The following notes are from BYU’s 52-26 win over Utah Tech Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
- Charlie Peterson (quarterback, 1995, 98-01), older brother of Utah Tech head coach Paul Peterson.
- Kalin Hall: (running back, 1992-93), father of BYU quarterback Jaren Hall
- Jack Damuni: (defensive back, 1993-94), current BYU football director of relations
- Jon Quist: BYU football’s long-time grounds’ keeper in his final game after 27 years
AMERICAN FLAG & STATE FLAG:
- BYU ROTC Cadets Seinert and Zuniga carried the flags in observation of this Military Appreciation Game.
SERIES RESULTS: now 1-0 (BYU leads)
- BOWL ELIGIBLE
- BYU is bowl eligible for the sixth time in Kalani Sitake’s seven seasons at the helm and 17th time in 18 seasons.
- SEASON-BEST OFFENSIVE OUTPUT
- BYU mounted a season-high 676 yards of offense, 30 first downs and 52 points.
- CHRIS BROOKS
- With 102 yards on the day, surpassed 100 yards for the second time this season and first since the South Florida game on Sept. 3.
- Season-high 147 all-purpose yards (45 receiving)
- JAREN HALL
- Career-high 424 passing yards, first 400-yard passing game on his career.
- Tied third-longest completion of his career with 59-yard touchdown pass to Chase Roberts.
- Back-to-back games with a rushing touchdown, this time from 10 yards out.
- Tenth-career rushing touchdown.
- Hall notched his second-career game with four passing touchdowns and one rushing.
- Recorded the 22nd time a BYU quarterback has thrown four touchdowns in the first half.
- Third-career game with four touchdown passes (vs. Wyoming 2022, vs. Idaho State 2021)
- Second-career game with four first-half touchdown passes (vs. Idaho State 2021)
- Fifth game this season with three or more touchdown passes, eighth of his career.
- Ninth consecutive game with multiple touchdown passes.
- Ninth-career game over 300 passing yards, fifth this season.
- Surpassed 3,000 passing yards for the season
- First BYU quarterback to record six total touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) since Christian Stewart did so in BYU’s 64-0 win over Savannah State in 2014.
- KEANU HILL
- Career-high six receptions for 137 receiving yards.
- Posted BYU’s first single-half receiving touchdown hattrick since Cody Hoffman did so in the second half of the Cougars’ 50-14 win over New Mexico State on Nov. 24, 2012.
- Recorded fourth, fifth and sixth touchdown grabs of the season and first since the Utah State game on Sept. 29. Now eight-career touchdown receptions.
- Hill’s three touchdowns on Saturday mark the first time a BYU receiver has caught three receiving scores in a single game since Dax Milne did so in the Cougars’ 43-26 win over Houston on Oct. 16, 2020.
- HOBBS NYBERG
- Recorded career-long 42-yard kickoff return. (Previous was 35 vs. Utah State 2022)
- JAKE OLDROYD
- Made 49th-career field goal (32 yards).
- Third all-time at BYU in career field goal makes behind Matt Payne (54) and Owen Pochman (66)
- ISAAC REX
- Recorded fourth touchdown reception of the season and 19th of his career.
- Surpasses John VanDerWouden (1975-77), moving into 11th all-time at BYU in career receiving touchdowns
- CHASE ROBERTS
- Third touchdown grab of the season.
- Career/season-long 59-yard reception
- JAKOB ROBINSON
- Recorded first interception of the season and fourth of his career
- Tied a career-high with two pass breakups
NOTABLE CAREER HIGHS/CAREER FIRSTS
- ZION ALLEN: first-career tackle
- TERENCE FALL: first-career touchdown with 25-yard run. Becomes BYU’s first European-born player to score a touchdown in BYU history (hometown Paris, France).
- DEAN JONES: first-career tackle
- CASH PETERMAN: first-career kickoff and PAT
- HINCKLEY ROPATI: career-high 16 carries for 43 yards
- The following players saw their first or some of their first-career game action:
- Sam Dawe (OL)
- Chika Ebunoha (DB)
- Evan Johnson (DB)
- Tyler Little (OL)
- Sonny Makasini (OL)
- Aisea Moa (DL)
- Logan Pili (LB)
- Preston Rex (DB)
- Lisala Tai (OL)
- Sione Veikoso (OL)
- Ben Ward (OL)
Head coach Kalani Sitake
Coach Sitake’s opening statement
“I’m glad we got the win. We’re bowl eligible now and get to extend the season. There’s a lot of guys happy to get the win at home and in their last game in LaVell Edwards Stadium. We'll keep building from this. Obviously the game didn't go as clean as I would like, but a lot of these FCS games end up being like that sometimes, so I’m just glad that we were able to play all four quarters and own the game like we knew we could.”
On the offensive game plan
“You have to give credit to Utah Tech, they made some plays. They were trying to take Puka (Nacua) away, they double teamed him quite a bit and Keanu (Hill) was the one to benefit from that. Credit to our guys for finding the open man and for Jaren (Hall) throwing the ball downfield. There were still mistakes out there, but for the most part the guys played really well, didn't stop, didn't panic. I thought the guys were poised and understood that we were going to get Utah Tech’s best shot and we just had to settle down and play ball.”
On becoming bowl eligible with a senior night win
“I'm just glad that we get to go bowling. There's guys on our team that haven't been to a bowl game; they're really excited and emotional about it. I'm just really happy that we got the win for our guys that just had their last game in LaVell Edwards Stadium, the last feeling that they have of being on this field is getting a victory. It's hard to say goodbye, but I’m happy that we get the bowl game because it delays the inevitable where you have to say goodbye to a bunch of guys that you care about and who have done so much for the program.”
On his seniors’ contributions to the team
“All of the seniors should be proud of getting the win. There's some that didn't get to play because of injury. I'm just thankful that whether they were able to play or not, the things that they did on the sideline and for the program still carry through. I'm thankful that I can coach guys that relish the roles that they have and tried to be an influence whether they're on the field or not.”
BYU wide receiver Keanu Hill
On the slow start for the BYU offense
“We were just shooting ourselves in the foot. We were making mistakes that we’ve been trying to improve on and we shouldn’t be making mistakes like that at this time in the season. But we were able to bounce back from it tonight.”
On what it was like to watch his teammates at the end of senior night
“It was a true honor to watch them tonight. Those guys were sophomores when I came in as a freshman, and it’s been a true blessing and an honor to play with them.
BYU defensive back Jakob Robinson
On the defense’s ability to defend the Utah Tech’s passing attack
“They run a lot of what Washington State did last year, so that’s mainly what we were scheming against. They did a lot of crossing routes and really tried to test us vertically.”
On what these final games can mean for the program heading into the Big 12
“I think we need to realize that we need to trust our coaches and the players around us. I feel like we can get too complacent and start doing our own thing sometimes. If we are able to trust everyone around us, we’ll do well.”
BYU quarterback Jaren Hall
On what contributed to the choppy start for BYU
“They had a good game plan. They were dialed in to a lot of the stuff we were doing, more than we thought they would be. That’s what happens when you have a team that’s hot and has won a lot of games, with a good coaching staff full of coaches who coached here and understand what we’re trying to do. Give them a lot of credit, they were ready for it.”
On what Chris Brooks brought to the field today
“Experience, physicality — he knows what he’s doing, and he’s a difference-maker for us. When we give him opportunities he makes the most of them. So, it’s been fun and a blessing to play alongside him all year.”
On what this final stretch of games can do for the program
“I think it just shows the character of the program and the players. When you don’t have a perfect season or the season you expected, it really comes down to how well you finish the season. We can’t control what’s happened in the past at this point, so now it’s what we can control, and that’s the Stanford game next week. It all comes back to our character and willingness to strain, regardless of what we thought we deserved to begin with.”
BYU running back Chris Brooks
On how it felt to come off an injury and rush for 100 yards
“It felt great. I’m so grateful for the BYU Athletic Staff. I love them so much, they were able to help me recover in such a short amount of time, so I feel very blessed.”
On his BYU experience
“This has been one of the best decisions of my life, to come play here. I truthfully say that. I’m so happy with the decision to come here and thank God for giving me this experience every day.”
On the emotions of walking across the field with the seniors one more time
“It really does teach you to never take any of these games for granted, because when you get to that senior walk, and you’re walking that field, everything just flashes before your eyes. I’m just very grateful.”
BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua
On playing with Jaren Hall
“I feel grateful to play with that guy who wears No. 3. He is one of the best to do it and I love catching balls from him that is for for sure.”
On Senior Day
“I don’t know it was kind of a weird one. Obviously I can come back so it didn’t really hit me as if I was a senior. But I was grateful. I feel like I am the old guy on the team. But it's been fun. Some of those guys had the opportunity to go last year and decided to come back and be a part of this team. I love every single one of those guys on the team. I was blessed to be a team captain for these guys and we've been going through it for the past three months. We’ve got hopefully two more left and we're going to finish it out. But man, it's been fun to be with all those guys. Offensive and defensively. I think about all the times I beat everybody in ping pong. Those are the times I remember the most.”
Utah Tech Quotes
Utah Tech head coach Paul Peterson
Coach Peterson’s opening statement
“This was a really fun opportunity for our kids, and I’m really proud of them. I thought they fought hard, especially in the first half. Our guys came out with a lot of energy, and we were excited to be able to play on this field. Didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but definitely have some things to work off of and grow from.”
On opportunity to play at LaVell Edwards stadium
“Our guys were super excited, and you could just tell from their energy at the beginning of the game. Getting the chance to be on the same field as some of these guys and compete at a high level, make some big plays and continue to grow as a program was really fun for them. We have a bunch of freshmen and sophomores, and we competed at a high level tonight, so we just have to keep going.”
On how the last four games set the tone for next season
“We had a little momentum near the end of the season and were able to get that three-game run, which showed our guys that we can hang with tough teams. Ending the season with a game against a big team like BYU is going to get our guys excited and motivated to get to that next level for next season.”
Wide receiver Joey Hobert
On opportunity to play at LaVell Edwards stadium
“It was cool. When I was at Washington State, we played BYU at home. It’s a great environment. It always is, being able to play in a big stadium with guys who haven’t done that too. Seeing all of them when we first rolled up yesterday, wide eyed, and kind of in an awe moment. But we got back on track — got back into our zone right away.”
On the wisdom he shared with his teammates playing in a big stadium
“It’s a stadium. It is a nice stadium, don’t get me wrong, but when it is game time, don’t worry about that. Worry about what you are doing on the field next.”
SENIOR DAY RECOGNITIONS
BYU President Kevin J. Worthen, Vice President Keith Vorkink, Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe and Deputy Director of Athletics Brian Santiago joined players’ families on the field in honoring those making their anticipated final appearance at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday. The 35 players honored were:
- Clark Barrington (OL)
- Christopher Brooks (RB)
- Brayden Cosper (WR)
- Matt Criddle (DB)
- Lorenzo Fauatea (DL)
- Blake Freeland (OL)
- Jaren Hall (QB)
- Ammon Hannemann (DB)
- Kaleb Hayes (DB)
- Houston Heimuli (FB)
- Britton Hogan (DS)
- Chris Jackson (WR)
- Lopini Katoa (RB)
- Jackson Kaufusi (LB)
- Harris LaChance (OL)
- Hayden Livingston (DB)
- Lane Lunt (TE)
- Atunaisa Mahe (DL)
- D’Angelo Mandell (DB)
- Jackson McChesney (RB)
- Malik Moore (DB)
- Puka Nacua (WR)
- Jake Oldroyd (PK)
- Keenan Pili (LB)
- Alema Pilimai (DL)
- Morgan Pyper (LB)
- Gabe Summers (DL)
- Pepe Tanuvasa (DL)
- Alden Tofa (DL)
- Max Tooley (LB)
- Earl Tuioti-Mariner (DL)
- Joe Tukuafu (OL)
- George Udo (DB)
- Masen Wake (FB)
- Payton Wilgar (LB)