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BYU vs. Western Kentucky Postgame Notes and Quotes

The following notes and quotes are from BYU's 41-10 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium. 

FLAG BEARERS: Zach Wilson, Josh Wilson, Dax Milne
COIN TOSS: James Empey. WKU won the toss, deferred to the second half, BYU received the opening kick.  

BYU vs. WKU Recap

BYU is 7-0 for the first time since 2001. It is the fourth time the Cougars have started 7-0 (2001, 1984, 1979).

BYU scored more than 40 points for the sixth time in seven games. It’s the first time in school history the Cougars have topped 40 points in six of the first seven games of a season.

BYU scored touchdowns on all five of its first-half drives. With a field goals in the third and fourth quarters, BYU has scored in 26 of 28 quarters this year.  

BYU has thrown for 200+ yards in 22 consecutive games with another 244 tonight. It is the longest streak since 26 in a row over the 2007-09 seasons.

Zach Wilson

Wilson broke Charlie Peterson’s school record of consecutive passing attempts without an interception (164). He made it to 184 before his 185th was intercepted by Western Kentucky in the third quarter. It was just his second interception of the year. He finished the night 18 of 32 for 224 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also had 35 yards rushing and one score on the ground.

Dax Milne and Gunner Romney
Milne and Romney both topped the 1,000 career receiving yards mark in the game. Milne finished with five receptions for 67 yards, giving him 1,060 and Romney five for 59, putting him at 1,054. Milne also went over 700 yards this season (706) and Romney 500 yards (515).

Isaiah Kaufusi
Kaufusi finished with nine tackles, three solo stops and forced and recovered a fumble. It was his fourth career forced fumble and third fumble recovery. His nine tackles tied a season high.

Tyler Allgeier
Allgeier finished just shy of another 100-yard game, with 16 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown. He went over 500 rushing yards on the season (587).

Jake Oldroyd
Oldroyd's PAT after BYU's fifth touchdown of the game was his 71st make in a row--a new BYU record, breaking the previous mark of 70 set by Justin Sorensen. He also hit a 49-yarder and 45-yarder in the game, making him 7 for 7 this year.

Notable career highs/career firsts
Career-high tackles: George Udo (5), Drew Jensen (6), Josh Wilson (2)
First career tackle: Josh Wilson

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
I’m really happy we got the win. Obviously, there are some things we need to fix, and I wasn’t pleased with losing the second half. We didn’t feel like we were in control of the game, so we’ll try to get things better. We have a short week and not a lot of time with Tuesday being a day we can’t work. We’ll have to do a lot of things over the weekend. Obviously, we don’t do anything with practice on Sunday.

In regard to this game, I’m just really happy we got the win. I’m happy our guys played well and that we’re healthy, for the most part. We’ve got some guys that are banged up and we’ll have to evaluate them in the next 24 hours to see how ready they’ll be to play. That was a good competition with Western Kentucky. I liked how our guys established an identity right from the beginning. Offensively, we were on fire and got lots of points on the board to help us get the win. Defensively, I thought we did some things that were good, but I’m sick of people driving long on us, taking up the clock and scoring points. We have to find a way to get the score down a little lower.

On the team’s 7-0 start
I really haven’t thought about it. I’m just focused on getting the next one. I’m trying to improve on this game and focusing on getting ready for Boise State. That’s going to be a tough one and I’m looking forward to that matchup. There are some things we need to improve on and correct from this game. I’m happy that our guys are playing well and I’m excited for the fans, but it doesn’t really matter now, and we’ve got to learn from this to get ready for the next game.

On Zach Wilson’s performance
He was off because he threw an interception. For the most part, I liked the way he ran the offense. Western Kentucky does a lot of pressures, do things differently and they’re really aggressive. He put the ball in places for our wide receivers to make some plays. Whether it is a lack of execution or not efficient enough, it is not just on one guy. We’ll work on getting better and hopefully he’ll be better in the next showing.

On building momentum from game to game
I liked the first half. I think if we can play the first half and do that every half, we’ll be good. I think we had an opportunity to get some guys some reps and I don’t know if we took enough advantage of those reps. There’s a lot of teaching and learning that can take place. It’s good be able to do that and get the win while being in control of the game. I’m thankful for the win and not really worried about momentum. I’m just worried about getting ready for the next game and becoming a better team.

On how the team looks improves after each game
If I’m looking at things individually and in all three phases of the game, there are some really good things out there. I’m a positive guy, but I really believe you can get better every week. It doesn’t matter if we win or if we lose, there are things we can improve on. I’m looking forward to getting things corrected. I say the same things after wins and I say the same things after losses. I feel like there were moments when we were playing at our best and I feel like there were moments where we weren’t. If we can get that done for 60 minutes, I really like our chances in games. Going into game eight, I like where we’re at right now. I like the fact we can learn and there are a lot of things that happen in the game that can help us coaches and players get better.

BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi
On the defensive play tonight
I think we just played football. The defensive line did a great job really being active and then the linebackers did a great job helping them make it right in a way. Credit to our defense. We stepped up and made a lot of plays. I am proud of the effort and comradery that we have. We are practicing well and there aren’t a lot of missed assignments. Our team IQ overall is the highest it has been. Guys understand the game and the schemes, so credit to our coaches for helping us with that.

On Western Kentucky’s long third-down conversions and time of possession
Right at the beginning of the game, they had several third downs where they converted and got the first down. We just need to get off the field. We’ve got to find a way. A lot of it is technique, not the scheme or assignment because guys are locked into those. We’ve really just got to get better getting off the field on third downs.

On still improving week to week
That is our ultimate goal. We had no control over the talent that we are facing. The goal every week is to get better. We have a short week and we are at a disadvantage but we will turn it into an advantage. We have a phrase that we say, ‘training ugly’. We’ve put ourselves in spots that are disadvantageous to us, so we are prepared for this. The ultimate goal is to get better and so we putting ourselves in situations that have prepared us for that.

On the defense’s depth
We have guys that step up and that’s the beauty of what we have right now. We are a special unit and this team is one I have never been a part of. Guys step up and make plays. The mentality is next man up. Everyone prepares the same way and get’s the same amount of reps. We are preparing guys and that’s the step the program has taken. There are guys throughout the depth chart that could start. I think that shows where the program is at and how the coaches have developed the whole program.

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson
On how he felt like he played tonight
We still had a lot of big plays moving the ball down the field. Credit to those guys for running a weird defense. I don’t think they thought they could do their defense against us since we’ve been explosive this year. They tried to throw some different stuff at us so credit to them in that aspect. The thing they gave up was a lot of big plays. I think that’s how we came out and countered it. We put points on the board even though statistically we probably weren’t the best. Credit to them but we were still able to put a bunch of points up.

On scoring on five consecutive drives in the first half
It was super important and we understand that people are going to try to do different stuff against us because we are a good football team. We know that people are going to struggle running their base stuff and that they will feel like they have to do extra stuff. They were trying to confuse us and that’s what happens. It’s a credit to us and you can tell they studied us and they don’t think they hang with us while running their base stuff. It’s huge for us to finish those drives and starting the game off with a score was huge.

On facing Boise State next week
I’m not reflecting on the past at all. We’ve got a new team and they have a new team two years later. It’s a great opportunity for us and they’ve got a good football team over at Boise and they do well at home as well so it’s a big week for us preparation wise. Everyone’s got to be dialed in and get on the film and take it seriously in practice. This is a good football team we are going to face and we’ve got to give them our best shot.

On navigating the quick turnaround
We are an experienced team and we are going to be ready. No matter how many days of practice guys are going to heal up and take our rehab seriously to make sure everyone is healthy. For me it’s the film study. The mental reps is just as good if not better than the practice reps against the scout team. That will be crucial this week and we need to make sure the guys take that seriously. It’s a great opportunity to show that we can play on a Friday, even with a Tuesday missing. We’ve just got to be ready.

BYU running back Tyler Allgeier
On WKU’s defensive scheme
I think that our coaches did a really great job at training us to really stop any wrinkles that they’d throw at us. There were a couple of wrinkles that we ended up picking up so I think practice made perfect and our coaches did well with that.

On BYU’s strong offensive performances all season
We’re just so grateful to even play. Who would have known we’d be here right in this spot having a game, especially with COVID. We’re just grateful for the game so we let it out in practice and then bring the energy during the game and I think that’s our whole success right there.

On establishing the run game against WKU
Their defense lowered the box a lot, they had some safeties trigger on the run, but the running backs and linemen worked around it and picked it up. I think it was a good night for us with a lot of learning experiences.

On the upcoming Boise State matchup
It’s exciting, we’ve been waiting a long time for this one. They’re very consistent and we’ve never won up there on the good ‘ol blue turf field so it will be exciting. We’re about to forget about this game. We’ll like it tonight, but forget about it and keep the grind to learn from our mistakes and get ready for Boise State.

WKU head coach Tyson Helton
On the offense starting strong but stalling later
The first drive was a nice drive; I wish we would’ve scored a touchdown but we got three. There were a lot of good things I saw out there tonight from an offensive standpoint as far as moving the ball, we just need to get into the end zone.

On the penalties
I think it was a big, talented football team that when you play those guys you have a tendency to get more penalties. You get out of position, lose your technique, and the next thing you know you grab a guy. I felt like the kids played hard all night. We just played a good football team.

On Zach Wilson
One, he’s deadly accurate with the football. His timing is impeccable, he’s extremely accurate and the offensive line gave him a lot of time to sit in the pocket. We couldn’t get to the passer. Our pass rush wasn’t getting him off the spot so he was able to sit back there and have a nice day. That combination of having all day to throw and being accurate is a deadly combo. He’s definitely one of the best in the country, that’s for sure.