Grant Hedrick leads Boise State past BYU, 55-30

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Grant Hedrick threw for a career-high 410 yards and had four touchdowns passes in Boise State’s 55-30 victory over BYU on Friday night.

Hedrick was 24 of 31 with one interception and also ran for a touchdown in the Broncos’ highest-scoring game of the season.

”We’ve really found our rhythm on offense,” Hedrick said. ”And it’s a great time of year to do that for us as we hit our stretch run. All those big plays tonight were the result of our receivers’ ability to make a play after the catch. They did a great job of finding the end zone.”

Boise State (6-2) had the highest points total against BYU since Tulsa handed the Cougars a 55-47 loss in 2007.

”I called every defensive play, trying to help turn some momentum and generate some excitement and passion to play great defense,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. ”I wanted the kids to be able to execute at a higher level, but I didn’t have the kids prepared enough. We could have played better.”

BYU (4-4) has lost four straight for the first time since 2010.

”We’re not good enough to just show up,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. ”We have to keep working hard and improving. That’s what it takes for us to be successful. And what we saw tonight was a lot of things that happened in practice this week translate into success in the game.”

After falling to Air Force, Boise State swept Nevada, Fresno State and BYU.

Jay Ajayi ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He’s the first rusher to top 100 yards this season against the Cougars, who entered the game holding opponents to an average of 97 yards rushing. The Broncos finished with 227 yards rushing.

”We’ve really pushed ourselves these past three weeks in practice in executing our offense to the best of our ability,” Ajayi said. ”We know what our offense is capable and we’re just trying to continue to progress and try to play that perfect game.”

Hedrick gave Boise State a 10-0 lead on a 12-yard run with 5:33 left in the first quarter, capping a 10-play, 76-yard drive. After Dan Goodale added his second field goal, Hedrick found Thomas Sperlock for a 78-yard pass play to make it 20-0 early in the second quarter.

BYU, held without a first down on its first three possessions, got its offense on track when running back Jamaal Williams returned to the backfield. Williams, hampered by a sprained left ankle sprain for the past month, capped a 13-play, 65-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run.

The teams traded big scoring plays less than 90 seconds later.

Boise State made it 27-7 when Hedrick hit Shane Williams-Rhodes with a 49-yard scoring strike. BYU countered on the next play from scrimmage with Christian Stewart’s 81-yard touchdown pass to Colby Pearson.

Ajayi finished off a nine-play, 77-yard drive with a 3-yard run with 3:39 left in the half.

After Logan Taele tackled Ajayi in the end zone for a safety, Boise State capitalized on Darian Thompson’s interception, with Hedrick hitting Troy Ware for a 19-yard touchdown pass to make it 41-16.

In the second half, BYU’s Fred Warner returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown.

Hedrick threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jake Roh in the third, and Ajayi scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth. BYU finished the scoring with Stewart’s 2-yard run.