BYU at Utah State Postgame Notes
The following notes are from BYU's 42-14 victory over Utah State on Saturday.
TEAM FLAGS: Steve Pincock (special tribute to trainer George Curtis), Hayden Livingston (DB), Gabe Summers (DL), Britton Hogan (LS)
ALUMNI FLAGS: Harvey Unga, Tanner Jacobson, Gavin Fowler (all current graduate assistants, student assistants)
GAME CAPTAINS: Micah Simon, Matt Bushman, Dayan Ghanwoloku, Khyiris Tonga
The Old Wagon Wheel
After spending two seasons in Logan, the Old Wagon Wheel returns to BYU with the Cougars' win. BYU improves in the overall series to 49-37-3 and 41-25 since the Wagon Wheel became a tradition in 1948. The Cougars are 16-4 in the last 20 meetings.
BYU forced five turnovers, a new season high, including three in the first half. BYU intercepted Utah State quarterback Jordan Love three times with Kavika Fonua, Payton Wilgar and Beau Tanner all getting in on the action. The Cougars also recovered two fumbles, one by Devin Kaufusi and another by his cousin, Isaiah Kaufusi. JJ Nwigwe and Austin Kafentzis forced each fumble.
Big Offensive Night
The Cougars posted 639 yards of total offense, the most since 741 against Wagner in 2015. BYU also had 418 passing yards, the most since 441 against Southern Utah in 2016. The 221 rushing yards were the most since rushing for 317 against New Mexico State last season. All three were season highs, along with the 42 points the Cougars scored.
BYU had 11 plays of 15 yards or more in the game, including nine passing plays of 15 or more and two runs of 15 or more. The Cougars had six additional runs of 10 yards or more. BYU had three pass plays of 30 yards or more, including a 77-yarder.
Three players threw a pass, seven players had a rushing attempt and eight players had a reception in the game. On defense, three different players had interceptions, four more combined for forcing and recovering two fumbles and two had their first career sacks.
BYU's 28-point margin of victory is the largest over Utah State since a 34-0 win in 2006, when BYU also started its backup quarterback, Jason Beck, in place for John Beck that game. In the last 10 meetings, the game has typically not been close, ending in a one-score affair just two times (2011 27-24 BYU and 2012 6-3 BYU).
Baylor Romney connected with his younger brother Gunner Romney for a two-yard touchdown pass with 7:12 left in the third quarter. It was the first brother-to-brother touchdown pass in BYU history.
In his second career start, Jaren Hall completed 12 of 16 passes for 214 yards and rushed seven times for 54 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Coming in to relieve Hall in the second half, Romney picked right up where Hall left and completed 10 of 16 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Romney added 19 rushing yards.
Katoa took advantage of the screen pass game, taking one 77 yards for a career best, just shy of the end zone. He would cash in with a six-yard run a few plays later for his lone touchdown on a night where he had four receptions for 129 yards and 42 rushing yards on just seven carries for a career-best 171 all-purpose yards.
NOTABLE CAREER HIGHS and FIRSTS
Career sack: Atunaisa Mahe, Austin Kafentzis
Forced fumble: JJ Nwigwe, Austin Kafentzis
Fumble recovery: Devin Kaufusi
Interception: Beau Tanner
Receiving yards: Lopini Katoa (129 yards)
Long reception: Lopini Katoa (77 yards)
Long pass: Baylor Romney (77 yards)
Passing yards: Jaren Hall (214 yards)
Rushing touchdowns in a game: Jaren Hall (2)
First career pass: Micah Simon (13 yards)
First career reception: Baylor Romney (13 yards)
Rushing attempt: Masen Wake