attempts and Josh Quezada added 10 carries for 41 yards.

On the first play from scrimmage the Aggies’ Robert Turbin rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown. Just 14 seconds into the game Utah State would take a 7-0 lead.

BYU came back with a field goal on their opening drive. The Cougars drove to the Aggie 5-yard line before stalling and settling for the 23-yard chip shot from Justin Sorensen to cut the lead to 7-3 with 8:09 left in the first quarter.

On its next possession, BYU got into the end zone for the first time with 1:47 left in the first to take a 10-7 lead. Quarterback Jake Heaps ran it in on a 1-yard quarterback keeper after Nelson came in and rushed for four yards on a fourth down to keep the drive alive.

Utah State answered back late in the second quarter. Quarterback Chuckie Keeton found an open Eric Moats from 13 yards out. The Aggies were 4 of 4 on third down on the drive. With the extra point, Utah State regained the lead 14-10 with 4:02 left in the half.

With 55 seconds remaining in the half, BYU cut the lead to just one point with another field goal. Sorensen hit from 29-yards to make the score 14-13.

The Aggies continued to be efficient on third down, scoring on a 24-yard pass to Turbin on third down to extend their lead to 21-13 with 8:37 left in the third quarter.

Another field goal at the start of the fourth quarter gave Utah State a 24-13 lead with 12:43 left to play.

With Nelson in at quarterback, BYU cut the lead down to 24-20 with 10:05 left in the game. Nelson put together an 8-play, 60-yard drive ending in a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cody Hoffman, Hoffman’s first touchdown catch of the year.

The Cougars got a big stop when the Aggies faked a field goal from the BYU 30-yard line. Safety Daniel Sorensen batted down a pass from Utah State’s placekicker to give the Cougars the ball back with 7:51 remaining in the game.

The stop would prove to be a game-changer with the ensuing BYU comeback.

Up next, the Cougars take on the San Jose State Spartans at 8:15 p.m. MT on Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium, televised live on ESPNU.

CLICK HERE to read the postgame notes

CLICK HERE to view the slideshow

BYU biz profs’ Harvard Biz Review article: How to beat free

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Their 5/40 rule quantifies a tough decision established companies often get wrong


What do you do when your company is comfortably selling a product, and then suddenly a competitor offers a similar one for free? Well, if you’re like two-thirds of the companies in a new study, you’ll get it wrong.

Three BYU business professors researched this scenario, increasingly familiar in the digital age. A one-time start-up Skype can start offering free voice and video calls over the internet, sending established phone and video-conferencing companies scrambling, and eventually be acquired by Microsoft last month for $8.5 billion. Or Craigslist’s free online classifieds can gut the profits of 100-year-old newspaper companies. 

But, as the researchers point out, offering physical products for free is also increasingly common. Among the 34 companies they studied was European discount airline Ryanair, which offers some flights for free. Its market share now exceeds Air France’s.

The authors share their observations of how to compete against free products — garnered from and analysis of businesses in 26 different markets over the last five years — in the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review (which is not free – subscription required).

 “Some of the companies that got this wrong panicked and offered a free product too fast, instead of  waiting for the new competitor to self-destruct or for the structure of the market to play out a little more,” said David Bryce, lead author on the piece. His coauthors are Jeffrey H. Dyer and Nile W. Hatch – all three are faculty at BYU’s Marriott School of Management.

But even more companies erred by doing nothing, he says. So how do you know which path is the right one? Based on the outcomes of the battles they followed, the researchers established a formula businesses can use to make the choice.

If the new competitor is stealing less than 5 percent of your customers a year and is growing less than 40 percent a year, don’t worry too much. It will probably flame out.

When the opposite is occurring, and more than 5 percent of your customers are defecting and the competitor is growing faster than 40 percent a year, your very existence is threatened. That’s what Craigslist did to the newspaper classified business in all of the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas except one – Salt Lake City.

Deseret Media Company, which owns the Deseret News, KSL TV, and KSL NewsRadio (and is owned by BYU’s sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), launched its own free classified site on The researchers hail that and the company’s other moves to change its business model, pointing out that last year its print and online audience grew at the industry’s second-fastest rate and that online “profits exceed those of the traditional businesses, including the newspaper.”

“Overall, Deseret Media is thriving,” the authors write.

The article gives advice for how to react to situations in between those two extremes. For example, Bryce says a traditional radio or satellite radio company would do well to acquire Pandora — the free Internet radio firm – before it displaces them.

 The researchers also share overall guidance about how established firms can shake up their management structures to win these battles.

“If a company that was dealing with a free product competitor called me and asked how to respond, the first thing I would say is, ‘Help me understand where the revenue responsibility and where the cost responsibility are in your organization, and we’ve got to split those apart fundamentally,’” says Bryce, who was an industry consultant after earning an MBA and master’s in accountancy at BYU. He later earned a Ph.D. from Penn’s Wharton School of Business while coauthor Dyer was on the faculty there.

The researchers suggest that one team manage the product as a cost center, making it the best it can be with the most efficient costs. An entirely separate team should have responsibility for generating revenues, not just from the product’s price, but from upselling or cross-selling customers to other products, charging third-parties to advertise to them or bundling the free product with paid offerings.

Those are the principles that guided Bryce’s advice to Microsoft about integrating Skype, which he recently published on the Harvard Business Review site

“Free competitors are typically new businesses that have been built from the outset on a different business model,” Bryce says. “A traditional business, built on the prospect of a product that gets revenue directly through price, often has a very difficult time changing over.”

Bryce is on Twitter: @dave_bryce

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