BOISE, Idaho – Freshman quarterback Zach Wilson was a perfect 18 of 18 for 317 yards and four touchdowns and led BYU to a 49-18 win over Western Michigan Friday afternoon in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Wilson set the BYU single-game record with his 18 consecutive completions and earned MVP honors. Senior linebacker Sione Takitaki led the defensive effort with his own career-best 19 total tackles.
Senior Dylan Collie led all receivers with 124 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. Riley Burt totaled the most yards on the ground with a career-best 110 and one touchdown.
BYU exploded for 42 second-half points, the most in any half this year. The Cougar defense held WMU scoreless in the third quarter while the offense posted 28 points in the third after coming out of halftime down 10-7. BYU scored 35 unanswered points en route to the victory.
The Cougars posted 490 yards of total offense and held Western Michigan to just 313 for the game. The Broncos entered the game No. 30 in total offense at 447.2 yards per game.
First Quarter Review
BYU found the end zone first as Wilson threw a 26-yard pass to Collie for the first touchdown of the game. After a shanked punt from Western Michigan that only went nine yards, the Cougars were set up on Bronco’s 27-yard line. On second down, Wilson connected with Collie putting BYU up 7-0 with 2:20 left in the first quarter.
- Takitaki topped 100 total tackles on the season, including five on the first drive alone
- Dylan Collie caught his longest reception at BYU with a 26-yard touchdown
Second Quarter Review
With just over three minutes until halftime, Western Michigan’s Jamauri Bogan ran the ball 33 yards into the end zone. After the Bronco’s called a timeout, Bogan weaved through BYU players capping off his run with a touchdown making the score 7-7. With only 24 seconds left in the second quarter, Western Michigan tacked on a field goal taking its first lead of the game at 10-7 going into halftime.
Third Quarter Review
The Cougars came out at halftime quickly taking the momentum, scoring unanswered touchdowns on all four of their drives in the quarter. BYU got in the end zone to open up the half on only three plays. A 48-yard pass to Neil Pau’u gave the Cougars momentum, as Wilson again found Collie as he grabbed his second touchdown pass of the game, an 8-yard reception to make the score 14-10 with 13:14 left on the clock.
On the next BYU drive, Burt got into the end zone on a 37-yard sprint to the end zone. After a 20-yard reception by Dallin Holker, Burt split two Bronco defenders running down the field to get into the end zone and make the score 21-10.
It only took one play to score another touchdown as Aleva Hifo caught a 70-yard bomb down the sideline with one hand to put the Cougars ahead 28-10. After the touchdown, Austin Lee intercepted the ball and returned it 26 yards to the Bronco 32-yard line. On a trick play with Austin Kafentzis under center, the ball was pitched to Dayan Ghanwoloku lined up at tailback who went over center for a one-yard touchdown, putting the score at 35-10 with 2:47 left in the third quarter.
- Khyiris Tonga recorded his fourth tackle for loss of the season and eighth of his career
- Wilson and Hifo both tallied career-highs (passing and receiving) on a 70-yard touchdown pass
- Austin Lee recorded his second interception of the season
- Ghanwoloku scored his first touchdown on offense with a one-yard rush
Fourth Quarter Review
BYU continued scoring on consecutive drives into the fourth quarter as Wilson found Dax Milne for his first career touchdown. Collie caught a 31-yard strike from Wilson to set up the Cougars on the 7-yard line. Two plays later, Wilson found Milne in the end zone on a 5-yard pass to increase BYU’s led to 42-10.
Western Michigan scored their second touchdown of the game after giving up 35-unanswered points to the Cougars as Bronco quarterback Kaleb Eleby pushed over center putting six points on the board. After a successful two-point conversion, the score stood at 42-18 with 7:37 left on the clock.
The Cougars tacked on another touchdown as senior quarterback Tanner Mangum found Collie for a 41-yard pass before Brayden El-Bakri ran the ball in for one yard, making the score 49-18. BYU ran out the clock taking the win and finishing the 2018 season 7-6.
- Takitaki finished the game with 19 total tackles tying three other BYU players for No. 4 in school history in total tackles in a game
- Burt finished the game with over 100 yards, the first of his career
- Collie, who caught a season-long pass of 26 yards in the first quarter, reset that superlative twice in the fourth quarter with 31- and 41-yard receptions.