BYU 30, Colorado St. 26
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Quarterback Sean Covey threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third score Saturday to lead Brigham Young University to a 30-26 victory over Colorado State before a disappointing crowd of 7,652.
Promoters of the game, billed as the Melbourne Bowl, had hoped to attract about 20,000 sepctators to 32,000-seat Princes Park stadium.
Covey threw both touchdown passes to running back Matt Bellini as the Cougars finished the Western Athletic Conference season with a 7-1 record and hiked their overall mark to 9-3 with an All-America Bowl appearance against Vriginia on Dec. 22 still to come.
Covey connected with Bellini from 12 yards out with 1:40 remaining in the first quarter and again from 19 yards away with 9:59 remaining in the first half. Covey also ran a touchdown from five yards out with 9:13 left in the game.
BYU’s other points came on field goals by Leonard Chitty of 19 yards late in the first quarter, 41 yards early in the fourth and 32 yards with just 1:42 remaining.
Colorado State, which finished 1-7 .
Molander also threw a scoring pass of eight yards to Todd Tyrell with 16 seconds remaining.
The game was the second between WAC teams to be played in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. Wyoming and Texas at El Paso played in 1985 before 22,000.
Promoters said the game, which received scant media coverege, was a financial disaster. They did not release any figures nor did they indicate if plans to make the Bowl a yearly event would be affected.
They had hoped to pit Air Force and San Diego State next season.
BYU Coach Lavell Edwards expressed satisfaction both with his team’s performance and the exercise of playing in Australia on a ground normally used for Australian rules football and cricket.
″The whole thing has been a great experience,″ Edwards said. ″Both times will have benefitted from spending a week in a different environment.
″I thought the turning point in the match came in the third quarter, when we turned the ball over twice and stopped them. I was pleased with our execution on both the offensive and defensive sides but it helped when Leonard (Chitty) kicked the field goal at the end.″
The victory meant Brigham Young won its last six games after starting the year 3-3.
″It was a long hard road from 3-3,″ said Covey, who enjoyed playing in Australia despite the small turnout.
″It was nice because the crowd weren’t loud and I could audible at the line,″ he said.
CSU Coach Leon Fuller bemoaned the Rams’ inability to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
″Offensively I didn’t think it was our best game and we made some bad mistakes defensively and gave them easy touchdowns,″ Fuller said. ″It was a game where we had our opportunities to win.″
Fuller echoed Edwards’ praise of the experiment of playing in Australia.
″It certainly wasn’t a waste of time,″ he said. ″It has been a week well worth the effort. The experience has been great.″