BYU at Arizona - Postgame notes


The following notes are from BYU's 28-23 win over Arizona on Saturday, Sept. 1.

TEAMFLAGS:  Chandon Herring, Matt Bushman, Mitch Harris, Gunner Romney
ALUMNI FLAGBEARERS: Max Hall, Dennis Pitta, Austin Collie, Reynaldo Brathwaite, Aaron Francisco
CAPTAINS (coin toss): Tanner Mangum, Austin Hoyt, Brayden El-Bakri, Micah Simon

Series notes
BYU and Arizona played its 24th game in the series. The Cougars improved to 11-12-1 overall and 6-8-1 in Tucson. 

Season openers
BYU has won five consecutive season openers, defeating Arizona (2018, 2016), Portland State (2017), Nebraska (2015) and UConn (2014). The Cougars also improve to 11-3 in openers against Power 5 teams. BYU has opened the season against more Power 5 teams than any school since 2001, also winning the most against Power 5 teams in the first game of the year in that timespan. 

Power 5 wins
BYU has defeated a Power 5 team in 12 of the last 13 seasons. BYU has 24 wins over Power 5 teams since 2003, tied with Navy for the most by a non-Power 5 school. 

BYU outgained Arizona 392-326 in total yards. The Cougars outrushed the Wildcats 183 to 129 and in the passing game topped Arizona 209-197. Last season, Arizona was No. 3 nationally with 309.3 rushing yards per game and No. 12 in total offense at 489.5 yards per game. 

Spreading it around
BYU had 10 different receivers record at least one catch and seven different rushers carry the ball. Six receivers had multiple catches while five runners had multiple carries. 

Squally Canada
Canada rushed for 24 carries and 98 yards and three touchdowns. He went over 200 career rushing attempts in the game (219). His three rushing touchdowns was a career high, topping his only other multiple touchdown game, last season’s two at Hawaii.

Matt Bushman
Bushman recorded one catch, a 24-yard touchdown reception. With the reception, Bushman now has 50 catches for his career. He also extended his streak of catching a pass to 14 consecutive games – every game of his career. 

Tanner Mangum
Mangum was 18 of 28 for 209 yards and one touchdown. He passed 750 career passing attempts (764) and his touchdown pass gave him 35 for his career, tying him with Riley Nelson and Brandon Doman for No. 15 in BYU history. 

Corbin Kaufusi
Kaufusi recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. It was his third game with multiple tackles for loss. 

Michael Shelton
Shelton posted two tackles, one pass breakup, blocked a field goal and had a 37-yard punt return in the game. It was his first career blocked kick and just three yards short of his career-best punt return. 

First rushing attempt: Neil Pau’u, Lopini Katoa, Dylan Collie (at BYU)
First reception: Dallin Holker, Lopini Katoa, Dylan Collie (at BYU)
First blocked kick: Michael Shelton
First PAT attempt/make: Skyler Southam (4)
Longest reception: Squally Canada (15)
Touchdowns: Squally Canada (3)
Receiving yards: Squally Canada (29)
Pass breakups: Sione Takitaki (2)
Punts: Rhett Almond (4)

Head coach Kalani Sitake
“Good game. Obviously there are some things we need to fix and improve on, but I'm very happy we got the win. I was pleased with the guys' effort, the way our guys played and they're a difficult opponent, especially defending Khalil Tate. We've been thinking about this for a long time now so we're really happy with the team and the ability to get the win and especially at the end, winning it on our O-line's back. I think that was really good for Squally (Canada). I'm really pleased with the team and I'm excited to get to work and be at home against Cal next week.”

On defending Khalil Tate
“I think the game plan that the defensive staff had was really good. There were some things that we were doing to try to keep them guessing on a lot of stuff and keep them contained, which meant we couldn't just tee off and try to come after him and apply pressure. He's a guy that can make someone miss and it'll cost you. I think we tried to play with a lot of things in front and we took some chances here and there and played a lot of coverage with our corners. They exposed it a little bit. I'm looking at the penalties, that's something that we need to improve on. We had some pass interference calls here and there and a boneheaded late hit. That shouldn't happen, but it wasn't lack of effort. Those guys played hard, they just have to play smarter. I'm not trying to be already negative, but I think with the win now we can be, and demand a little bit more from our guys. Those are some of the things that come to mind right away.”

On quarterback Tanner Mangum
“I didn't see all his numbers. I thought we missed on a couple of throws that I know he would love to have back. But I was really pleased with the things that he did. You saw the checks that he made up the line of scrimmage and even at the end managing the offense and milking the clock. It's just nice to have a guy that's been there before. There were a couple times we took the line of scrimmage too early, and he had the guys wait on it and that was all on him. Arizona has some guys get banged up and hurt and so the play clock restarted. We didn't catch it but Tanner saw it and held off on the play. It's good to have a guy that's been in a lot of games. A lot of good learning moments for us, but I'm really excited about the win, and let's get ready to roll on to the next one.”

On running back Squally Canada
“He played off the blocks really well and I think something that I was really excited about was his pass protection. He did a good job picking up some blitzes. He did a good job blocking for Lopini. I was really pleased with the way the guys blocked down field, even the receivers and tight ends blocked well. We had a bunch of different personnel going into game and it was nice to utilize all those guys and rotate them. We had a lot of guys do a lot of different things and I think that's going to be one of the strengths for us. Keeping guys fresh and being able to do a lot of different looks, but in order for us to do some of our stuff. Establishing the run game is important, and Squally and the O-line help do that.”

BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum
On the third quarter
“It was good. It was needed after our first half. We did some good things, but it wasn't our best. So to come on that third quarter and start driving the ball and put some points on the board was, it was big, gave us that momentum that was able to carry us throughout the rest of the game and gave us confidence as an offense showed us what we can do, what we're capable of and and showed us what we need to do to continue to get the job done throughout the rest of the game. And I thought our offensive line did a great job all night moving the line of scrimmage, creating holes and, you know playing physical and then our running backs, like Squally right here, just did a great job reading it and hitting it, hitting the hole hard and then pushing for extra yards, getting big plays.”

On the difference between this year’s opener and last year’s
“I don't know about the opposite, I feel confident and I feel good about where I am physically and excited about what we have going as an offense, and I'm just enjoying this opportunity to be playing. It's my senior year, our senior year and it's just fun and I want to enjoy that. I'm not really too worried comparing it to how I feel in previous years. I'm just enjoying this moment right here with this team, with this crew that we have and just feels good to get a win anytime you can get a win, feels good and to start a season 1-0 get that momentum. Against a good team at their home field, I think that's great for our team. Good for our program and, makes us excited to get going next week. 

BYU running back Squally Canada
“It felt good to start the season off with a win. Just need to carry it over into next week and keep the momentum rolling. There are still some things to fix and clean up, but we will focus on that tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy tonight.”

“I can do better. The O-Linemen opened up such a big holes and I missed a couple runs that should've been made. I need to do better on my end, but those guys are front are just making my job a lot easier. And again, with the receivers blocking downfield, you need to be able to break more tackles and make the safety miss.”