BYU Falls To NIU In Low Scoring Match
PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars dropped a close game at home in a 7-6 loss to Northern Illinois.
Despite leading the game in nearly every statistical category, the Cougars were bested by NIU’s only score of the game on Saturday. Quarterback Marcus Childers’ 1-yard touchdown run that capped off the opening drive of the second half proved to be the difference for the Huskies.
Missed Opportunities For BYU
Skyler Southam, who made two field goals for the Cougars, missed a 51-yarder that would have given BYU a 9-7 lead with 9:27 remaining.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson completed 18-of-30 passing attempts for 208 yards. He threw an interception on the first play of the Cougars’ last chance with the ball, effectively ending the game and giving the Huskies the win.
By The Numbers
The Cougars picked up the loss despite outgaining the Huskies in yards with 301 total yards to just 204 by NIU. BYU also dominated the time of possession, holding on the ball for 34:48 to 25:12 by the visitors. Squally Canada and the BYU running game sputtered against the Huskies’ strong defense, picking up just 2.5 yards per rush.
Coaches Speak Afterwards
After the game, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake spoke on his frustrations after the result.
“We’re trying to find a way to make plays and we didn’t do enough in all three phases to win the game,” said Sitake. “Honestly when you look at the score 7-6, we’ve got to get more production from our offense and be more aggressive and establish our identity.”
NIU head coach Rod Carey had different feelings on the low-scoring affair.
“We’re obviously extremely happy with the outcome,” said Carey “The only number that matters is 7-6, that’s it. That was an old school ugly football game from start to finish. To give our team credit, we uglied it up. We uglied it up on offense, we uglied it up on defense and kicking game was really outstanding today.”
The Cougars will look to regroup next Saturday on the road against Boise State. The game will kick off at 8:15 and be broadcast on ESPN2.
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