BYU upsets No. 6 Wisconsin on the road
MADISON, Wis. – The BYU football team upset No. 6 Wisconsin on the road with a 24-21 win Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium.
"It was a team win. We gave the ball to our strength and conditioning room because those guys kept working until our guys got bigger and stronger and faster," head coach Kalani Sitake said. "But the players were gritty and they played hard and with a lot of toughness. I was really pleased with their effort, but more than anything how immensely strong they were throughout this game. They just kept believing and kept competing and it just worked out in our favor and it was a huge win."
The win over a top-10 team on the road was the first since BYU's 20-14 win over No. 3 Pitt. The Cougars defeated No. 3 Oklahoma 14-13 on a neutral field at Cowboys Stadium in 2009. The victory also snapped Wisconsin's 41-game non-conference home winning streak.
BYU went toe-to-toe with the Badgers with the defense making plays and holding on critical situations while the offense rattled off a few big plays to keep Wisconsin on its heels. The Cougars outgained the Badgers in yards per play at 6.1 to 5.5 and picked up two sacks and forced one turnover.
Senior running back Squally Canada had 118 rushing yards with two touchdowns, including a pair of 40-yard runs at 46 and 44 yards. Senior tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau caught three receptions for 33 yards and one touchdown. Senior linebacker Sione Takitaki led the BYU defense with 13 total tackles including eight solo stops and one sack. Senior Zayne Anderson recorded his first career interception as well as 11 total tackles.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor set the momentum for the Badgers to start. Taylor rushed for a total of 29 yards on the drive while a 27-yard pass to Jake Fergeson from Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook set up Taiwan Deal for a touchdown putting the first points of the game on the board with Wisconsin leading 7-0 at the 7:12 mark.
BYU immediately answered back with a touchdown of their own. A 44-yard run from Canada put the Cougars on the Wisconsin 28-yard line. Three plays later Canada pushed over center to give the Cougars its first points of the game. and tie it up at 7-7 with under four minutes to go in the first.
- Squally Canada recorded a season long rush of 44 yards, BYU’s longest play from scrimmage through the three games in the 2018 season
- Canada scored fourth career season touchdown and 12th of his career
- 62 of BYU’s 75 yards on its scoring drive came on the ground
The Cougars took the lead for the first time at the beginning of the second quarter with a double pass trick play. BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum threw from behind the line of scrimmage to Aleva Hifo who threw a 31-yard pass downfield to a wide-open Laulu-Pututau who trotted in for six. The Skyler Southam PAT gave BYU a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
However, with only 1:17 left on the clock in the second quarter the Badgers tied the game. An 18-yards pass to Danny Davis and short-yardage fourth-down conversion set the Badgers in motion to get in the back of the end zone. A reception from Alec Ingold tied the game at 14-14 going into halftime.
- Aleva Hifo threw his first career touchdown pass
- Moroni Laulu-Pututau scored his first touchdown of the season and fourth of his career
- Collie family now has 300 career receptions at BYU with an 8-yard catch
On Wisconsin's first drive of the second half, Zayne Anderson recorded his first interception of the season returning the ball 12-yards to shift the momentum to the Cougar offense with a short field of 27 yards. Hifo recorded an 18-yard reception and Canada punched the ball in for a touchdown as the Cougars took the lead for the second time at 21-14 with 9:48 left on the clock in the third quarter.
- Zayne Anderson recorded first interception of the season and third of his career
- Canada recorded his second multi-touchdown game of the year and third of his career
To start the fourth quarter Wisconsin answered back with a touchdown as Deal scored his second rushing touchdown of the game and tied the game for the third time. But, it wasn’t long before BYU took the lead again with a 45-yard field goal from Southam to put the score at 24-21 with 9:58 left in the fourth quarter. Canada broke loose for a 46-yard gain to setup the kick.
With 41 seconds left on the clock, the Badgers set up for a field goal but the kick went wide left and the Cougars took the victory formation to secure the win over Wisconsin 24-21.
- Southam kicks 45-yard field goal for his second field goal of his career
BYU returns home to take on McNeese State on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 4:00 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and ESPN3 with live radio coverage on BYU Radio (Sirius MX 143), BYU Sports Network and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).
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