(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
Senior linebacker Kyle Van Noy added another stat to his career numbers by registering a safety in the second quarter. He also recorded six tackles including five solo, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.
Taysom Hill ran for 165 yards and is already No. 2 all-time at BYU for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season with 565 yards. He trails just Eldon Fortie who ran for 1,149 yards in 1962. The game marked Hill’s third 100-yard career rushing game.
Adam Hine’s first quarter 90-yard kick return was the longest since Cody Hoffman’s 93-yard return in 2011 against UCF.
Michael Alisa scored two rushing touchdowns for BYU, which marked the first time the running back has had multiple touchdowns in one game.
Daniel Sorensen forced the only turnover for BYU, his seventh career interception.
JD Falslev tallied 107 punt return yards, including a 71-yard touchdown return. The last time BYU had 100 or more punt return yards was in 2006 vs. Wyoming, when BYU had 108. Falslev was the last Cougar to return a punt return for a touchdown when he did it against TCU in 2011 at the Cowboys Stadium.
Defensively, the Cougars held the Blue Raiders scoreless in the second half—the last time a BYU held an opponent scoreless in the second half was against San Diego State in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl.
Seniors Austen Jorgensen and Blake Morgan each notched a career-high tackles with nine and five, respectively. Junior Marques Johnson contributed five tackles, also his personal best at BYU.
The flag bearers for tonight’s game were JD Falslev (special teams flag), Remington Peck (team flag) and Terrance Brown (alumni flag). Brown was an offensive lineman at BYU from 2005-2011.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall
“It was good to see our players smile—to see them have success. I thought they worked really hard the past couple of weeks especially rebounding after our loss a week ago. I thought they put in a lot of hard work and were resilient.”
“Some areas of our team that I think showed improvement today: I thought we protected the quarterback better on pass plays. I thought we caught the ball more cleanly. So in general I think our throwing game took a step forward. The run game I also thought was positive. Mixed throughout all those positives were ball security issues toward the end zone. We had a few uncharacteristic choices and decisions in the punt return. Those issues made the game not nearly as clean as I would have hoped.”
“It was great to see a punt return for a touchdown. Those are hard to get. Coach Howell and our guys did a really nice job designing that. We had a really nice kick return as well by Adam Hine. That continues to be a volatile unit in terms of that particular unit returning the ball.”
“Defensively we played solid. It was disappointing that ball we got out-jumped for early in the game. Other than that it’s hard to say what they didn’t do well on. I was really encouraged by the safety and Kyle’s [Van Noy] play.”
“I thought that Middle Tennessee was an explosive team coming in and we prepared for them like that and we leave with the win.”
Kyle Van Noy
On the safety: “I got lucky. I tried to shoot the gap and I just made a play. I had help from my other teammates so it wasn’t just me.”
“We played pretty well. I’m more excited for the younger guys that got in in the end that did their assignments and played hard. They’ve put in a lot of work with us and it’s fun and exciting to see that the future is bright.”
“I thought our passing was really good. I think that’s traditional BYU football; we threw the ball on first and second down and avoided third which kept their defense off balance”
“I love those guys and when I found out that Cody (Hoffman) was going be out, I didn’t worry about it one bit. I had a conversation with the guys and said this is your opportunity take advantage of it and step up and that’s what they did.”
“That’s two weeks in a row that we’ve left a lot of points on the field while we were in the red zone. Our performance there will be the focus going into Utah State next week.”
“We know Taysom can throw and we know he can run the ball. I can tell you that Taysom has an arm. He’s accurate but he’s been put in some bad situations”
“The five fumbles tonight are unacceptable especially when were in the blue zone. We kept fumbling right on the blue line and we’ll clean that up.”