BYU vs. Utah Postgame Notes and Quotes


The following notes are from BYU's 30-12 loss against Utah on Thursday night. 

TEAM FLAGS:  Tristen Hoge, James Empey, Lorenzo Fauatea, Gunner Romney, Aleva Hifo, Zach Wilson Isaiah Kaufusi
ALUMNI FLAGS: John Beck (QB, 03-06), Rey Feinga (OL, 04-08), Byron Rex (TE 86, 89-92), Andy Kaota (LB 85-86)
GAME CAPTAINS: Zayne Anderson, Dayan Ghanwoloku, Micah Simon, Matt Bushman

Weather Delay

With just over nine minutes in the fourth quarter, there was a 54-minute weather delay due to lightening in the area. The last time BYU had a weather delay was against Texas on September 7, 2013 that lasted one hour and 53 minutes.

Spreading the ball around
The Cougars threw to eight different receivers in the game as well as giving the ball to five different rushers. Matt Bushman led the team with six receptions for 62 yards, while Ty’Son Williams had seven rushing attempts for 45 yards and one touchdown. Other receivers included Aleva Hifo, Micah Simon, Gunner Romney, Talon Shumway, Dax Milne, Ty’Son Williams and Lopini Katoa. Zach Wilson, Hifo, Katoa and Jaren Hall added to BYU’s rushing yards. 

Season Openers
BYU had a streak of five consecutive wins in season openers come to an end with the loss to Utah.

Jake Oldroyd:
Against Utah, Oldroyd is 4 for 4 on career field goals. He kicked two in 2016 of 42 and 43 yards and two tonight at 32 and 37 yards. He also kicked three punts for 147 yards with a long of 56 yards.  

Zach Wilson:
Quarterback Zach Wilson surpassed 200 career passing attempts (215) in the game tonight, ending the game going 21 of 33 for 208 yards and two interceptions. With 43 rushing yards, he surpassed the 250 career rushing yard mark (264).

Micah Simon:
In the game against Utah, senior wide receiver Micah Simon hit 500 career receiving yards (528). He finished the game with three catches for 35 yards.

First BYU reception: Ty’Son Williams (4 yards, first quarter)
First BYU rushing touchdown: Ty’Son Williams (10 yards, fourth quarter)
Career high tackles: Kavika Fonua (7)
Tied career high total tackles: Austin Lee (7)
Career high passing attempts: Zach Wilson (33)
Career high completions: Zach Wilson (21)

Post Game Quotes

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
Utah is a really good team. They've been given a lot pf predictions, accolades and rankings and they deserve it. I thought we made way too many mistakes and turnovers. I thought it was competitive and they did some really good things early, but way too many mistakes and turnovers. At the end we were just surviving. They were able to get the ball to Zack Moss and do some really good things. 

On the defense
I look at the undisciplined mistakes that we made and the penalties. There was a personal foul late hit. But the one that was on third and long was the one that hurt the most. I thought we were getting some momentum until that point. I think that it's hard to spot those two touchdowns on pick-sixes. It's difficult for the defense. I think we felt like we were in some good positions on defence. I'd like our guys to respond better defensively, especially in the last nine minutes. That was not good. We didn't even get a chance to get the ball back to our offense. There are a lot of things we need to fix and get working on. We've got to move.

On mistakes
I know we made some mistakes, but you have to give credit to Utah. Their defensive stops, they made some big plays they gave us some different looks. They had a lot of control on the line of scrimmage and so I think Kyle said that this is one of his best defenses he's had and I believe him. They are a great bunch and there is a great group of talent on that team. 

On player's trying to do too much 
I think there were quite a few guys who were trying to do that- make the play themselves. I thought we did some good things early in the run game. We controlled Zack Moss a little bit and made it hard for them. He is a special back. But guys trying to make the play themselves and being undisciplined, it wasn't just Zach Wilson, there were others trying to do that in this game. Obviously, Zach Wilson made some mistakes and he'd like to take some of them back. I want him to stay aggressive and I believe in him and we'll just keep working. I'm proud of the energy and excitement our guys brought to the field. We failed to play a full 60 minutes, and we made too many mistakes. I'm just excited to move onto the next one and to learn from this. And to get started on prepping for Tennessee.  

BYU tight end Matt Bushman
On the pick-six
I think we just shot ourselves in the foot pretty much every drive in the first half. We had a lot of opportunities, but whether it was penalties, dumb mistakes or missed assignments, that just takes momentum away. When you have momentum, it’s easy to make plays and get open, but when you’re playing catch-up and the defensive is predicting that you’re going to throw the ball or what you’re goin to run, the windows aren’t as big and we’re getting more pressure. At BYU we need to execute our plays and we just didn’t do that. The two touchdowns and two pick-sixes hurt us.

On the team response during the game
It was just a weird game. We were hoping that we would get our chance out there after the lightning delay, but their offense really milked the nine minutes, which is pretty unbelievable. But, we can’t just dwell on it, we have to watch our film, correct our mistakes, figure out where things went wrong and go from there. We still have a whole season ahead of us and we have some good teams that we have to play ahead of us, so we need to stay positive and win some games.

BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi
On toughness of second half
It was tough. It’s not ideal, but it happens in football. There are games when you are always on the field and there are games when you aren’t. Either way it’s football and you just have to get out there and give it the best you can. I give credit to Utah. They played a great second half. They executed well, and we had some missed assignments that really got us. Overall, it’s just football whether you’re on the field or not.

On turnovers
It’s tough. You want to win the turnover battle in football. Statistically if you turn the ball over more, your chances of winning are thin, but again it’s just football. They made great plays and have great players, so we had to do the best we could to respond to the plays that came our way.

On holding them in first half and letting go
I think the frustrating part is not being able to put together a complete game. The first half was great, and the second half wasn’t as great. The missed assignments killed us in the second half, and that’s what frustrating because those are the things you can control. Overall, when we put together a full game, we will be a great team.

BYU wide receiver Micah Simon
On feel of the offense
We all know we need to finish drives. Early on in the game we knew we could move the ball, but once we got to the red zone we had some crucial penalties that killed us along with some sloppy ball play. We know we need to execute better, finish drives and capitalize on opportunities.

On battling Utah
It was great—it’s football. They have a great defense, but I feel like we have a great offense as well. At times we showed that. We go toe-to-toe with those guys, but we couldn’t’ finish drives and we didn’t capitalize on our oppurtunites, and that’s what hurt us the most. We knew the offense had to come in and move the ball, but that didn’t happen tonight.

On second half
The second half was tough. It was a tough situation, and we didn’t do great things when we did have the ball. The feeling on the sideline was that we would come back, play fast and make things happen. That was our attitude, even when there were only two minutes left.

On cause of mistakes
I really don’t know the cause. We talk about execution and playing clean. That’s what we try to tip our hats on, and we weren’t playing clean tonight and lacked execution. That’s what really hurt us. We spotted them 14 points. We need to not put our defense in such bad situations.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham
Views on the win overall
It was good to get the win. That was a well coached team that we played. I’m proud of the job that Kalani is doing; his guys play extremely hard and smart football.

Gameplay in the first half
We didn’t get much going in the first half, just that one defensive score. Our special teams was disappointing tonight, we know we need to do much better. Our offense didn’t get much going in the first half, either.

Gameplay in the second half
Our offense really exerted their will on the defense in the second half, especially in the third quarter. I thought Tyler Huntley did a great job of taking care of the football, running the offense and making good decisions.

We had two defensive scores. You’re not going to lose many football games when you can do that defensively.

On the Utes moving forward in the season
We’ve got to move on. This one’s over with. We have a couple home games, and then we get going in the Pac-12. We have a lot ahead of us, so it’s good to get this one in the rearview mirror. Away we go.

Utah wide receiver Britain Covey
On halftime changes
I think the key to this game is what we talked about earlier: eliminating chaos. That’s the key in any opener and if you look at the difference between the two teams and the amount of chaos on both sides, that’s kind of what made the game. We eliminated chaos and then we started to pick it up.

On playing at BYU after growing up a BYU fan then committing to Utah
It was fun. This will be the only time that I’ll play in this stadium, but I’ve dreamed of it my whole life. Just looking up at my seats where I had season tickets for a long time was surreal. It was an emotional win for me because of everything that happened with my knee and coming back. It was hard and emotional, but I’m grateful.

On the offense
We’re an air raid offense, we pass all day. I think that’s the key, there’s no secret about it. That way when you do pass, it’s because you want to and not because you have to, that’s the difference. We have complete trust in Tyler in that regard.

Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley
On halftime changes
There wasn’t anything, we just had to get those first game jitters out and make corrections. 

On the first run behind the offensive line
It felt good, they did a great job protecting me. They dropped an eight in coverage so my line kept me clean. They did a great job blocking before the running.

On the defensive touchdowns
They’re gangsters. We have gangsters on our side of the ball. I tell them every time before they go out to give me the ball back, and that’s what they do.