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BYU football: Highlights, key plays, photos from 41-10 win over Western Kentucky – Deseret News

BYU’s seventh win was never in doubt, as the No. 11 Cougars scored on five first-half possessions before coasting to a 41-10 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday night.

The Cougars improved to 7-0 with the victory at LaVell Edwards Stadium, even while being outscored by the visiting Hilltoppers in the second half as, once again, BYU went deep into its depth chart in the final two quarters.

3 takeaways

Wilson leads an efficient first half

BYU had little trouble moving the ball in the first half behind quarterback Zach Wilson, as the Cougars scored touchdowns on their five possessions and put up 312 yards of offense before halftime.

That included drives of 75, 75, 84 and 88 yards, as Wilson threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, while also rushing for 35 yards and another score. Three of those drives took just over two minutes of game time.

Wilson played three quarters before giving way to Baylor Romney in the fourth, and the Cougars’ starting quarterback completed 18 of 32 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.

Tyler Allgeier added 95 yards rushing and a first-half touchdown, while Dax Milne added five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown grab late in the first quarter, his third straight game with a touchdown catch.

BYU finished the game with 410 yards of total offense and averaged 5.9 yards per play after slowing down in the last two quarters.

A sleepy second half

Through significant stretches in the second half, it felt as if BYU may have been getting a bit lackadaisical with such a big lead — the Cougars went into the break ahead 35-3.

Western Kentucky controlled the ball for more than 10 minutes in the third quarter and the Hilltoppers scored seven points in the second half while putting up 162 yards.

A rare mistake by Wilson led to WKU’s touchdown, as he threw his first interception since the season opener late in the third quarter when Wilson was trying to connect with Keanu Hill alongside the sideline.

The Hilltoppers finished with 262 yards of total offense.

Things to work on

Now, BYU can finally focus on what has set up as the biggest game of the season: Boise State. The Broncos, ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press poll heading into the weekend, rolled to a 49-30 win at Air Force earlier Saturday.

The Cougars play at Boise State next Friday night.

BYU left itself room for improvement after sleepwalking through the second half.

The Hilltoppers were 6 of 13 on third down, helping Western Kentucky chew up yardage on two time-consuming drives in the first and third quarters, respectively. While the BYU defense gave up few yards outside of those two drives and forced a turnover, those lapses helped stifle momentum the Cougars were trying to build.

The BYU offense also has things to work on, as the Cougars scored just once on five second-half drives. That came on a 49-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal, which was only possible after Oldroyd was ran into after missing a 54-yarder and setting up another try from 5 yards closer.

With the Broncos up next, the Cougars left themselves some things to tighten up before playing on the blue turf.


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End of fourth quarter

BYU 41, Western Kentucky 10

BYU scored once more, adding a Jake Oldroyd 45-yard field goal with 58 seconds to play as the Cougars turned to backup quarterback Baylor Romney and reserves across the board in the final quarter.

A few end-game notes:

  • Western Kentucky held a 33:04-26:56 edge in time of possession
  • BYU was 4 of 4 in the red zone and had just three penalties for 35 yards, while WKU had 10 penalties for 96 yards
  • The Cougars had 410 yards, though just 98 in the second half, and the Hilltoppers had 262 yards in the game

End of third quarter

BYU 38, Western Kentucky 10

The Cougars finally got something going in a sleepy third quarter, scoring on a 49-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal as the period ended.

A few notes through three quarters:

  • The Hilltoppers outscored BYU 7-3 in the third quarter and had a 10:10-4:50 edge in time of possession in the quarter
  • BYU has 356 yards of total offense to 189 for Western Kentucky
  • Zach Wilson’s first interception since the season opener set up the Hilltoppers’ touchdown, though he’s completing 18 of 32 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns

3:09, third quarter

BYU 35, Western Kentucky 10

Zach Wilson had his streak snapped at 184 consecutive passes without an interception when Dionte Ruffin picked him off at the BYU 31, then returned it 28 yards to the Cougar 3. On the next play, Tyrrell Pigrome threw a 3-yard pass to Joshua Simon for a touchdown, WKU’s first of the night.

4:54, third quarter

BYU 35, Western Kentucky 3

Like it did with its first drive in the first quarter, Western Kentucky opened the second half with a time-consuming drive and had a first-and-goal at the BYU. After 20 plays and four stops at the 1-yard line, though, the Cougars hold and keep the Hilltoppers from adding a touchdown.

End of second quarter

BYU 35, Western Kentucky 3

Zach Wilson connected with Isaac Rex on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left in the half to add to the Cougars’ lead.

A few notes from the first half:

  • BYU has 312 yards of total offense, including 203 through the air
  • Zach Wilson has completed 16 of 27 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns, and added five carries for 35 yards and another score
  • Western Kentucky has 100 yards of total offense and is 3 of 6 on third down, but BYU has run 44 offensive plays to just 26 for the Hilltoppers
  • Isaiah Kaufusi has four tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to lead the Cougar offense

7:44, second quarter

BYU 28, Western Kentucky 3

The Cougars marched quickly again, scoring on a Lopini Katoa 42-yard catch that capped a five-play, 84-yard drive. Zach Wilson is 12 of 17 for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and BYU has scored a touchdown on every possession so far.

9:55, second quarter

BYU 21, Western Kentucky 3

The Cougars have had little trouble moving the ball against WKU, scoring on their third drive on a 5-yard Zach Wilson run. That came after Isaiah Kaufusi set up the BYU offense at the Hilltopper 39 with a forced fumble and recovery.

Western has failed to score on its last two drives after scoring a field goal on its first.

End of first quarter

BYU 14, Western Kentucky 3

The Cougars have two scoring drives now — the second was also 75 yards, and this time took just six plays as BYU’s second touchdown came on a 23-yard pass to Dax Milne. That came after Western Kentucky used an eight-minute drive on its opening possession and scored on a 44-yard Brayden Narveson field goal.

A few notes from the first quarter:

  • BYU has 158 yards of total offense, and Zach Wilson has completed 8 of 11 passes for 115 yards and a score
  • Both teams are 2 of 3 on third down
  • BYU is averaging 8.8 yards per play and 14.4 yards per completion, while Western Kentucky is averaging 5.2 yards per play
  • The Cougars recovered a fumble late in the quarter to get them the ball again in Hilltopper territory

5:32, first quarter

BYU 7, Western Kentucky 0

BYU marched 75 yards on its opening drive — Zach Wilson completed 4 of 5 passes for 66 yards on the possession — and went up a touchdown when Tyler Allgeier scored from 2 yards out. A 38-yard catch by Gunner Romney set up the touchdown.

Western Kentucky, though, has a drive into Cougar territory on its first possession.

Pre-game

Here are a few links to stories you may want to read prior to or during the game:

Deseret News BYU football beat writer Jay Drew shares some personnel notes:

A look as both teams arrive for tonight’s game:

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