BYU’s Undefeated Dreams Are Dashed After Boise State Pulls Off Upset
PROVO, Utah -The perfect season dream for BYU football is over. Boise State gave BYU a dose of the medicine the Cougars dealt in 2019, upsetting the Cougars 26-17 in Provo.
The Cougars hosted the Broncos at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah on Saturday, October 9.
Here’s a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of what took place in the Cougars loss to Boise State.
1st Quarter: BYU Football off to hot start
BYU gave the start to QB Jaren Hall and the Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Explosive plays were on display from brothers Puka and Samson Nacua. Samson Nacua had an impressive “give me that” type of catch to put BYU up by double digits.
Boise State had a quick answer with a field goal to bring it back to a one possession.
BYU ran some shotgun with split running backs, a different look than the Cougars have used this season on offense.
This was a disastrous quarter for BYU football. The diaster was on BYU’s fourth offensive series. Star running back Tyler Allgeier put the ball on the turf allowing Boise State to take over deep in BYU territory on the Cougars 24 yard line. Two plays later, Cyrus Habibi-Likio, a backup running back for Boise State in replace of an injured George Holani found the endzone to tie up the game.
BYU’s next touch of the football resulted in another fumble. This time it was Lopini Katoa returning a kickoff. Katoa was filling in as a returner for return specialist Caleb Christensen who is out with an injury. So Boise had another drive in BYU territory. BYU forced Boise into a 3rd & Goal from the one-yard line giving everyone possible flashes of a memorable goal line stand like the 2012 game between these two. But Boise State made sure that didn’t happen as they scored on a one-yard TD run to take the lead.
It was the first time this season that BYU has trailed all year. Only Alabama and Michigan are the last remaining teams who haven’t trailed this season.
BYU’s offense then got a little aggressive opting to go for it on 4th & 2 near midfield. The Cougars did not convert on a Tyler Allgeier run against the nation’s 107th ranked rush defense. Getting stopped resulted in a turnover on downs and allowed Boise State time to add some more points before the half.
Boise tacked on a field goal to go into the halftime locker room up 20-10. The first time BYU trailed in a game since a win over San Diego State last December.
The Broncos opened up the second half with the football and BYU was in a lull. Boise gashed BYU on the ground and ate up the clock. They got all the way down to the red zone before having to settle for a field goal. BYU’s defense dialed up some pressure from Pepe Tanuvasa who got to Bachmeier on third down to force the field goal attempt.
Boise State hit the field goal to go up 23-10.
The following possession saw BYU’s offense show life again. They got Puka Nacua involved in back-to-back plays resulting in first downs. Jaren Hall took some hard hits for the first time in the game that made everyone hold their collective breath considering his injury issues.
BYU got down to the Boise State 47 yard line. They put themselves in a tough do-or-die 4th & 9 scenario. Hall made a strike to Neil Pau’u to convert the first down, giving life to the sellout homecoming crowd.
The next play saw Katoa cough up his second fumble of the day. Going into the game, he had never fumbled the ball in his entire BYU career. He had a run that appeared to break free for what had the potential of a score. But a Boise State defender closed in on him and Katoa coughed up the ball. A costly missed opportunity for BYU.
BYU’s defense then made some switches going to a four-man front and it resulted in a three-and-out.
The Cougars had their backs against the wall but they put together a series to get them into scoring position. BYU got down to the Boise State three-yard line. First down execution was a struggle for BYU all day, glared it’s ugly head again on an incomplete pass to Neil Pau’u. On second down, Allgeier was stuffed. The following play, Jaren Hall looked to improvise on a run from the three, he appeared to get near the goal line for a touchdown but he ran out of bounds for a two yard loss before getting near the goal line.
BYU then suffered another turnover on downs giving Boise possession again.
Defensive end/linebacker Pepe Tanuvasa created some more pressure to hassle Bachmeier forcing an intentional grounding and the Broncos to punt away.
BYU wasted no time as Hall found Gunner Romney on a deep pass for 59 yards. Setting up a one-yard Tyler Allgeier touchdown run two plays later to give BYU hope of completing a comeback.
BYU’s sold out crowd and student section, The ROC, started to make their voices heard trying to rattle Boise as they did with Arizona State. At first, it worked forcing Andy Avalos’ team to burn a timeout.
Bachmeier then turned to his favorite receiver, Khalil Shakir to seal the game. Shakir made a remarkable catch with Isaiah Herron and Ammon Hannemann covering him. The catch put the Broncos into the red zone and four plays later, the Broncos tacked on a field goal to put them up by two possessions.
Jaren Hall’s final offensive pass resulted in an interception that led to him taking a hard hit in his midsection. He was walking gingerly on the sideline after the hit.
With the result, BYU falls to 5-1 on the year and Boise State improves to 3-3.
BYU’s next game is on the road against the Baylor Bears (5-1) on Saturday, October 16 at 1:30 p.m. (MDT). Television information for the contest is still to be determined. The game will air on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
BYU Cougars Scoreboard
BYU Cougars Team Leaders
BYU Cougars Standings