Lopini Katoa scores 4 TDs as BYU runs over New Mexico State, 45-10, gets bowl eligible

PROVO — Facing a New Mexico State team that entered Saturday’s game as one of the worst teams in the country in rushing defense, BYU unleashed its running game on the hapless Aggies.

Lopini Katoa ran 18 times for 155 yards and four touchdowns — the most rushing TDs by a BYU freshman — and senior Matt Hadley gained 55 yards on seven carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the Cougars to a 45-10 victory over New Mexico State.

As a team, BYU ran for 317 yards, including Riley Burt’s 61 yards, and amassed a season-high 510 yards of total offense.

That’s how the Cougars earned their sixth victory of the season to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2016.

It all happened on a chilly Saturday night in front of a crowd of 47,505 at LaVell Edwards Stadium — the second-lowest attendance for a game since the stadium expanded in 1982.

One of the recurring themes for BYU football this season has been agonizingly slow starts. Going into Saturday’s game against New Mexico State, the Cougars had scored a total of 31 points in the first quarter.

And despite the fact it was Senior Night at LaVell Edwards Stadium; despite the fact the Cougars needed just one more win to clinch bowl eligibility; and despite the fact there’s a showdown with archrival Utah looming next week, once again, BYU sputtered in the opening period.

Then the Cougars scored 38 consecutive points.

Quarterback Zach Wilson completed 12 of 26 passes for 172 yards. Senior quarterback Tanner Mangum entered the game in place of Wilson with 14:14 left in the fourth quarter and promptly led the Cougars on a scoring drive — and another Katoa TD.

Mangum completed 1 of 3 passes for 21 yards and an interception in his final home game.

A week ago at Gillette Stadium, …read more

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Utes win Pac-12 South, will play in conference championship game after Oregon beats Arizona State

The Utah football players and coaches got their wish and Utah’s win, coupled with Oregon’s narrow 31-29 victory over Arizona State late Saturday night, clinched the Utes’ first Pac-12 South Division title, thus vaulting them into the league championship game for the first time in school history.

Utah will face the North Division champion, either Washington State or Washington — who both beat the Utes earlier this season — for the Pac-12 title on Nov. 30 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Kickoff time for that game is 6 p.m. MT. The winner of the Pac-12 title game will then advance to the 105th Rose Bowl game, to be played on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California.

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Body found in Strawberry Reservoir

STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR — Search and rescue teams have recovered the body of a man who went missing this week at Strawberry Reservoir.

Benjamin Magalis, 24, of Goodhue, Minnesota, was found at about 8 p.m. near Chicken Creek West, according to Wasatch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Rigby. It appears he drowned, Rigby said. A 26-year-old woman who was with Magalis has not been found.

Crews have been searching the reservoir since Friday for the couple, missing since Thursday night when the woman’s father called 911, reporting that she was supposed to be back Tuesday from camping at the reservoir.

Search and rescue crews found items belonging to the couple throughout Friday and Saturday, including an overturned canoe. Their dog was found alive on the shore of the reservoir Friday.

Rigby said crews will continue to search for the woman starting Sunday at 7 a.m.

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell lets criticism fuel him to score 28 points in win versus Boston

BOSTON — Donovan Mitchell stepped into TD Garden with a clear mind.

No footage was watched from previous night.

Support from his Utah Jazz teammates and his mother, Nicole, was how he pushed through much criticism after Friday night’s 13-for-35 shooting performance in the 113-107 loss in Philadelphia.

“Didn’t even think about that game, just went out there and hooped,” Mitchell said.

He responded with 28 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals in a 98-86 win at Boston Saturday on the second night of a back-to-back.

Against Philadelphia, Mitchell drew heat from national media for his 31-point, zero-assist night, becoming the first since Carmelo Anthony in 2014 with at least 35 field goals and no assists. During the Boston victory, Mitchell remained aggressive, but looked to find others as well, starting 5-for-7 from the field.

“They’ll build you up to take you down. That’s how it is,” Mitchell said. “You can’t please everybody, you’re not going to. I personally like the negative stuff. Like I told you, I prefer it. I prefer playing with that. I wish I could have that every game, but that’s just always been me and I’m going to continue playing my game and I’m not going to forget what happened.”

Donovan Mitchell said he let the outside noise fuel him in Boston after last night’s loss. “They’ll build you up to take you down,” Mitchell said. “It’s how it is. You can’t please everybody, you’re not going to. I personally like the negative stuff. I prefer playing with that.” pic.twitter.com/uceRYjPYBx

— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) November 18, 2018

Prior to the tipoff, Jazz coach Quin Snyder reiterated that he wanted his young star to remain aggressive even on nights where his shots weren’t falling like in Philly. Although Utah didn’t shoot the greatest as a team in Boston …read more

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