BYU vs. Texas State Postgame Notes and Quotes
FLAG BEARERS: Jake Oldroyd, Connor Pay, D’Angelo Mandell, Matt Criddle
COIN TOSS: Khyiris Tonga, BYU won the toss, deferred to the second half. BYU has won the toss five of six games.
SERIES RESULTS: 1-0
BYU is 6-0 for the first time since 2008. It is the fifth time the Cougars have started 6-0 (2008, 2001, 1984, 1979).
BYU scored more than 40 points for the fifth time in six games. It’s the first time in school history the Cougars have topped 40 points in five of the first six games of a season. It was the second time this season BYU topped 50 points. The Cougars have hit the 50 mark five times under Kalani Sitake, including two times this year.
Spreading it around
BYU set a school record with 14 receivers catching a pass, with quarterback Zach Wilson even getting in on the action on a 16-yard catch from receiver Neil Pau’u. Five of the receivers caught multiple passes.
BYU outgained its opponent again, making it every game this year, going for 579 yards and holding the Bobcats to 267. The Cougars held Texas State to just 13 yards in the second quarter after giving up 117 in the first.
BYU has thrown for 200+ yards in 21 consecutive games with another 352 tonight. It is the longest streak since 26 in a row over the 2007-09 seasons.
Wilson completed 18 of 21 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. It was the fourth time in six games this year he threw for 200+ in the first half. He finished the game early in the third quarter, ending his night 19 of 25 for 287 yards and four touchdowns. It was the first time in his career he has had back-to-back games with four touchdown passes. Wilson also added 15 rushing yards, giving him 503 career rushing yards. He joins just five other BYU quarterbacks with 500+ (Taysom Hill, Virgil Carter, Steve Young, Riley Nelson, Brandon Doman).
Dax Milne posted 89 receiving yards and one touchdown on four receptions. He now has 639 receiving yards this season. Only Eric Drage in 1992 (748) and Austin Collie in 2008 (673) had more receiving yards in the first six games.
Kaufusi recorded his first career pick-six on a 32-yard return in the third quarter. It was his first interception of the year and fifth of his career. He also finished with five tackles.
Rex caught two touchdown passes and had a career-best five receptions for 66 yards. It was the first time in his career the tight end has caught two touchdown passes in a game.
Notable career highs/career firsts
Career-high receptions: Isaac Rex (5)
Career-high receiving yards: Isaac Rex (66)
First career reception: Hank Tuipulotu (20 yards)
First career rush: Ryan Rehkow (49 yards)
Career-high INT return yards: Isaiah Kaufusi (32)
Career-high TDs: Isaac Rex (2)
First career TD: Isaiah Kaufusi, Keanu Hill
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
I’m happy we got the win. It started out a little rough. I think Texas State had some new wrinkles in their scheme that we hadn’t seen all year long. We were able to adjust, but that first drive went quick and wish we could have gotten that one back. We have our defense set up so that if we get that look we’re ready for it, but usually it is only one or two plays and they did it for most the night. They did a lot of wide splits and things we hadn’t seen. A lot of credit to Texas State for being innovative and creative in finding ways to get the ball down the field and get a score early. I’m glad our guys settled down and our offense was able to keep playing and stay on top of it to give us some time to make adjustments to our defensive scheme. I love the way our guys responded all night and I’m looking forward to fixing things we can improve on from this week and play better next week against Western Kentucky.
On Zach Wilson’s long touchdown pass to Dax Milne
He’s got a really strong arm. We’ve seen him do that over and over and over again, it’s nothing new. I’m just glad he was able to make that throw. I’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks try to make that throw and end up throwing it short. It was a nice pinpoint throw. I was happy with a lot of things we did offensively with Zach and some of the decision making he made. I know there are some passes he wishes he could have back, but he was able to capitalize and make some nice throws.
On the defense adapting to Texas State’s offense
We needed to make adjustments. Ilaisa Tuiaki did an amazing job organizing it from the box. Him, Preston Hadley, Jernarno Gilford, Ed Lamb, our graduate assistants and our defensive analysts did a great job at trying to establish what we were going to do. It was something that we weren’t expecting. I didn’t know they were going to do it so much. Not only did they do it, but they did it a lot. We actually went into it with a different scheme, but we had to change on the fly. I like what they did and the proof is what we did the rest of the game.
On 14 different BYU receivers catching passes in the game
I thought looking at Zach Wilson and Baylor Romney and the way they spread the ball out we were able to get some guys involved in the game. Obviously, we got some good looks at some younger guys. We just kept our offense rolling a little bit. I’m just happy that a lot of them got some of their first live reps with the ball in their hands. It’s good to throw the ball around a little bit against a look you can’t get in practice.
On having fans back in LaVell Edwards Stadium
It was so good to see our fans at home. It was so good to see them last week in Houston. They made a lot of noise and I’m pretty sure we used all 6,000 tickets. That 6,000 that came made a lot of noise and I’m really happy they were able to enjoy the game. We’ve had a lot of games without fans this season so that was a lot of fun. I’m just really thankful that they were able to be here and cheered our guys even when the game was easily in control. Looking forward to seeing all our fans get here and fill this place up as soon as we get things right.
On Isaiah Kaufusi’s interception return for a touchdown
He willed that to happen. He’s been waiting for that opportunity for a long time. I knew as soon as he caught the ball he was going to be gone. He’s so smart. I wish I could take his brain and put it in all of our players. His football IQ is amazing and his instincts are amazing. I’ve been so impressed with the things he’s done as a player. It’s such an honor to coach him. You got to see some of his athleticism that he used back at Brighton High School when he would run the ball a bit. I hope we capitalize on other opportunities to get turnovers and cause more destruction.
BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi
On the defense’s play in the second quarter
I think just credit to Coach Tuiaki up in the booth. Being up there it gave him a different perspective and he could see things from a different view. We made some adjustments, but I think the main emphasis was just to settle down. They came out that first drive and were doing some crazy things and caught us off guard. We made a good adjustment but I think once we settled in and played our game that was the biggest reason why we were able to have that success.
On his interception
It’s been a long time coming. I try and visualize a lot of things because I am a big believer in visualization and I saw myself getting in the end zone. I told a teammate of mine who wasn’t at the game that I would get a pick six for him as I was driving to the stadium. I told our camera guy that I was getting in the end zone tonight. Before that drive I brought the defense up and I said we need a big play. We need to create a big play. I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and was just determined to get in the end zone. It’s a great feeling in front of my family who was in attendance. To have that pick six in Lavell Edwards Stadium will be a memory I will cherish forever. I am really pumped about it.
On becoming a complete player
A lot of it comes back to quarantine when nobody was there to watch you or force you to do anything so I really had to dig deep and decide who I wanted to be and how quarantine would affect me. My mentality switched and I worked really hard…I just wanted to become better in all aspects of the game and quarantine was a huge blessing for me. I got my body feeling really good. I was able to recover and get my body in the right place. The process was putting in work every single day. Nobody was watching and here the fruits of my labor are coming through.
BYU offensive lineman Brady Christensen
On going on fourth down early in the game
We came in knowing that we were going to go for it more on fourth downs and be aggressive. They have their analytics to look at to see what we should do. We’re never surprised when the call comes in. We always know that we’ve got to buckle up on fourth down and short. We’ve got to make a play to back our coaches up for being aggressive.
On having an efficient offense
That’s what you want. It’s fun football when you are scoring on every drive. It’s fun to see them make plays and it was spread out through a lot of different guys. As an offensive linemen it just brings me joy for our offense to look like that.
BYU tight end Isaac Rex
On being part of the offense performance
It’s so fun being around this offense. We are clicking on every cylinder. We are all playing fast and physical. I really love being with everyone on the team from the quarterback to the wide receivers to the O-line and the rest of the tight ends. We are playing at a really high level so we just need to keep it up and keep working.
On Zach Wilson’s performance
Zach is killing it this whole season…Zach will find you and he’s a stud and will keep getting better as time goes on. He’s finding all of us and a lot of our receivers are catching the ball. He’s not just looking for one receiver, we are all contributing and making plays which is awesome.
Texas State head coach Jake Spavital
On how his team played tonight
They still played. They were such a good team that we were playing and we had difficulty just doing some simple execution in terms of just moving them. They are a talented team and we came out and threw a lot of different wrinkles at them for a shot because we knew they were a good team. They did finish the game and I am pleased with that, but we can’t have so many mistakes. We did some uncharacteristic things so we’ve got to clean up. We are a young team and we’ve got to keep playing. Eventually things will start going our way if we learn from our mistakes and keep pressing forward.
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