TEAM FLAGS: LB Harvey Langi and RB Jamaal Williams
ALUMNI FLAG BEARERS: Leon White (’81-85), Tim McTyer (’95-96), Omarr Morgan (’96-97), Brady Poppinga (’01-04), K.O. Kealaluhi (’95-96)
BYU won the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl for its first bowl win since 2012’s Poinsettia Bowl (23-6 victory over San Diego State). The win improves the Cougars’ bowl record to 14-20-1.
Scoreless first half
For the first time since the season-opener against Arizona, BYU held its opponent to a scoreless first half. Wyoming had 119 total yards of offense in the first two quarters. The Cougars went 6-0 this year when leading at the half. In the Poinsettia Bowl history, the Cowboys are the second team to be held scoreless in the first half. Northern Illinois in 2006 was the first.
BYU has had at least one interception in every game this season. The last time BYU accomplished this was in 2001 when the Cougars had one in all 14 games played. Six games this season the Cougars have grabbed more than one interception, the most coming against Utah when BYU had three.
This was the eighth-straight win BYU has had over Wyoming. In the first contest since 2010, the Cougars increase their series record to 45-30-3 over the Cowboys.
Williams ran for his second-highest output this season with 210 yards to go with his one touchdown for the Poinsettia Bowl offensive MVP. He finished his career with a school-record 3,901 rushing yards on 726 carries.
This was the sixth game of the season and 16th game of his career rushing over 100 yards and his third with over 200 yards. He has the most 100-yard games in school history. It was also a career high for rushing yards in a bowl game for Williams, surpassing his previous high of 31 yards, which he had in both of his two previous bowl games.
Williams moved his way up the record books, putting himself in ties for fifth in total career touchdowns (36) and third in career rushing touchdowns (35). He also moved into fourth in career all-purpose yards (4,468). Williams 210-yard outing is a BYU bowl game record, surpassing Taysom Hill’s 133 against Washington in the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl. That ups his career bowl rush yards total to 272, also breaking Harvey Unga’s BYU career rushing yards in a bowl game (163).
In his last game as a Cougar, Langi notched a career high in total tackles with 16. He was also named the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl Defensive Player of the Game. He also notched a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
Nacua grabbed his sixth interception of the year, tying his career high. He finishes his career at BYU with 14 interceptions, the most at BYU since official defensive statistics were recorded by the NCAA and tied with Derwin Gray for No. 4 overall at BYU.
In his first start of the season, the sophomore quarterback completed 8 of 15 passes for 96 yards, one touchdown and an interception. With 38 seconds left in the first quarter, Mangum rushed 3 yards for his first rushing touchdown of the season and third of his career.
The freshman defensive back grabbed his third interception of the season and surpassed 100 interception return yards (113). He is the second player in two seasons to do so with Kai Nacua notching 137 yards in 2015. He finished with four tackles and a pass breakup to go with the pick.
Finishing with 10 tackles, this was Warner’s second game of his career with double-digit tackles, both games coming this season (14 vs. West Virginia). With 1.5 tackles for loss, the junior linebacker has notched a tackle for loss in nine of 13 games this season.
After the ball was tipped around in the end zone, Balderree caught his second career touchdown with 2:42 left in the third quarter. That was his lone catch of the game.