Cameron Muh | Posted: 6 Nov 2021 | Updated: 10 Nov 2021

BYU vs. Idaho State Postgame Notes and Quotes

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Jaren Hall back to pass vs. Idaho State

ALUMNI FLAGS: Ben Criddle (‘05-’07), Devin Mahina (‘10-‘14), Travis Tuiloma (‘10-’11, ‘14-16), Mike Madsen (‘99-’02)
TEAM FLAGS: Matt Criddle, JT Gentry
Attendance: 63,470

Senior Day

BYU honored 3 seniors (Jared Kapisi, Samson Nacua, Uriah Leiataua) and 11 other players (Tyler Allgeier, Matthew Criddle, JT Gentry, James Empey, Drew Jensen, Lopini Katoa, Jason Money, Neil Pau’u, Gunner Romney, Earl Tuioti-Mariner and Joe Tukuafu) who are finishing their 4th or 5th collegiate season and still have the option to return to complete additional eligibility thanks to the 2020 COVID-19 season or other factors.

Quarterback Play
Jaren Hall’s touchdown pass to Lopini Katoa in the first quarter gave him 13 touchdown passes on the year. The Cougars have had quarterbacks throw 13+ touchdowns in back-to-back seasons for the first time since Christian Stewart and Tanner Mangum did so in 2014 and 2015.

Stout Defense
BYU did not allow an Idaho State completion in the first quarter. The Bengals were 0-4 passing, only running 10 plays in the quarter for a total of two yards of offense.

The Cougars defense held Idaho State to 14 points and 238 total yards of offense, both lows for BYU opponents this season. 

Spreading it Around
Nine different BYU receivers caught passes for a total of 387 receiving yards. Five separate wideouts caught a touchdown pass and eight Cougars carried the ball on the ground for 173 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Special Teams
Keanu Hill blocked an Idaho State punt in the fourth quarter. Hill recovered the blocked punt in the end zone, marking the first blocked punt for a touchdown since Air Force in 2004. 

Putting up Points 
BYU has scored 125 points between the last two games, setting a school record. The previous high was 124 points in 1980 after scoring 83 against UTEP and 41 against North Texas.

Tyler Allgeier

Allgeier scored his 17th touchdown of the season on BYU’s opening drive, moving him into a tie for seventh all-time at 30 career touchdowns with Lakei Heimuli (1983-1986).

Jaren Hall
With his rushing touchdown in the first quarter, Hall has three games this season with at least one passing and rushing touchdown. He has four such games in his career. Hall also has a passing touchdown in seven of his eight games this season.

Hall accounted for five touchdowns in the first half, four passing and one rushing. BYU quarterbacks have only recorded at least four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a game three other times. The last to do so was Christian Stewart against Savannah State in 2014, who had four passing and two rushing touchdowns. 

It was also the 23rd time a BYU quarterback threw for four touchdowns in a half. 

Keanu Hill
Hill had a career day with four receptions, 92 yards and one receiving touchdown. He also blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.

Kaleb Hayes
Breaking up a pass in the second quarter, Hayes extended his team-high total this season to eight. He entered the game ranked No. 12 nationally in pass breakups.

Puka Nacua
The wideout recorded back-to-back games with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown after catching a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Nacua has four 100-yard receiving games this season. Dax Milne was the last player to have back-to-back 100-yard receiving games and did so last season.

Dallin Holker
Holker caught his first touchdown pass since returning home from serving an LDS mission. It was his second career touchdown (Hawaii, 2018). Holker had two catches for 31 yards in the game.

Notable career highs/career firsts
Interception: Pepe Tanuvasa
Passing touchdowns: Jaren Hall (4)
Interception: Matthew Criddle
Carries: Hickley Ropati (4)
Rushing yards: Hinckley Ropati (15)
Receiving yards: Keanu Hill (92 yards)
Kickoff: Cash Peterman
Punt block, PBR for TD: Keanu Hill
Tackle: Jacob Bosco, Kade Pupunu, Josh Larsen, Hunter Greer, Alema Pilimai and Fisher Jackson
Total Tackles: Jackson Kaufusi (6), Matthew Criddle (5)

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
On Players' Performance
We knew that if we took care of business and played the right way that we would be okay, do the right thing, play the right way, but you always want to respect your opponents.

I thought our guys took advantage of making more plays, grateful for the game and for our guys to finish the right way and thought it was really good for a bunch of young guys to get meaningful reps.

On Recognizing the Seniors
I thought it was important that if it is their last game we recognize them and give them a chance to do the senior walk at the end and go through the whole festivities.

We’re having some discussion to see what’s best for them and with the [11 guys]. We’ll figure out what’s next for them and go from there.

On Keanu Hill
We knew he was something special and he’s shown that he can do it on the field throughout the season. We needed to rely on him a bit more today.

I think he felt like he was going to block a punt, he kept telling us he would block one.

On Progress Report
There’s been a lot of changing lineups. We’ve had a lot of guys just get banged up and we had to just fill in with different starters.

I thought through 10 weeks our guys did a great job at instructing our players. I thought the players really answered the call when their number was up to be on the field.

I think we’re in a really good spot now, 10 weeks in the row is not easy, especially when you’re playing a lot of the teams we’ve played and the physical football that we saw.

On Band and Fans
Just being able to connect with them and see the things that they do. It’s a big part of BYU, just the whole experience with having them. How awesome was it to see fans packing the stands for this FCS game. It meant a lot to our players. We love and appreciate them, and it wasn’t just this game, it was the entire season.

On Honoring the Military Today
We just wanted to recognize them and everything they do for the freedoms in our lives and the lifestyles we have. We just can’t show enough appreciation for what they do. I think we can be mindful of the sacrifices others make for us, it’s really important.

On Embracing the Community
I think it’s something the guys teach me. I have a great group of young men that have a ton of appreciation and gratitude for the fans and everyone, for everyone at BYU, for the faculty and staff and most importantly their loved ones. These young men are special and make me a better person.

BYU wide receiver Keanu Hill
On tonight’s game:
I think we performed how we expected to. We came out, played our type of football, didn't really focus too much on Idaho State and just really wanted to focus on what we had to do.

On the punt block:
Coming into the week, Coach Griffitts told us if we get a block punt or kick return back to the house, I'm going to shave my head. This entire week, I was always just that close from blocking a punt from Ryan Rekhow. I told myself when I got to the game, he's a left pointing kicker, so I knew I was going to get there.

On his attitude with his opportunity to play a bigger role:
I feel like I'm always improving every week. I already know coach knows what I can do on the field. I’ve shown it. So just to be ready when coach Fesi calls my name and go in and make plays, as he believes in me and I believe in myself.

BYU defensive back Matt Criddle
On play opportunities tonight:
It was just a major blessing. It's a dream come true that I got this opportunity. I'm grateful for the outcome, and to be able to make the most of it with the opportunities I was given. I'm just grateful for the coaches for trusting in me and my teammates as well.

On celebrating senior day:
I could come back another year if I wanted to, but I feel like some guys feel like their purpose as a BYU football player has been fulfilled. I know there's a few guys who are looking to move on to the NFL and take that next step seriously. But for me, I just felt like it would be smart to celebrate this as my senior day because I feel like my time has come to an end. 

On the season so far:
We can't be disappointed with our record currently, but we've had a lot of injuries, a lot of difficulties that way. We've had a lot of guys step up in different ways. I think we showed how dominant we were in the first half, and in the second half we had some other guys step up and play. I thought we did a great job overall. I'd say our team is in a good spot.

On where the program is at now:
My first spring was 2018, and we had a better year that year than the year before. Ever since then, we've just gotten a little better and a little better. We've grown as a team, and that's due to the coaches and players all coming together as one and having a single goal in mind, to constantly improve and work together as a team to achieve our goals.

BYU defensive lineman Uriah Leiataua
On senior recognition:
I can’t believe it’s over, it really does go by in a flash. I just feel really grateful. It’s a mix of emotions.

On the team’s performance today:
I loved seeing all the younger guys get reps in today. In our warm ups, we have a circle for D-lineman, and all of a sudden our circle was huge today. I was glad to see a lot of them play.

On the seeing the program’s improvement:
It’s so rewarding. Kalani has found his groove and I’m so glad the foundation we’ve laid is starting to pay off. Like I said earlier in the year, last year was not a fluke. This is a continued thing we want to build. Hopefully next year, when I’m gone, the seniors next year can build up on that. 

On getting back on the field in two weeks:
I don't think it'll be that difficult at all. The emotions were pretty high today, but next week is the bye week. We need that; certain guys are banged up. But I don't feel like we'll skip a beat.

Idaho State head coach Rob Phenicie
On BYU’s Kalani Sitake
He had an article in the paper earlier today and he was talking about respecting the game and he does. I am getting choked up because I appreciate him. They could have come out and put 90 on us very easily. He said in the newspaper article you respect the game, you secure the win and you move on. I know there is a lot of people in the stands that thought [BYU] should have put 70 on us and he didn’t because he is a class act so I appreciate him.

On the exposure from today’s game
You’re exposed all right. You can play with anybody. If you feel that you’re a Power 5 recruit and you didn’t get a scholarship, here’s your chance to prove it. Some guys went out there and did their things. It’s good and our athletic department should greet us at home with a big party. We just supplemented a big portion of the budget by playing this game and they better have a party for us when we pull up at 8:30 tonight and thank us.

On Tyler Vander Waal being involved on the sideline
We had some coaches who were unable to attend practices and were quarantined. We were short bodies. Tyler drove down this morning. This is his first day out of quarantine. We needed someone to fulfill that role and that’s what Tyler did. I coached the receivers all week and he helped out with the quarterbacks.

On the team’s energy on the sideline
That’s something we do every practice. We call it “fourth quarter”. Whether we are up 50 or down 50, the fourth quarter we all come together and we finish the thing. We do it in practice. I want the guys to have fun in the fourth quarter and go shake it up. It’s get them going.