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Wednesday’s football: Williams rushes for 210 yards in BYU win

Associated Press
BYU running back Jamaal Williams scores a touchdown against Wyoming during the second half.

San Diego — Jamaal Williams and the BYU Cougars are a good fit in San Diego bowl games.

Once a staple of the Holiday Bowl, the Cougars won their second Poinsettia Bowl on a rainy Wednesday night thanks mostly to Williams.

The senior gained 210 yards on 26 carries and scored once, and Tanner Mangum ran for a touchdown and threw for another to lead BYU to a 24-21 victory over Wyoming.

It was the sixth 100-yard game for Williams this year and the second time he gained more than 200. He ran for a career-best 286 against Toledo.

With BYU (9-4) leading 17-7, Williams gave the Cougars some breathing room when he broke a 36-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. That TD was set up by Dayan Lake's interception of Josh Allen. The interception came one play after BYU's Micah Hannemann was ejected for targeting after a helmet-to-helmet hit on the sliding Allen.

Williams is BYU's career leader with 3,901 yards rushing. He also scored a touchdown in the Cougars' 23-6 Poinsettia Bowl victory against San Diego State in 2012.

"It felt like almost the same because I scored in both of them," Williams said. "It just brings back a whole bunch of memories, and in the same end zone, too. It just brought back a whole bunch of memories of my freshman year, but I was still in the game."

He praised his blockers, particularly wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman, for springing him on his scoring run.

"Honestly it was just great offensive line blocking and the tight ends and Jonah. Jonah is the man," Williams said. "That man had the best block in the world. I wanted to celebrate right there before I even scored."

Williams fell short of the Poinsettia Bowl record of 228 yards by San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman in 2010.

Wyoming, which lost to San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference championship game Dec. 3, finished 8-6.

Baylor fined

Baylor has been fined $5,000 for NCAA football recruiting violations, the latest blow for a program trying to pick up the pieces from a sexual assault scandal and struggles on the field.

The NCAA announced the punishment Wednesday after an investigation found that assistant football coaches violated NCAA rules in spring 2015. The penalties were not severe, with the NCAA accepting most of the school’s self-imposed punishments, including banning two assistants from off-campus recruiting for 12 weeks and game suspensions that have already been served.

Two assistants had been advised of recruiting rules but still tried to find loopholes that would allow them more interaction with football prospects, according to the NCAA.

In one instance, a coach asked at a campus compliance session if the football staff could attend a track meet but turned their backs when a prospect they were evaluating was competing so they could avoid having to log an evaluation of the athlete, the NCAA said.

Extra points

Ohio State has hired veteran NFL defensive assistant Bill Davis as an assistant coach to replace Luke Fickell, who is the new head coach at Cincinnati.

... Notre Dame hired Mike Elko as its defensive coordinator, hoping he can turn around a unit that struggled at the beginning of last season and was blamed in part for its down year. Elko spent the past three seasons as the coordinator at Wake Forest after two years at Bowling Green.

... Elon says head coach Rich Skrosky has resigned to take a job on Butch Davis’ staff at Florida International.

... Oregon running back Royce Freeman says he’ll return to the Ducks for his senior year, as will left tackle Tyrell Crosby, sidelined for the season’s last nine games with a foot injury.

... Iowa wide receiver Matt VandeBerg will return in 2017 after being granted an extra year of eligibility through a medical hardship waiver.

... Texas A&M has suspended wide receiver Speedy Noil after he was charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

... James Madison has suspended seven players before meeting Youngstown State for the Football Championship Subdivision national championship, including No. 2 receiver Terrence Alls and Brandon Hereford, who led the team with 96 tackles.