BYU vs. UTSA Postgame Notes and Quotes
The following notes and quotes are from BYU's 27-20 win over UTSA on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
FLAG BEARERS: USA: Alden Tofa, State: Keenan Pili, Team: Britton Hogan, Brayden Keim
COIN TOSS: Offensive lineman Brady Christensen (UTSA won the toss, deferred to second half)
SERIES RESULTS: 1-0
BYU has started the 2020 season 4-0, the first 4-0 start since the 2014 season. The Cougars have not started 5-0 since the 2008 season when they won the first six games of the year. It is the best start under head coach Kalani Sitake.
100-yard rusher/100-yard receiver
BYU had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver for the second time this season. Wide receiver Dax Milne hit the century mark for the second time while Tyler Allgeier topped 100 rushing yards for the second time as well.
BYU did not allow a sack for the third time in four games this year. The Cougars also picked up one sack on defense, giving them 13.0 this season. BYU was tied for sixth nationally entering the game, while UTSA was tied for 10th with 11.0.
Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown, giving him six this season. With his first two pass attempts in the game he went over 1,000 yards passing for the year. He did so in the fewest attempts (73) of any BYU quarterback in a single season. Wilson also topped 5,000 career passing yards, becoming the 15th BYU quarterback to do so.
Milne tied his career best with seven catches and had 102 receiving yards, his second 100-yard game this season.
Allgeier posted his second career 100-yard game with 116 yards on the ground on 19 attempts, scoring one touchdown.
Warner finished with two solo tackles, one interception and one quarterback hurry. Warner had played 37 career games before his first interception and now has two in the last two games.
Notable career highs/career firsts
Longest reception: (tied) Gunner Romney (52 yards, 3rd quarter)
Career high receptions: (tied) Dax Milne (7)
First career PAT: Justen Smith (made 3 of 4)
First career sack: Gabe Summers (4th quarter)
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
Glad we got the win, that is the goal of every game. Obviously, there are some things that we need to fix and I wish we could have performed a little better in a lot of different areas. But, you can’t disrespect this game and not celebrate the wins. I was proud of the team for competing. A lot of credit goes to UTSA. I think coach Traylor had that group playing really, really well in all three phases. They had a really good gameplan that caused some issues on both O and D. It felt like it took a while to get going, but I’m just proud of the guys were able to fight through it and get the win.
We’ll learn from this and get better. If we could help ourselves, it would be minimizing the mistakes that we made and played more disciplined. But, I don’t want to take anything away from UTSA and the preparation they made. I think they came ready to go. We have less than a week to get ready for Houston so we’re excited to get back to work and to make sure we perform better than we did today.
On Zach Wilson’s connection with the receivers
Zach’s got some great targets. Dax knows how to get open and he’s really explosive. We have a lot of guys that can contribute to the offense. There’s a lot of different things we can do as a team, we just have to be more efficient as a group.
On what the team learned from the win
If there is any silver lining to this, it’s that we were able to be uncomfortable a little bit. I told the team that we’d been in this position before and lost these type of games. It felt good to get this win. It feels good to be 4-0 and learn from this. I think we’ll perform a lot better next time. The fact we get less than a week before Houston is a positive for us. These guys are excited to get back on the field. We celebrate the win because we got it and as soon as we leave the locker room we’re focused on Houston. I don’t know what the score would have been if we made fewer mistakes and taken care of the football better, but I just like that these guys believe in each other and love each other. I’m happy that we were able to fight through it to get this win.
On addressing mistakes made during a game
You just go into the little things and do them all right. It’s the focus and the discipline that needs to happen. I need to do a better job as the head coach and make sure they’re ready. We’ve been really, really good before and I think our guys are wanting to be aggressive and make plays. We saw some guys reaching to do more than their actual job and it cost us. We have to go back down and preach the fundamentals and techniques of the game.
On the UTSA defense
UTSA is a lot more aggressive in their gameplan. They pressure a lot more than most teams, and definitely more than any other team we’ve played this year. I think that is why they lead the country in TFLs. I thought we were able to respond to some of it, but some of the time we weren’t able to do enough. There were times in this game that the offense was smooth, but there were times it just wasn’t what we’re used to. We’ll do everything we can to get it back on track.
On trailing early in the game
There was no panic and I thought the leaders were in control of the game. We trust our offensive coaches and players. I thought UTSA slowed the game down and tried to possess the ball more to limit our possessions. I thought they did a great job at that. I don’t think, defensively, we made enough stops early to get off the field to give the ball back to our offense. Offensively, I think we can control the tempo a little bit more and be more explosive as a team.
BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi
On the feelings after this game
Kalani encouraged us to enjoy the win and he wanted guys to dance but at the end of the day we are competitors. And after a game like this we just start thinking about how we could have done better and played to the best of our capabilities.
On being effective at stopping the rushing game
We definitely did a good job and when Frank [Harris] went out and Lowell [Narcisse] came in they definitely found something there. They adjusted very well coming out of halftime. I don’t think that we played our best in the second half. We did stop the run and that one of our goals, but we needed to stop the pass.
On not playing as dominantly compared to the first three games
I think we did a really good job at focusing this week on the things we needed to get done. I feel like we had prepared very well and we had practiced hard. Just credit to UTSA for coming out really physical, had a great game plan and were able to adjust really well. I was pleased with how our team came back. We faced adversity and just like what Coach and Dax Milne said, so many of these games in the past we would have lost so I am proud of the way we fought. It wasn’t pretty but we got it done.
BYU wide receiver Dax Milne
On the offense
It felt kind of frustrating at first because we showed we could move it really well on our first drive and it was unfortunate what happened. But that stuff happens. Throughout the game I thought that we were still able to move the ball. We just needed to clean up a couple things and we’d be all right.
On the veterans’ role in a close game
I think the veterans were able to lead the team because in the past we’ve seen games where we’ve played teams we should’ve beaten. We knew that it was in the back of our head. We just didn’t want to make that happen again. Everyone was able to lean on the veterans and focus up and make plays.
Me personally, I hate losing more than I love winning. We were able to be mature with this game and a win’s a win.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson
On how the offense played
We were very inconsistent and I don’t think it is anything in particular besides those guys came out ready to play. We hurt ourselves whether it was a mental error or a fundamental mistake. They are things we can work on this week in practice. I still think we had glimpses of that playmaking ability when everything was clicking. We were capitalizing down the field and guys were making plays.
On how past experiences helped him today
You never take a game for granted. I wouldn’t say that we fell into the hype at all. The guys knew we had a team that was coming out here ready to play. Credit to those guys for coming out and being ready. You can’t take these games for granted. They fly by and the ones that you expect to win comfortably sometimes don’t happen. BYU for sure knows that over the past. We’ve had games in the past that didn’t work out that way. So we just need to take it one game at a time.
On what do you take from this game
For sure we’ve got to win. Learning from a win is always the best way to do it. These guys came out ready to play and we put ourselves in some tough situations. We had a ton of third and longs today and it’s hard to capitalize when you are way behind the sticks like that. There are always improvements.
UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor
On the message to the team after the game
Our best is good enough, we have just got to be extraordinary then ordinary. We gave great effort and I was proud of our kids. We are getting better every week, but our best is good enough. I am proud of their effort, but we are pretty hurt right now.
On Lowell Narcisse Performance
His performance was short of remarkable. The kid comes off the bench again and is 17 out of 20. He is playing great and every time I put him out he plays great. The decision was made by me. It was a coaching decision based on what I felt was best for Frank [Harris] and our team at that time.
On being in the game until the end
It was a good offense that we played and they battled their tails off. We started the game off really good and had two really good drives … We were still in a war so we had to be careful offensively. They are good at offense and I was proud of our defense, they give us a chance to win the ball game. We didn’t score enough points to win it. We know we’ve got to score more … I loved the effort but we’ve got to get those penalties and the kicking game cleaned up.
UTSA Linebacker Charles Wiley
On the outcome of the game
I believe that for a top 25 team we executed pretty well. There are still some things we have to work on. That was an excellent team, they are a great team and I believe that their ranking definitely showed. We knew that this would not be an easy game and that even if we executed correctly they are still good enough to beat us. The biggest thing was that I have nothing but respect for that team. I believe that we came in and did what we were supposed to do, we just couldn’t finish it.
UTSA quarterback Lowell Narcisse
On the mood in the locker room after the game
It’s tough. Especially when you come on the road with all eyes against you and nobody believed but us. We feel like we let another one slip. It’s painful knowing we didn’t play our best ball and we were still right there. Coach always tells us our best is good enough, but obviously we didn’t play our best.
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