Despite Allgeier’s Big Game, No. 13 BYU Falls To UAB In Independence Bowl

Dec 18, 2021, 4:57 PM | Updated: 5:02 pm

BYU Football - Kalani Sitake - Indy Bowl...

Head Coach Kalani Sitake of the BYU Cougars on the field during the first half of a game against the UAB Blazers at the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

SHREVEPORT, La. – On a rainy, sleet-filled day at the Independence Bowl, BYU football fell to the UAB Blazers and lost for the third time this season.

The No. 13 Cougars played the Blazers in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana on Saturday, December 18.

UAB beat BYU, 31-28.

UAB jumps out to a big lead in the 1st quarter

The game opened up with both offenses getting a feeling out period. For BYU’s offense, that time took a little bit longer than UAB. The underdog Blazers jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind a scoring drive that included a pair of third down conversions (one of which was possibly an incomplete pass), capped off by a Dylan Hopkins touchdown pass to tight end Gerrit Prince.

BYU’s offense then started to put together an answer, but the drive appeared to stall in their own territory after a 3rd & 7 pass intended for wide receiver Keanu Hill. Hill took a hard hit from UAB’s Tyler Taylor and after a little bit of a delay, officials reviewed the hit and called Taylor for targeting.

BYU’s drive continued but ultimately stalled in UAB territory on a turnover on downs.

Two plays later, the Blazers had a two-possession lead as UAB’s star running back DeWayne McBride reeled off a 64-yard touchdown run that left everyone thinking, did BYU care to be here?

BYU responds in 2nd quarter, but UAB keeps lead

BYU’s star running back Tyler Allgeier wouldn’t let his team go down without a fight. The fourth-year ball carrier, who could potentially be playing his last game as a Cougar, ran in for a touchdown to get BYU on the board with 12:48 remaining in the second quarter.

Defensive end Tyler Batty heard the calls from Allgeier to roll over as he then put together back-to-back tackles for loss to force UAB into a three-and-out.

BYU punt returner Hobbs Nyberg returned UAB’s punt for 13 yards to give Baylor Romney and the offense a midfield starting point.

Romney, who stepped in for an injured Jaren Hall, capitalized, connecting with his younger brother Gunner for a 37-yard reception. A few plays later, UAB was called for a roughing the passer putting BYU at the UAB two-yard line, which setup a Samson Nacua TD run on a jet sweep in his final collegiate game.

At that point, it appeared that the No. 13 ranked team was awake and was going to take over. But UAB answered again on a broken play from BYU’s defense as UAB QB Dylan Hopkins connected with TE Gerrit Prince for a 23-yard touchdown, putting the Blazers back in front.

Tyler Allgeier becomes a record-setter in the 3rd quarter

BYU needed a big play jolt to start the second half, and they got just that from Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier on the second play of the third quarter popped off a 62-yard touchdown run with a signature dive for the score to tie the game at 21. The run made it a realistic possibility that Allgeier would be within striking distance of Luke Staley’s single-season rushing record in BYU football history.

UAB scored a field goal on the following drive that was stalled after a pair of back-to-back sacks from Tyler Batty. But the Blazers kept a 24-21 lead

BYU stayed on the attack getting down into UAB territory. Allgeier set the single-season rushing record on a 3rd & 4 run that set up a 4th down for BYU. BYU went for it with Masen Wake, and after a questionable spot, the Cougars gave the ball back to UAB on the Blazers 32-yard line.

The defense answered with a Hayden Livingston interception after Dylan Hopkins attempted a pass for big play receiver Trea Shropshire.

4th Quarter

BYU dug into their old bag of tricks from last season. The Cougars called what appeared to be play call “CHIEFS” that resulted in Baylor Romney with a flip pass to Masen Wake. Wake barreled down to the one-yard line to set up Tyler Allgeier’s third TD of the day.

The play call was reminiscent of Zach Wilson and BYU pulling out that call to Wake against the Houston Cougars last season.

UAB offense would not give up. The Blazers picked up two fourth downs, including a 4th & 1 on the BYU 14-yard line as Hopkins connected with Shropshire for a touchdown. Giving the Blazers the 31-28 lead with 6:17 remaining.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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.

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Despite Allgeier’s Big Game, No. 13 BYU Falls To UAB In Independence Bowl