BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Nose tackle Mike Atkinson returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown and No. 24 Boise State held off BYU 7-6 on Thursday night in a game dominated by defense.
Boise State (2-1) forced five turnovers and held the Cougars (2-2) to 200 total yards. The Boise State offense wasn't that much better, managing 261 total yards.
Atkinson's big play came early in the third quarter when he dropped back into coverage, picked of Riley Nelson's short pass and rumbled into the end zone. Nelson was benched after throwing his third interception of the game on BYU's next possession.
Freshman Taysom Hill replaced Nelson, and late in the fourth quarter led the Cougars to their lone score. Hill scored on a 2-yard run with 3:37 to go, but his pass attempt on the 2-point conversion was deflected and fell incomplete in the end zone.