The following are notes from BYU's 55-53 win over Toledo at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday night. Read the recap HERE.
BYU scored a season-high 55 points in tonight’s game. The previous high was 32 last week against West Virginia. Additionally, the offense had 586 total yards, surpassing the previous high of 521 yards last week.
Positive turnover margin
The Cougars had zero turnovers in the game. This is the second game this season without any turnovers, the first being the win over Arizona.
First play, longest play
The 75-yard pass to Jonah Trinnaman in the first play of the game was the longest play of the season for the Cougars. Additionally, it was a career high for both Taysom Hill and Trinnaman (pass play and reception, respectively).
For the first time in the Rockets’ season, their quarterback was sacked. Francis Bernard sacked Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside in the second quarter. Trajan Pili got him again in the fourth quarter.
First quarter output
BYU’s 21 points were the most scored in a single quarter this season for the Cougars. It was the highest-scoring opening quarter against an FBS opponent since putting up 24 at Houston in 2013.
Williams had a career night against Toledo, rushing for 286 yards and five touchdowns, both of which are career highs for a single game. His 286 yards are the most by an FBS running back this season. He broke the BYU single-game record of rushing yards in a game, surpassing the previous high of 272 yards held by Eldon Forte back in 1962. He is now tied for fourth on the BYU career rushing TD list with 31.
This was his second game this season (ninth of his career) with multiple rushing TDs. Williams also eclipsed 200 rushing yards for the second time in his career. Williams passed Jamal Willis (2,970) and Curtis Brown (3,221) for No. 2 all time in BYU career rushing yards with 3,229.
Kicked a 19-yard field goal to win the game for the Cougars. He also kicked a 32-yarder in fourth quarter along with his perfect 7 for 7 PATs.
With 4:29 left in the game, Nacua recorded his fourth interception of the season, 12th of his career.
His 75-yard reception in the first play of the game was Trinnaman’s longest career reception.
Lake notched a career-high nine total tackles. Coming into this matchup, he had eight tackles in his career. He also grabbed the lone interception in the game, the first of his career and returned it 49 yards.
Jamaal Williams – Yards (286), rushing TDs in a game (5)
Taysom Hill – Pass (75 yards)
Jonah Trinnaman – Long reception (75 yards)
Squally Canada – Career long rush (17 yards), rushing yards (49), carries (9)
Dayan Lake – Total tackles (9), interceptions (1)
Adam Pulsipher – Total tackles (8)
Tanner Balderree – Receiving yards (62), receptions (3)
Brayden El-Bakri – Receiving yards (19)
Trajan Pili – Total tackles (2), sacks (1), TFL (1)
Austin McChesney – Total tackles (3)
FIRSTS (The following players recorded their first in a respective category)
Head coach Kalani Sitake
Tough game. Another nail-biter. Just really proud of the guys and the way they played. We’ve learned how to play in close games and now we need to learn to win by a large margin. Hopefully we can fix that soon. There are some things we obviously need to fix. We need to make some adjustments and get some things done quickly, so hopefully we can do that soon.
On last drives
We were thinking about a touchdown. The funny thing is I was thinking about a two-point play to get ready so that I could have the two-point controversy continue every week. It was just weird, the whole chain of events. Give a lot of credit to Toledo. They did a lot of things offensively and defensively. We ran into a great offense. It just seems like so many things went against us. Whenever we made mistakes, they just capitalized on them. It’s a huge credit to their quarterback. I think he made some big-time plays. He made some big-time throws. Obviously, I’m just glad we had some time left. It was a comfortable feeling that we had some time left and the ball. We’ve seen success throughout the entire season of being in that position. I’m glad we practice it all the time. We should probably practice being ahead by a lot of points some time soon. I’m just glad that the guys played their butts off. I’m really happy that we were able to get the win.
On Rhett Almond’s play
I think it was rough for Rhett because in the first game he was mishitting the ball against Arizona and we benched him and put Jake out there. To Rhett’s credit he’s been working hard and Ed Lamb just kept telling him to be ready. As we got closer to when Jake got hurt, we felt more comfortable with Rhett. Having that adversity behind him, he was able to put that stuff behind him. I’m just glad he made the kick. I have a bad angle and a bad view. I had to wait until I made sure that the refs said that it was good. I was just really proud of him making that kick. And I was proud of Matt Foley for the snap and Mitchell Juergens for the hold.
On setting up the game-winning field goal
I think we were a little bit more conservative running the ball and utilizing time and getting the ball into the right position for our kicker to feel comfortable. Jamaal got us there, so we just felt like it was smart to put us on his shoulders and he’d get us set up right. It was a long minute for me to go through that thing. I’m just glad that we won.
On Jamaal’s play
I remember being a fan and watching Marshall Faulk do the same type of thing. It was the same kind of game when I was a kid watching BYU play. It was one of those times in history where I was proud to be a witness of it. It’s probably not the best game film to watch for defense. Glad that our guys stuck with it. I just think that there were a bunch of crazy things that happened there with that two-point conversion, with that call on their part, going for two. He fumbled the snap, picked it up and converted it. It just seemed like with the time that was left, we could march down and get something. I’m glad there was a little bit more time and that we were able to execute it.
On what made Jamaal’s play possible
We utilized a bunch of different personnel sets. Our receivers blocked people downfield and that is hard when you have great big runs like that. When you score like that it’s usually because the receivers are doing well downfield. The tight ends blocked well, the fullbacks blocked well. I think Algie (Brown) and Brayden (El-Bakri) did a great job of blocking for them. You have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line. I thought they were just really monstrous down the field and that’s what we’ve worked hard for all year long in the offseason, trying to get them bigger and stronger. It just felt good that they were able to dominate at the line of scrimmage. You let Jamaal and Squally (Canada) run the ball a little bit. They both had success. And obviously, I’m really proud of Jamaal with his history and his career has been unbelievable here at BYU. I’m glad he was able to get that game.
Sophomore K Rhett Almond
On the game-winning field goal
It felt really good. All the players throughout the game worked hard, but it is a team effort.
On stepping up
It was rough, obviously, after being pulled at Arizona. Jake (Oldroyd) was clutch. After that, all I did was make sure that I was ready. I didn’t get down on myself, but I made sure I was ready to go in when they needed me.
Feelings before the kick
On that last drive no coaches talked to me, but some players were coming and giving me confidence and I felt good about myself. By the end of the game, I felt I was in a groove. I trust Matt Foley with the snap and Mitch (Juergens) as well with the hold, and then it is just me and the ball. I just focus on keeping my head down.
Feelings after the field goal
I tried my best to stay relaxed. [With the celebration] I didn’t know what was going on after. It was madness, but it was fun.
Thoughts on the game
Our guys fight, and we are proud of our team. It has been a tough couple games, but we are ready to turn it around. We have been fighting this whole time. I just know I need to be ready for anything.
Senior RB Jamaal Williams
I have to give credit to everyone blocking for me tonight—linemen, fullbacks, wide receivers. I am grateful for them. Taysom did a great job tonight too on the play action and taking his opportunities. We worked together as a team. We just need to execute what we plan on doing from the start, and that is how we need to play from now on.
Breaking the record
I am grateful for it, but I just couldn’t do it without everyone blocking. It goes out to all them. This record is for the whole team. Something I am working on is patience and waiting for the holes to open up for me right then and there, taking my time and waiting for my linemen to make the holes for me and then following my blockers. It is a great team win. We learn very time we come out here, then we go back to practice and we learn some more.
On the final drive of the game
We had no doubt in our minds that we could go down and score with a minute left. Our confidence is up there when it comes to two-minute drills. We just worked as a team, and we had our heads held high, ready to go out there and score and win the game. [Toledo was] blitzing in every hole [on that last drive], but you know it is just football. You do what you gotta do. The only thing on my mind was holding with two hands and not fumbling the football—give our kicker an opportunity to go and win the game.
On coming back after the two-point conversion
Toledo did well, but [after they scored the two-point conversion] it was up to us tonight to see what we were made up. Everyone was ready to go back out there, and our confidence was there. We want to go out there and be great and win the game. And we want to do it in all types of ways.
On the current state of the team.
We are fighters, we are scrappy and we won’t stop fighting until the last second on the clock. I am proud of my team and proud of how we worked and fought. We never give up. Our heads are never low. We are always ready to go out and fight. I have no doubt in my mind we are going to stay up high.
Senior QB Taysom Hill
On the late-scoring drive
It’s what we do. We knew there was opportunity to have a two-minute drive. We could have thrown the ball around more, but when our run game was working as it was, there was no need. We got down there and gave our kicker a great opportunity to win the football game.
On Jamaal’s night
It’s been so much fun playing with Jamaal and I couldn’t be happier for it. He deserves it. He was such a fan for us when we were all playing last season. He deserves all that he has gotten.
On the offense
We had a great night tonight. The mentality of the offense is to score 50 points every night. I don’t anticipate this many possessions all season, but well take advantage of very possession we get. We’ve been doing a really good job of that the last couple of games.
Senior DB Kai Nacua
On the upcoming games
We focus on simply doing your job. Don’t try and do someone else’s job. Everyone needs to make sure they are doing their jobs first to make the plays.
On Jamaal's performance and breaking the record
Jamaal kept the defense going. It kept the fight in us. We knew we weren’t going down without swinging. Seeing our offense move the ball the way they did pumped everybody up.
Sophomore LB Adam Pulsipher
It was a dream come true to be playing here. What a finish by the offense. I found out I was going to start yesterday. I was really excited for the trust he had in me and that my teammates had in me.
On Jamaal Williams
Jamaal is a heck of a player. We see it every day and it was great to see it today. Him breaking the record was quite a sight.
Toledo head coach Jason Candle
Thoughts about the game tonight
It was certainly a hard loss for our football team. I give BYU a lot of credit for playing a full 60 minutes. My hat goes off to them and their great effort. They are a really well-coached football team in all three phases. They made one more play than we did tonight and they deserved to win the football game.
Logan Woodside’s performance tonight and school record 505 passing yards and five TDs
I thought he played really well tonight. He had 30 of 38 completions. That’s playing at a high level of football. I know there are a couple he would like to have back. The interception at the end appeared to be a forced throw, but for the most part he was outstanding. He did a great job leading our team, coming from behind a lot tonight and keeping his composure like a quarterback should. I’m proud of his effort. He is growing up fast and he’s done a really great job. He’s played four great games in a row now.
When you were down, what adjustments did you make in the middle of first half and going into half time?
We just kept playing. Our guys just kept fighting and kept swinging. BYU did that as well, so it turned out to be a heck of a game. It must have been a great game to watch with the back-and-forth. Our guys never flinched when we were down; we just kept punching and fighting. We got caught back up and got ahead with a little lead for a while there, but we just weren’t able to sustain it because of a turnover here and a couple of times that we didn’t get stops. It was a hard-fought game with 60 minutes well played. They were a great team from across the sideline that deserved to win a game.
What was hard to stop them defensively?
The back carried the ball 30 times for 286 yards and five touchdowns. That’s not Toledo defense. We need to stop the run and do a good job eliminating it. He also hit the tight end down the middle of the field on us. I don’t think we did a great job containing the back and I know that we will get that corrected and keep fighting like we have been.
Proud of the effort of your team?
I think their effort was outstanding with 60 full minutes of football. We just continued to fight and continued to go. That’s one thing about our guys is that they are not going to back down from anything and they flourish in that type of environment. It was fun to have a team across the sideline that did that same, and like I said, my hat goes off to them. They deserved to win.
Toledo QB Logan Woodside
I thought we played hard for 60 minutes—we fought for 60 minutes and that’s all I can say about that. We didn’t come out victorious on the scoreboard, but there’s no other group of guys I would rather go with each day.
On the two-point conversion
They snapped the ball when we weren’t ready for it, and I just picked it up and tried to make a play. I saw Mike (Roberts) and I just tried to get it to him.
On throwing over 500 passing yards
I just thought we had a bunch of good play calls. I tried to read what the defense was doing and I just took what they gave me.
Toledo LB Ju’Wuan Woodley
As a team I think we played really hard for 60 minutes. We were just trying to do what we do and make a play, make a stop, anyway possible. We were just a couple plays away. It was a pretty hard-fought game. I’m proud of everyone in that locker room that fought hard for those 60 minutes and that’s all you can ask for.
On Jamaal Williams
I feel like they have a pretty good line and they had a nice blocking scheme for him. He just put his foot off the blocks and cut it up. It really wasn’t too much that he did that was special. He had a nice scheme and we had to adjust to it.
On the back and forth scoring
Our offense was hot the whole game, so just making a stop to get them back on the field as much as possible, that’s what we tried to do.