BYU vs Utah State postgame notes

Kyle Van Noy intercepted the first pass of the game and ran it back for a 17-yard touchdown, his fifth career touchdown. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

Postgame notes

BYU increases its all-time lead over Utah State to 46-34-3 and has won 13 of the last 14 matchups. The last time the Cougars topped the Aggies in Logan was in 2008 with a score of 34-14. BYU is 69-10 under Bronco Mendenhall when allowing 24 points or less.

Sophomore Taysom Hill had a career night as he threw for three touchdowns and 278 yards. He came into the game with just one TD pass this season. He also threw for a career long of 60 yards.

Wide receiver Cody Hoffman’s three catches for 41 yards moves him up to No. 3 all-time in career receiving yards with 2,930 and No. 2 with 216 receptions. He now has a reception in 35 straight games.

Mitch Mathews caught five passes for 112 yards and scored three touchdowns, the first TDs of his career.

Senior linebacker Uani ‘Unga tallied 16 tackles, his personal best. Junior Robertson Daniel added 10 more tackles, a season high.

With 79 yards on the ground, Jamaal Williams passed four players to move up to No. 22 in BYU history with 1,232 career rushing yards.

Kyle Van Noy intercepted the first pass of the game and ran it back for a 17-yard touchdown, his fifth career touchdown and sixth career interception. The senior also chipped in five tackles, one tackle for loss, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Van Noy has recorded at least one tackle for loss in every game this season.

Daniel Sorensen blocked a Utah State field goal in the second quarter, the first for BYU since Sep. 15, 2012 against Utah.

BYU improves to 3-0 this season when scoring 24 points or more and when leading at the end of the third quarter. The Cougars have won 40 consecutive games when scoring 30 points or more. The last time BYU scored 30 points or more and lost was in 2007 against Tulsa when BYU fell 55-47.

Postgame quotes

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

Opening Statement:

“It’s a difficult place to play. Utah State has a strong defense. I’m really sad to see Chuckie (Keeton) get hurt. I could tell right at the beginning by the sound he made that he wasn’t going to be good. I’m hopeful he can return and lead his team. I thought our offensive balance improved. I thought our execution also improved, and we took the ball away a few more times. So overall, progress and a good win.”

On QB Taysom Hill’s efficiency:

“It was just a matter of time and our staff and players coming together and getting adjusted to what we’re doing this year offensively. I think he’s made progress every game, and I thought he had a strong game this evening.”

On the overall play of the defense:

”We really focused on the ball not being able to go around us or over the top of us, and we’re willing just to be patient, and then try to knock as many balls down as possible on the quick game and Kyle (Van Noy) started that right from the beginning which was an awesome start. We got a chance to play a lot of players, which is fun especially toward the end.”

On scouting QB Craig Harrison before the game:

“Never even mentioned his name. We spent all week just thinking about Chuckie and etc. He did a nice job for the number of plays he got, and it was fun to see him lead the team at the end down there and get in the end zone for Utah State. I’m sure that will be something they build off of.”

Utah State head coach Matt Wells

Opening Statement:

“It was obviously a tough night out there for us. We didn’t start out very good and it didn’t finish well. It wasn’t the script that we had written or planned. The one thing I liked was the fight in those kids. They fought, they didn’t give up, they didn’t quit. Right now we’re facing a lot of adversity. That’s three offensive starters we’ve lost in the last two weeks. We’re going to have to find a way to regroup. The bottom line is this – I said it before the game and I’ll say it now – we’re 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference. To find a way to compete for that championship we’re going to have to regroup and win as a team. This is the greatest team sport ever invented and not one kid can win it. We’ve said that in this program that we’re not a bunch of individuals and we’re not about one kid. We’re about to find out if we are or not.” 

On QB Craig Harrison coming in for injured Chuckie Keaton:

“I was proud of him for coming in because I don’t think he flinched. He played well at times, he played not-so-good at times. We have to clean him up and do some things with him. That’s a hard situation for that kid to come in to because they’re pinning their ears back after him. I thought he did some good stuff, I think he did some stuff he’s probably going to want back. It’s a difficult situation, but now he’s going to have to respond and lead this group.” 

On the defense:

“I thought they bowed up in the red zone and played really tough at times and got a couple stops. They gave up shots in the back end and we weren’t doing anything in the offense to keep grace anyway. At that point, it is just more salt in the wound.” 

Utah State Linebacker Zach Vigil 

Was Taysom Hills able to do things you didn't plan for or prepare for?

“We planned for him to get out of the pocket and he did. He did escape because Taysom Hill’s a great player. He threw the ball very well tonight. He adjusted and executed well tonight.”