BYU falls at home to Iowa State 45-13

BYU lost its third consecutive game and first at LaVell Edwards Stadium this season, falling 45-13 to the Iowa State Cyclones Saturday night.


PROVO, Utah — BYU lost its third consecutive game and first at LaVell Edwards Stadium this season, falling 45-13 to the Iowa State Cyclones Saturday night.

The Cougars (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) now have two chances remaining to become bowl eligible, at home against Oklahoma next week and on the road at Oklahoma State the week after.

“We have got to find a way to win one more game so we can have an extension on the season,” said Kalani Sitake, BYU head coach. “I was hoping that we would have a better chance to do it tonight. We will have to be ready for the game next week, our last game at home, against Oklahoma who is a ranked team.”

The Cyclones dominated the game with 443 yards of total offense, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Rocco Becht who was 15-of-23 for 203 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Iowa State also had four rushing touchdowns, with two from Abu Sama, racking up 110 yards on eight carries.

For the Cougars, Jake Retzlaff completed 10-of-17 passes throwing for 104 yards and two interceptions in his second career start. The signal caller also ran the ball 17 times for a team-high 64 yards.

Aidan Robbins led BYU running backs with 10 carries for 58 yards. The leading receiver for the Cougars was Isaac Rex with three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. 

The leading tackler for BYU was AJ Vongphachanh with eight stops and three solo tackles. Ethan Slade and Max Tooley had seven tackles each.

BYU turned the ball over three times in the game. Iowa State had no turnovers.

First Half

On the first play of the game, Iowa State intercepted Retzlaff to set up the Cyclone offense at BYU’s 28 yard line. 

Iowa State later punched the ball into the end zone via a touchdown pass, giving the Cyclones a quick 7-0 lead just over a minute into the game. 

On the following kickoff return, BYU turned the ball over again with a fumble, setting Iowa State up on offense in Cougar territory again. 

BYU’s defense came up with a big third-down stop, forcing the Cyclones to kick a field goal that gave Iowa State a 10-0 lead. 

The Cougars responded on their following drive with a 36-yard burst from running back Robbins, setting up BYU in Cyclone territory. A third down quarterback keeper from Retzlaff went for 19 yards, putting BYU within 10 yards of the end zone before an eventual dart from the quarterback to Jojo Phillips, scoring the Cougars’ first touchdown of the game, bringing BYU within three. It was Phillips’s first career reception. The scoring drive for the Cougars went seven plays for 75 yards in 2:47. 

The Cougars kept the positive momentum going with a Tyler Batty sack on Iowa State’s first offensive play following the BYU touchdown. The newly-electrified LaVell Edwards Stadium helped the Cougars force a Cyclone three and out. 

Later in the quarter, Iowa State would steal the momentum back and go back up 10 following a four-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Cyclones a 17-7 lead with just over a minute remaining in the quarter. The drive for Iowa State went nine plays, covering 72 yards in 4:49. 

The Cyclones opened the second quarter with an 11-play, 80-yard drive, capped off with an 11-yard rushing touchdown, extending their lead to 24-7 with 8:02 remaining in the half.

Later in the quarter, a 13-yard rushing touchdown for Iowa State extended its lead to 31-7 at halftime. 

The Cyclones’ 235 yards of total offense to the Cougars 97 helped propel the big lead for Iowa State at the half. Iowa State had 16 first downs to BYU’s three. The Cyclones were six-for-eight on third down in the half.

Second Half

BYU opened the half with the defense forcing a three and out and then going on a seven-play, 65-yard drive, finished off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Parker Kingston to Isaac Rex to bring the Cougars within 31-13. The touchdown reception for Rex set a new BYU record for touchdown catches by a tight end in program history with 23 for his career.

Once again, the Cyclones responded quickly, this time with a 66-yard touchdown pass on third and one that extended their lead to 38-13 with 8:27 remaining in the quarter and took the momentum right back again. 

On Iowa State’s next possession, a 59-yard scamper to the endzone extended its lead to 45-13. 

A 30-yard pass from Retzlaff to Kody Epps over the middle of the field on the Cougars’ ensuing drive helped BYU march the ball down the field inside the Cyclones’ 10 yard line, but the drive fizzled out on a failed fourth down conversion attempt. Both teams failed to score in the fourth quarter.

BYU returns home for its final home game of the season vs. Oklahoma on Nov. 18 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Watch the Cougars face the Sooners at 10 a.m. MST on ESPN or ABC. Tune in to live play-by-play on BYU Radio.