No. 8 BYU rolls past North Alabama 66-14
PROVO, Utah — No. 8 BYU rolled past North Alabama 66-14 Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium to remain unbeaten on the season.
The Cougars (9-0) jumped out to a quick 35-0 lead and never looked back, gaining a total of 555 total yards of offense. BYU’s defense held the Lions (0-4) to 354 yards and forced three turnovers.
Zach Wilson went 10 for 16 with 212 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead the Cougars through the first two quarters, adding 33 yards on the ground. Baylor Romney took over the offense in the second half and went 8 for 10 with 65 passing yards and a touchdown pass of his own.
Dax Milne led all receivers with 101 yards on four receptions, while Gunner Romney hauled in two catches for 60 yards. Isaac Rex and Kavika Fonua tallied two touchdown receptions apiece, while Neil Pau’u added one. Tyler Allgeier led BYU’s ground attack with a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns. Miles Davis added another two rushing touchdowns and 54 yards on just four carries.
Malik Moore sparked the Cougar defense with a team-high five tackles to go along with an interception and a pass breakup. Earl Tuioti-Mariner had three tackles, including two sacks, while Payton Wilgar and Uriah Leiataua each recorded a forced fumble on the contest.
First Quarter Review
Wilson connected with Gunner Romney over the top for a 50-yard gain on the BYU offense’s first play of the game, putting the Cougars at the Lion 30-yard line. A 14-yard rush by Allgeier, followed by a 15-yard reception by Isaac Rex, then brought BYU down to the 1-yard line. Wilson found Rex again two plays later in the back corner of the endzone, putting the Cougars up 7-0.
A third-down sack by Isaiah Kaufusi on North Alabama’s ensuing possession forced a Lion punt and gave BYU the ball back at its own 9-yard line. Wilson escaped pressure in his own endzone on the first play of the following Cougar drive before scrambling up the middle for a 33-yard gain. Wilson connected with Milne on back-to-back plays later in the drive for gains of 11 and 20 yards, respectively, bringing BYU to the North Alabama 25-yard line. Allgeier then pounded the ball up the middle on three consecutive plays, finishing off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and putting the Cougars up 14-0.
- Wilson’s 33-yard run was his longest of the season.
- After outscoring North Alabama 14-0, BYU has now outscored its opponents 94-26 in the first quarter of play this year.
Second Quarter Review
Milne hauled in a 12-yard reception from Wilson on the first play of BYU’s ensuing offensive possession before a 13-yard rush by Allgeier put the Cougars at their own 39-yard line. BYU continued to pound through the Lions on the ground, as a 30-yard run by Allgeier down the sideline brought the Cougars to the North Alabama 11-yard line. Allgeier once again finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, increasing BYU’s lead to 21-0.
The Cougar defense forced a turnover on downs on the following Lion drive, giving BYU’s offense the ball back at its own 38-yard line. The Cougars quickly took advantage, as an Allgeier 39-yard rush on the second play of the drive brought BYU to the Lion 19-yard line. Wilson connected with Pau’u on the following play in the corner of the endzone, putting BYU up 28-0.
The Cougar defense came away with another turnover on the ensuing possession, as Isaiah Kaufusi picked up a fumble forced by Payton Wilgar and returned it 50 yards to the North Alabama 6-yard line. After three straight runs set up fourth-and-goal from the Lion 2-yard line, Wilson once again found Rex in the endzone to give BYU a 35-0 advantage.
North Alabama’s offense answered with a six-play, 75-yard drive capped with a 2-yard touchdown run by Howell to cut into the Cougars’ lead, 35-7, with 1:37 left in the half.
BYU’s offense continued to roll, as Wilson hit Milne in-stride for a 58-yard completion on the first play of the next drive to put the Cougars at the Lion 17-yard line. Three plays later, Wilson found Kavika Fonua with a sidearm pass and Fonua scampered into the endzone, giving BYU a 42-7 lead into the half.
- Allgeier has now scored two touchdowns in a game three times this season, the previous two times coming against Navy and Boise State.
- The fumble recovery was Kaufusi’s second this season and fourth of his career.
- Rex has scored two touchdowns in back-to-back games and for the third time overall this season.
- BYU’s 42 first half points is a season high, topping the 35-point output against both Texas State and Western Kentucky.
Third Quarter Review
Malik Moore picked off North Alabama quarterback Rett Files on the first play of the Lions’ first drive of the half, giving BYU’s offense the ball on the North Alabama 39-yard line. Baylor Romney found Carter Wheat for a 25-yard reception before connecting with his brother, Gunner, for a 10-yard gain to bring the Cougars to the Lion 8-yard line. Fonua then hauled in a 7-yard touchdown reception from Romney to build BYU’s lead to 49-7.
After North Alabama’s offense marched down to the Cougar 31-yard line on the next drive, back-to-back sacks by Earl Mariner-Tuioti forced a turnover on downs. A 16-yard rush by Fonua followed by an 11-yard scramble by Romney quickly put BYU in Lion territory. Romney then found Daivs Miles for a 7-yard completion and Kody Epps for an 8-yard reception, putting the Cougars at the North Alabama 11-yard line. Davis found room around the edge two plays later, running untouched into the endzone to put BYU up 56-7.
- Moore’s interception was his first of the season and second of his career. He also had a pick against New Mexico State in 2018.
Fourth Quarter Review
The Lions opened the final quarter with a six-play, 69-yard drive, scoring on a 29-yard touchdown reception by Jakobi Byrd to cut their deficit to 56-14.
After back-to-back punts from both teams, the Cougar offense took over from their own 28-yard line with just more than seven minutes left in the contest. A 22-yard rush by Davis followed by consecutive scrambles by Romney put BYU at the North Alabama 40-yard line. After the Cougars came up short from gaining another first down, Jake Oldroyd nailed a 53-yard field goal to put BYU up 59-14.
Uriah Leiataua forced a Lion fumble two plays into the ensuing possession, which was recovered by Micah Harper at the North Alabama 26-yard line. Davis scored again on the first play of the BYU offense’s drive, sealing the 66-14 Cougar win.
- BYU has scored more than 60 points for the first time since scoring 70 against Wagner in 2015.
- Wilson has achieved a QB efficiency rating over 200 in seven of nine games this year and 10 times overall in his career. He has also thrown four touchdowns in a game three times this season and five times in his career.
- Allgeier’s 141 rushing yards is a career high. He has recorded over 100 yards on the ground in back-to-back games.
- Oldroyd’s 53-yard field goal is his second of over 50 yards this year and third of his career.
Up next on BYU’s schedule is San Diego State, who the Cougars will host on Saturday, Dec. 12 in the all-black uniforms. Kickoff time and TV broadcast plans will be announced at a later date.
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