BYU vs. Virginia Postgame Notes and Quotes


The following notes are from BYU's 66-49 win over Virginia on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

ALUMNI FLAGS: Uani Unga (LB, 2011-13), Bryan Kehl (LB, 02, 05-07), Cody Hoffman (WR, 09-13), Brady Poppinga (LB, 01-04), JD Falslev (WR, 09-13), Braden Brown (OL 08-12), Ului Lapuaho (OL  14-18)
TEAM FLAGS: John Nelson, Alden Tofa
Attendance: 57,685

The Series

With the win, BYU evened the series at 3-3. The Cougars have won two-straight, also taking the last matchup 41-33 on Sept. 20, 2014 in Provo.

Power 5s
BYU extended its school record with five wins against the Power 5 teams this year after beating Arizona, Utah, Arizona State, Washington State and Virginia. BYU had only defeated three in a single season three times previously (1984, 2014 and 2016).

Game Notables
In the 600th win in BYU history, the Cougars totaled 736 yards of total offense, tied for fifth all-time. It was the 12th game in BYU history with 700+ yards and just the fourth game in school history with at least 300 yards rushing and 300 yards passing.

1,297 yards is the most total yards combined by both teams in a single game at LaVell Edwards Stadium, topping 1,278 against Toledo in 2016. BYU also tied the single-game rushing touchdown record with six, which was set in the Toledo game as well.

Rushing Yards
After setting a season-high with 238 rushing yards at Washington State last week, the Cougars set a new season-high with 385 yards rushing. BYU has rushed for 200+ in four games this year (Utah, Utah State, WSU and UVA).

Scoring Quick
On both of its first two possessions, BYU scored in four plays and 1:18 of game time. The Cougars would have five other scoring possessions in less than two minutes, giving them 15 scoring drives of two minutes or less on the year.

First Half Scoring
BYU scored 38 points in the first half, a season-high. The Cougars’ previous high was 28 against USF. 

Nacua Brothers

Samson and Puka Nacua both tallied 100-yard receiving, becoming the first two brothers at BYU to record 100 receiving yards in the same game. Both brothers recorded 107 receiving yards, with Puka hauling in eight receptions and Samson grabbing three.

Tyler Allgeier
Allgeier rushed for five touchdowns in the game, giving him 29 for his career. It is his seventh career game with multiple scores and fourth this year, as well as first career game with five touchdowns. 

With five touchdowns, Allgeier tied the school single-game rushing touchdown record with five, as well as the rushing or receiving touchdown record. He previously rushed for three touchdowns against Utah State earlier in the season.

Allgeier totaled a career-high 266 yards, rushing for his 2nd 200-yard game this year and fourth 100-yard game this season/10th of his career.

Payton Wilgar
In the first quarter, linebacker Payton Wilgar intercepted Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong and returned it 24 yards to the UVA 11-yard line, setting up a BYU touchdown. Wilgar led the Cougars defensively with 11 total tackles, including six solo.

Notable career highs/career firsts
Long reception: Samson Nacua (52 yards)
Receiving yards: Samson Nacua (107)
Receptions: Samson Nacua (3)
Fumble recovery: Uriah Leautaua
Rushing yards: Tyler Allgeier (266)
Rushing touchdowns: Tyler Allgeier (5)
Passing yards: Jaren Hall (349)
Completions: Jaren Hall (T-22)
Passing touchdowns: Jaren Hall (T-3)
Total touchdowns: Jaren Hall (4)

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
On the difference maker in the second half
Well, the difference was Ilaisa Tuiaki making adjustments at half time. For our guys, it wasn't so much the scheme adjustments, it was just focusing on fundamentals. I mean, we did a couple things differently scheme wise. But, it started off good. It’s interesting because at the beginning of the game there were no TV timeouts, and things were rolling really quickly. So, I think our guys got a little fatigued, and then you start to miss tackles when you get tired and you start to forget technique. The second quarter was really harsh for me to see as a coach.

We talked about adjustments and we talked about utilizing more personnel, more people on the field. That's what we do. We keep our guys fresh, and I’m happy that our guys made some plays. We were able to get some turnovers in the second half, get a turnover on downs and that was a difference for us. Our offense stuck to it and was aggressive with the game plan. I love them. I mean, when our offense gets the ball that many times I think we're going be pretty good. So, I thought they took care of the football and the difference was that turnover on downs and the turnovers altogether. But, credit to our players and to our coaching staff for making the adjustments on defense and finding ways to get this win. I mean, the stat line doesn't really look that favorable. But in the second half I think we played good sound football, and if we play like we did the second half we will be fine for most of the rest of our games.

On the importance of Lopa’s fumble in the fourth quarter
I think credit to Virginia because they were making a lot of plays. They were making some missed tackles and were trying to keep things balanced. They are usually going throw the ball. But, I think they were committed to trying to run the ball a little bit tonight. And, we just had to make it really hard for them. I think they had, if you look at in the first half, they had those big plays, and we didn't make it difficult for them. And I think it's like one missed tackle and then there was a touchdown. You know, we got a little aggressive. We played some man defense and we tried some things and did some pressure. I just like our guys being aggressive and trying different things and also making adjustments and relying on our offense to just click like that for us. To play complimentary football, that’s what happens.

On Jaren’s progression as a passer
That just happens in game time with guys getting more comfortable. I mean, I'm going make an excuse for Jaren because he's been banged up. This is when he's fresh. When he can go he’s a much different player. We were in a position where he was banged up, and Baylor wasn't cleared to go, so we had to protect him a little bit. And, and then you know, we relied on Tyler to make some plays for us, but our game is going to have to be focused on the quarterbacks being able to make plays for us. Sometimes it takes a little bit more experience for those guys to progress. I think “A-Rod” is an amazing coach, and the more time he gives these young guys more opportunities to play we can do some really good things. I mean 66 points isn't too bad.

On what stands out about Jaren’s ability to command the offense
Timing. He seems to know where to go with the ball no matter what the defense does. Defensively, Virginia did a lot of different things to try to confuse him and they brought some pressure. He made them pay. I think when you have a quarterback that can see things and go through the progression in the passing game it’s hard to do. And these guys have done it. I feel comfortable with all the other quarterbacks doing that, but I'm happy to see Jaren make that move and create some space with his legs. I thought he made good decisions. Obviously, there were a couple times where he probably shouldn’t have thrown the ball, but I mean, we trust him. We’ll see what happens, but I think it's getting better every week.

On the offensive matchup between the two teams
Well, I mean, two defensive coaches don't really like shootouts. And I think the first half wasn't what I wanted. The first quarter? Yeah. But, the second quarter I didn't like. It was big plays on defense that were given up and some mistakes. But, I think the offense has to be ready to have a shoot out no matter what. And I'm glad they did. Defensively, we had a lot of guys that were banged up and weren't able to go. That’s the game, but at the same time we have to believe in our depth. I think in the first half, we had guys playing tired when they should have just rested. Second half, we utilized all our personnel, and we rotated guys and kept them fresh. And that made a difference for us. It wasn't really the amount of plays, it's just back to back and quick scoring on our offense. There's not a lot of rest time. And a lot of our guys play special teams and we're not going to rotate on special teams when you rotate on defense. We have to lean on some second and third stringers, and the second stringers made some plays. Look at the turnovers that Drew Jensen had. He seems to have a great feel for the passing game and how to defend. All our guys played really well. There were mistakes, but it was really one quarter that I really wish we had back.

On what makes Tyler a special player for BYU
He is tough and has a lot of speed. I think people misunderstand that, and they don't really realize that. He's a big body but he can run and he can fly. So that's dangerous when you get to the next level. He broke some tackles today and played hard and he's a little sore. I said this before, that we're going to need him to do that. We have to be smart with him, but he's willing to dish out the punishment and find ways. It's just a matter of time before he finds an opening, and then he turns into a big play.

BYU linebacker Payton Wilgar
On tonight’s game

I’m just proud of the way we fought. Obviously, the first half was not what we wanted. I’m just proud of our guys for coming out in the second half and continuing to fight.

On the turnover in the fourth quarter
To get a turnover like that is huge, because we know our offense is going to go score and they're going to have our back. So whenever you can create a turnover like that on an offense as good as Virginia’s, I think it's a huge play.

On BYU’s offensive play
That’s the beauty of the sport. When the defense is struggling, the offense has got our back, and vice versa. To have an offense that can put up points like they did, it makes it a lot easier on the defense.

BYU quarterback Jaren Hall
On tonight’s game
We knew from the beginning they had an explosive offense. We were prepared and had a good game plan, and just executed along the way.

On the fumble recovery in the fourth quarter
Our defense played outstanding in the second half. They came out and did their thing, and that fumble alone right there, that was that was a game changer.

On Virginia overcoming BYU’s 21-0 lead
It was expected. We knew they’re a good offense and we’d have to keep rolling, and that’s what we did. So they got up, scored a couple touchdowns and got the lead back, but it didn't deflate us at all. We just kept rolling, kept doing our thing and moving the ball.

On what impressed him about BYU’s offensive performance:
The ability to move the ball, to convert on third downs and to keep the drives going. It felt like everything was flowing. 

BYU Wide Receiver Puka Nacua
On maintaining energy:
We continued to execute on offense. That was the thing. It was either going to be a big advantage for somebody, or it was going to be a shootout, and they were ready for a shootout and it was fun. Seeing everybody be able to fight all four quarters and put it all together, that was amazing to see from the boys.

On playing this game with Samson:
It's the greatest blessing that's ever happened to me, honestly, to have my brother out there on the field with me and to see him go do the things that I know he's capable of. I couldn't be more proud of him as a little brother.

On this game relying on offense:
Man, it was fun on offense. We had such a rhythm and flow. As soon as they're made a big play, we’ve got to stop on third down as backup. Every time we stepped on the field, we’ve got to get a touchdown. That's what we need. We need points on this board every time we get on the field. Super proud of my boys on offense, and super grateful for those guys on defense.

BYU Running back Tyler Allgeier
On changes from the first to second half:
A lot of passes, a lot of runs, you know, just keeping them on us. Not stacking the box when we want to run, and then when we stack the box, pass it. So, just keeping them honest really opened a lot of things up.