The following notes and quotes are from BYU's 48-7 win over Troy on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
FLAG BEARERS: USA: Zayne Anderson, State: Brayden Cosper, Team: Talmage Gunther, Austin Riggs
COIN TOSS: Running back Lopini Katoa (BYU won the toss, deferred to second half)
SERIES RESULTS: 1-0
BYU scored six touchdowns in the game. The Cougars scored a touchdown in eight consecutive quarters to start the 2020 season. BYU was also 6 for 7 in the red zone with five touchdowns, a field goal and a kneel down to end the game. With 55 against Navy and 48 vs. Troy, BYU has scored 100+ points over the first two games of a season for the first time since 2001 when the Cougars hung 70 on Tulane and 52 against Nevada. BYU has outscored its first two opponents 103-10.
BYU had a pair of 100-yard receivers for the first time since 2015. Dax Milne led all receivers with seven receptions for 140 yards while Gunner Romney posted five catches for 138 yards. In 2015, Mitchell Juergens had 172 yards and Devon Blackmon had 105 in a 35-24 win over Boise State.
BYU finished the game with four sacks. With five against Navy, the Cougars have nine on the year in two games after finishing with just 17 for the entire 2019 season.
BYU finished with 664 yards of total offense, the most since 741 in 2015 vs. Wagner and the most against an FBS team since 681 vs. Houston in 2013. The Cougars are outgaining their first two opponents 1,244 to 330. The 181 yards Troy gained against the Cougar defense was the Trojans' worst output since 2014.
BYU’s 32 first downs are the most since 33 against Southern Utah in 2016 and the most against an FBS opponent since 38 vs. Nevada in 2014.
Wilson threw for 246 yards in the first half, the fourth time in his career he topped 200 yards in a half. Wilson finished with a career night, completing 23 of 27 passes for 392 yards (career high) and two touchdowns. He also added two rushing touchdowns. His 392 passing yards are the most since Christian Stewart threw for 433 against Cal in 2014.
Romney bested his career highs from the last game with five receptions for 138 yards. He posted four receptions for 101 yards in the first half, marking back-to-back games with 100 receiving yards.
Milne caught seven passes for 140 yards and one touchdown, setting career marks for receptions and yards. He also had a career-long 70-yarder to open the second half with a score.
Tonga was a force in the middle again, registering two sacks, a career-best for a single game. He also had one pass breakup.
Oldroyd drilled a 54-yard field goal to end the first half, tying his career best and the second-longest field goal in school history. Owen Pochman kicked a 56-yarder in 2000 for the record. Oldroyd also kicked a 20-yard chip shot in the fourth quarter.
Notable career highs/career firsts
First career rushing TD: Masen Wake (1 yard, 1st quarter)
First career receiving TD: Isaac Rex (10 yards, 2nd quarter)
Longest reception: Gunner Romney (52 yards, 2nd quarter), Dax Milne (70 yards, 3rd quarter)
Career high receiving yards: Dax Milne (140), Gunner Romney (138)
Career high receptions: Dax Milne (7), Gunner Romney (5)
Career long field goal: Jake Oldroyd (54, 2nd quarter)
Career high tackles: Keenan Pili (9), Micah Harper (7 – first start)
Career high sacks: Khyiris Tonga (2)
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
I’m thankful we got to play the game and get the win. I’m really pleased with the way the guys played in all three phases. Obviously, there are some things that we can still improve on for next week. I thought Troy did some really good things to test us, but I thought our team was able to respond to the adversity.
I’m really pleased with the physical part of the game, I thought our guys were able to respond the right way on defense and offense. We asked them to toughen up and play some tough football. We put some of our guys in some compromising positions that would test the physical part of their game and I thought they answered the right way. I’m looking forward to the next game and improving from this one to the next. Really pleased with the leadership and the guys on the field.
On player management during the pandemic
I was really happy with how the coaches worked with the players afer we had to postpone the Army game. We had another small group of players that joined us on Thursday, so we didn’t have a lot of time with them. We had to monitor those players and the physical part of their condition to make sure they’re good enough to play in the game. We knew that we were going to have to use a good number of different players and we wanted to get the scheme right to make sure our guys were going to play assignment sound football on offense, defense and special teams. I was really pleased with how the guys prepped. That’s kind of what you have to deal with when you’re going through the pandemic and so we’re going to keep doing that every week.
On the benefits of getting a lot of players game experience
It has been huge for us, but we’re also a deep team. We have a lot of guys that have played a lot of minutes on the field that gives us a lot of quality depth. We’ve been in the situation where injuries have force us to play a lot of different guys maybe without them having a lot of experience, but now we have depth where there is a lot of experience and guys can get on the field. It’s not a huge drop off from the ones to twos and hopefully we can keep that going.
On Zach Wilson’s performance
I think Zach’s leadership is starting to show – he had a great offseason. Before, he had to nurse some injuries but this was the first time he had a great offseason being able to take care of perfecting his craft. He’s throwing the ball really well and he’s seeing things really well. There is still room for improvement and I know Zach will think that this isn’t good enough. There are some plays that I think he’ll want back but I just like the way he is working and leading this team. He’s played a lot of games for us and the guys look to him as a leader. I like the way he, Baylor Romney, Jaren Hall and the whole quarterback room is working, so we’ll keep flowing with him.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson
On starting the game with a muffed punt
The guys handled it well. Personally for me in that situation, I saw the muffed punt and honestly just shook it off. It was no big deal. Guys make mistakes and Dax Milne will tell you that first hand. It was no big deal for us. We knew we were going to be able to come back. We knew the defense would get a stop for us and we were going to be able to come back and put a drive together.
On the relief of another dominant performance
It was great for the team. We handled all we were supposed to over these three weeks. We put in the work in those three weeks. I am just happy that all the work we put in during this offseason is finally showing.
On scoring ability
All it means is we can’t get too big of an ego or big head going into the next week. We are a good offense, but it means nothing if we stop it now. We’ve got to keep getting after it at practice and prepare for our next opponent. Louisiana Tech is a great team so we’ve got to be ready to come out and play against those guys. All it means is we are just one more step to where we’ve got to be.
On playing in an empty stadium
As a player personally there were a couple times where you don’t hear any fan noise and you actually notice it. But, when you are so dialed into what is going on and you are focused, you don’t even notice it. That’s one of the biggest things I have noticed and I am sure a lot of the other guys would say the same thing. You don’t even notice the crowd not being there.
On seeing other players step up and make plays
It’s huge. That’s the biggest advantage of having a team full of experienced guys. This is the first time I have felt like everyone is filling in their role of taking their plays to the next level. There are plays that we made tonight that we probably weren’t doing last year or the year before and I think that’s experience. The guys are making plays.
BYU running back Lopini Katoa
On adjusting to Troy’s defense
There’s no right answer against us and that’s with any good offense. The pass game was able to open up a lot for us. It just goes to show the versatility and the balance we have as an offense.
On the key to having back-to-back high scoring games
We’re not doing a lot different than we were in the past. It’s just seeing the fruits of our hard work on the field. We’re just working hard every day. We know we can’t settle; we can’t take any opponent lightly. We know we have the ability to score a lot of points so we might as well do it every week.
On seeing the younger guys stepping up when it’s their opportunity
I get so excited on the sideline when I see guys with a lack of reps make plays. I was probably celebrating more than anybody when he (Miles Davis) was making his big runs.
On seeing the defense shutting teams down
It’s amazing. We knew it was going to happen; the competition all fall camp and how good they were, I was just like good luck trying to score on them. They’ve got talent all across the board.
BYU defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga
On going back out to play after the muffed punt
We were super excited. Any time we can take the field we’re happy. It was fun to go right back out and get a stop.
On playing in an empty stadium
We’re just grateful to play and have this opportunity. We definitely miss the fans and know they’re watching. We’re grateful for them and can’t wait to see them out there.
On his teammates on the defense
Our D-line has been working super hard this whole offseason. As soon as their numbers are called they’re giving 100 percent effort. I’m grateful for guys who come play, whether it’s one snap or 90 snaps.
On getting sacks this season
I think it’s trusting in our play. We trust in our technique and everything we’ve practiced. It’s just going and executing.
On holding teams through the first two games
I’m super happy with what’s going on on the defensive side. It’s been a fun couple weeks.
Troy head coach Chip Lindsey
Obviously, they’re (the players) are disappointed, so are we. We just didn’t play good, didn’t coach good. Tonight we were really dominated in all three phases. We had some opportunities early. We had the turnover, we didn’t take advantage of it. We didn’t get it on fourth down. The defense actually was playing really well early. Offensively we’ve got to do our part and help out. That’s complimentary football, what we did do last week.
I know our guys are hurting, they’re disappointed. We’ll rebound. We’ve just got to roll our sleeves up and go back to work and improve and get better.
We just really never got into a rhythm. I wanted to be aggressive and it just felt like early on we could get a yard and we didn’t get it. Defensively toward the end they leaned on us and hit us with a few big plays and it just kind of snowballed. We’ll rebound. We still have a special group.
We had too many three and outs and when you do that, you make your defense play more snaps than you should. It’s a team game and in all three phases you’ve got to be able to complement each other and tonight we didn’t do that.
Troy Defensive Tackle Will Choloh
You’ve just got to give credit to BYU. They had a good offensive scheme. They executed really well. All of times we shot ourselves in the foot. We’ve just got to put it to bed and get ready for South Alabama.
We need to lock in and focus on the little things. The score might not show it but we actually did some good things on defense. We’ve just got to execute at crucial times, execute on third down, and just play better, honestly.