BYU Seniors Lead Cougars In Rout Over Idaho State
PROVO, Utah – For the third time in head coach Kalani Sitake’s era, the BYU football program is headed to a bowl game.
BYU rolled to a 42-10 victory over the Idaho State Bengals from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson made his return to the field after seven weeks away and was 19-31 for 187 passing yards. Wilson tossed two touchdown passes, both of which were to senior wide receiver Talon Shumway.
The two touchdowns were a single-game high in Shumway’s career. BYU’s leading receiver in yards was another senior in Micah Simon who’s playing the best football of his career at the moment. Simon had seven catches for 76 yards and was targeted nine times by Wilson.
The final score appears as though BYU blew out the Bengals, but things started out slow for the Cougars. BYU only had a 7-0 lead through the first quarter. The lone touchdown courtesy of an Austin Lee pick-six. Lee’s pick-six was the first of his BYU career and it took place in his final home game.
BYU’s offense started to click in the second quarter with a Micah Simon rushing touchdown for 12 yards. Then Sione Finau ran in for another touchdown and Shumway caught the first of his two touchdowns.
BYU went into the halftime locker room with a 28-3 lead. In the second half, BYU tacked on another two touchdowns, one of which courtesy of defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga.
The Cougars finished the day outgaining the Bengals by 178 yards. BYU was plus-one in the turnover margin with seniors Lee and Dayan Ghanwoloku picking off Idaho State passes.
BYU is now 6-4 on the season and on a four-game winning streak for the first time since the 2016 season.
Senior wide receiver Aleva Hifo was participating in warmups and suffered a “freak injury” during the pregame according to head coach Kalani Sitake that forced the senior to miss his final home game. Hifo will be further evaluated on Monday.
Baylor Romney missed Saturday’s game to rest his foot that he injured the week leading up to Utah State. Joe Critchlow stepped in for Zach Wilson in the fourth quarter.
Redshirt freshman running back Sione Finau rushed for 102 yards as he was the starting back with Lopini Katoa and Emmanuel Esukpa out due to injuries. Finau’s 102 yards was the first 100-yard rushing performance this season.
Next Up: One more east coast trip
BYU travels east one more time in 2019 to take on the UMass Minutemen on Saturday, November 23rd at Amherst, Massachusetts.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.