The following notes are from BYU's 45-19 loss against No. 21/22 Washington on Sept. 21 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
TEAM FLAGS: Gunner Romney, Baylor Romney
ALUMNI FLAGS: Ty Detmer (Heisman Trophy winner), Jason Buck (1986 Outland Trophy winner), Mohammed Elewonibi (1989 Outland trophy winner), Derwin Gray (89-92)
GAME CAPTAINS: Talon Shumway (Sr. WR), Emmanuel Esukpa (Sr. RB), Khyiris Tonga (Jr. DL), Lorenzo Fauatea (So. DL)
After facing No. 21/22 Washington, BYU has played three ranked teams in the first four games, the only team to do so in college football this season. The Cougars are also the only team to play four Power 5 teams to start the year, splitting the games 2-2, with wins at Tennessee and vs. No. 24 USC.
Spreading the ball around
After getting the ball to 11 receivers last week, BYU followed it up with eight players getting in on the passing game this week. Tight end Matt Bushman led with six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown while wideout Aleva Hifo added six for 87. Seven of the eight receivers had multiple catches.
Youngsters on D
Redshirt freshmen Payton Wilgar, Max Tooley, Hayden Livingston and Tyler Allgeier all made an impact on defense. Wilgar led the team with 10 tackles for a new career high and Tooley recorded his first interception and returned it 33 yards. In his first game at linebacker after moving over from running back, Allgeier forced a fumble and Livingston recovered it, both career firsts.
Oldroyd made a career-long 54 yard field goal late in the second half. It was BYU’s first 50+ field goal since October 28, 2006 when Jared McLaughlin hit a 53-yarder against Air Force. It was the second longest field goal in BYU history, shy of the 56-yarder Owen Pochman kicked in 2000. Oldroyd also made a 43-yarder in the first quarter.
Bushman finished the day with a season-best six catches for 89 yards and one touchdown. He moved into the No. 9 spot career receptions by a BYU tight end with 93 (passing Clay Brown) and also No. 10 in career receiving yards by a tight end with 1,239 (passing Byron Rex).
Esukpa had his best game as a Cougar, running nine times for 49 yards and his first BYU touchdown. He also added a six-yard reception.
NOTABLE CAREER HIGHS and FIRSTS
First career TFL: Isaiah Herron (1st quarter, 3 yards)
First career touchdown: Emmanuel Esupka (2nd quarter)
Career long field goal: Jake Oldroyd (54 yards, 2nd quarter)
Career long kickoff return: Lopini Katoa (48 yards, 1st quarter)
First career interception: Max Tooley (returned 33 yards, 3rd quarter)
First forced fumble: Tyler Allgeier (4th quarter)
First fumble recovery: Hayden Livingston (4th quarter)
Career high tackles: Payton Wilgar (10)
Career high completions and attempts: Zach Wilson (26-42)
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
Tough loss against a great team like that. As much as we try to gain momentum, we’re looking forward to the next one and learning from this and getting better. We didn’t execute well enough. It’s my fault and I need to do whatever I need to do to make sure we have a high execution level next week.
The guys played hard, the effort was there. They were pounding us on the run game. They did a lot of different formations. Things just happened and anytime we tried to respond, it was too much for us to overcome. That’s a huge credit to Washington. We made some mistakes too, but I don’t think that takes away from what Washington did. They put us in uncomfortable positions and I’m disappointed in our performance. That’s my job to get them ready so they play faster and more clean.
On the team’s mistakes
You know, the guys were ready to play, but we didn’t make them uncomfortable at all. We just made a lot of mistakes. Washington steamrolled us. They disrupted our timing and caused turnovers. They executed their game plan and we weren’t able to do ours. These young guys want to make plays. But, just because they want to make plays, doesn’t mean we should allow them to forget things like ball security.
On where the team is currently
I knew that going into this part of our schedule, we would need our depth. We felt like we have a huge emphasis on our depth. They put us in a really tough spot. Their coaching staff did an amazing job preparing. It would have been nice to have that one back. Washington is a great team, but I’m more focused on getting ready for the next game.
On quarterback Zach Wilson
We’re going to watch some film, but there’s some drills we can work on. I know he’s going to be really hard on himself. We just have to keep working with that guy.
On Washington’s strategy
They had some different formations and did some things that we hadn’t seen in previous game. They did whatever they wanted to do and we didn’t do enough to stop them. We had to make them feel uncomfortable and we didn’t do that.
We tried to put them in tough spots. When you’re playing with a lot of young guys, practice always works well. We need to put our guys in more difficult positions. It’s hard to simulate a game. We try to bring pressure. It’s a great team, but we just need to make some adjustments.
BYU defensive back Dayan Ghanwoloku
We were coming in and playing a good quarterback. We need everyone on the same page otherwise our team doesn’t work. Having them pick us apart like that was disappointing to see. We we’re ready for this game for sure. We tried to go out there and do our job.
On how BYU will bounce back
We just have to stay positive. When the second half came, we had a lot of time left in the game. Our only goal was to stop them. We just have to do our job. Coach has put us in a good position to be successful. We have to move on. We have a whole other game next week and a long season.
On where the team is at currently
It’s not going to happen again. We’ll make sure of that. Coach coaches us well to know what we’re doing out there and keep any return contained. But, we’re solid. We need to move forward and we can win all the games ahead of us.
BYU Linebacker Max Tooley
On Washington QB Jacob Eason
He’s a great quarterback, you’ve got to give credit where it’s due. You could tell he has experience. He was able to look us off really and it helped them to complete passes where last week we were getting takeaways. He’s obviously a great quarterback and you’ve got to give respect to him.
On being out on the field for 34+ minutes
It’s hard, it’s tiring. But, we have trust in our offense and we have trust in ourselves just to keep pounding it. We have depth and we trust each other. Obviously, it’s hard coming toward the end of the game when we’ve got the defense out on the field most of the time. But, I think just sticking to our assignments, playing football and being aggressive all the way to the last minute is really all we can do.
On the overall health of the team
Obviously, throughout the first couple of games you’re always going to have guys going down and injuries are going to happen. But I think overall our depth has held up. We’ve had guys ready to go in when other guys have been tired or not feeling 100%. I think through four games we’re looking pretty good for the most part.
BYU Tightend Matt Bushman
On bouncing back from start
It’s tough. Playing Washington these last two years, we’ve shot ourselves in our foot in a lot of drives. Coming out after halftime, we had all the confidence that we were still in the game. We had momentum going, but unfortunately turned the ball over and it was hard to get back after another a turover like that. At the end of the day, our team just wanted to fight, but it’s hard to come back after that many turnovers.
On fumble after halftime
It was a tough go because we were driving the ball and doing pretty well. Dax made a good play, but they punched it out. We had the momentum going, but it turned rough. It’s hard to keep getting themomentum back against a good team like Washington. They didn’t turn the ball over often and finished their drives. They’re just a good team and we can’t do that against good teams.
On if this was the toughest team played so far
They are a good team, but I think our personal mistakes made them look a lot better. They’re returning Pac-12 champions, so they were going to be a really good team this season. But, I think if we eliminated those mistakes we would’ve been in the game and it would’ve been a lot closer.
On coming out after two emotional games
I don’t think we came out flat, but I think they came out hot. They drove down and scored. We had some mistakes and that didn’t allow us to finish our drives like we wanted to. We were confident going into this game and we knew we could play with them, but we can’t have so many mistakes against a really good team.
On Washington’s play vs. USC and Tennessee
I think they were playing a little different. Their style of defense is to not give up huge touchdown passes. They started to adjust and do things that other teams have done in the past. But, I should still be able to get open when there are double teams. As a player, I believe I need to do better and get open, especially in the second half too.
On Ty’Son going down
He’s a workhorse and works so hard and wants us to succeed. That one hurt. He’s confident that it’s nothing major, but we hope the best and hope we can see him next week.
On assessment going into the rest of the season
As a team and as a person, I would love to have been 4-0. I think any team should have that desire, so that’s a little frustrating. I think not may people thought we could be 2-2 against two really good teams this far. We’re really focused on Toledo. We’re going to own up to our mistakes, figure it out, be in the film room a lot and prepare for Toledo.
On Ty’Son Williams going down
It was heartbreaking. We’ve gotten pretty close since I’ve been here, so it was heartbreaking to see.
On offensive play
We have bad tastes in our mouths right now. We gave them the ball too many times and gave them too many chances to do things. We just have to watch the film, learn from it and move on.
On how the team responded physically
We stuck around for the most part. We have a long week that will give us an opportunity to get healthy. But, for the most part, we were pretty good.
On difference between games
All four teams were pretty good to me. I just pay attention to us and what we have to do to get a win. You just have to do what coach tells you.
On how Washington jammed them up
They are really tough to move on. They are really fast. They were doing things that were disrupting us, but we have to keep parting with our eyes down and keep doing what we have to do.
Washington head coach Chris Petersen
I thought it was a good performance on all phases. It was nice to get explosive plays by our defense and it was nice to get them on our special teams. Our offense was striking with explosive plays as well. I thought that the balance of the run-pass on the offense was good. Our defense did a nice job creating turnovers, which changes the game. It was everything that we talk about. Our offense and defense did a nice job taking the crowd out early. First game on the road at a pretty cool venue and I was proud of everything they did. The game is always far from perfect, we still have a lot of learning going on and some things that are frustrating, so we’ll get cleaned up. I like how they practice, and I like how they competed out here.
On the strong third quarter start
I don’t know why the last two week we haven’t started that. You can’t just talk about things; you have to work on them. That’s not good coaching, to just talk about coming out in the third quarter. There are some things in practice that we try to emphasize and try to get done to help those things, but they came out and they played. There were some young guys that were making some really good plays. Trent McDuffie in there, as a true freshman he plays at a high level.
On the quarterback, Jacob Eason, not needing a lot of room between the O Line
It’s nice, he just needs to learn how to balance how much room he needs because he needed a little more room on that one play, but that’s part of the snap decisions that we make. There are always those throws, whether they’re game changers or not, but as far as I could see that, that was one. We could’ve gotten down field, but he did a nice job checking it off. He’s making good process.
Washington Quarterback Jacob Eason
On if Washington changed anything on offense
No, we didn’t change anything, it was the same offense. We have big playmakers, but we had other guys that did a good job of stepping up and making plays when they needed to.”
On how he would rate his own performance
Well, it was good to get my first road game under my belt. The crowd noise was there, there were some good situations in the game that went well so pretty solid. Our offensive line did a great job of keeping me upright and our receivers made some great plays. Our running backs ran the ball, overall it was a pretty solid performance.
On the first possession score
That’s the goal every game no matter where you are, we were dialed in, we got some of the looks we wanted, we came out on the attack, so I think we did a good job, opened up the game pretty well.”
On completing 13 passes in a row
It’s just being in the moment, next play mentality. I didn’t know that, that was the first time I heard to be honest. Yeah, just playing the play, doing my job on each play, going through my progressions. Receivers made plays, the offensive line gave me time to throw the ball. All around it was a team effort.
On the turnover in the third quarter
“It’s always good to come out of the half and get some juice and I think we did that today. This atmosphere was pretty new and exciting and we did a good job of handling it. I was proud of our guys.
On the team’s defense
They’re always going to bring it. I know Coach Lake dials them in. Those guys over there prepare all week. I’m always confident in those guys and they’re confident in us too. Super excited to see those guys making plays and playing good football.
On when the defense plays well and takes the pressure off the offense
When we get 14 points on defense it’s definitely a huge energy thing for us. You wish you could get that every game, but that’s just not the case, but we had the opportunity to do that and we made those plays today. Like I said, it was just a huge energy boost for us, super proud of our defense who played really well today.
Washington tailback Sean McGrew
On starting the third quarter well
Recently we’ve been starting off slow in the third quarter, so it was nice to come out fast and not slow down from that first half and to keep our momentum going.
On hitting a career-high in rushing yards (110 yards)
That’s awesome. Honestly, stats don’t matter to me, it’s just about doing whatever I can to help the team win. Stats are cool but winning is even cooler.
On Salvon Ahmed not playing
There wasn’t anything different for me at all, I just had to watch an hour extra of film and just going through our plays in my head more. I just had to understand what our checks and audibles were, so I don’t have to ask.