BYU COUGARS

Lopini Katoa Carries BYU Into End Zone Against ECU

Oct 28, 2022, 7:05 PM | Updated: 7:05 pm
BYU Running Back Lopini Katoa Celebrates TD Run Against East Carolina...
BYU Running Back Lopini Katoa Celebrates TD Run Against East Carolina (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU leaned on the ground game early against ECU, helping them take the lead back in the second quarter. Senior running back Lopini Katoa had two big carries to get the Cougars into the end zone on their scoring drive.

Lopini Katoa Carries BYU Into End Zone

With starting running back Christopher Brooks unavailable against ECU, the experienced Lopini Katoa had the starting duties. Katoa helped lead BYU down the field on their second quarter touchdown drive, breaking off a pair of big runs.

On 1st & 15, Katoa broke off a 24-yard run to give BYU the first down and move them into ECU territory. Three plays later Katoa had another 24-yard run, this time navigating defenders to get into the end zone. His touchdown run with 12:56 left in the second quarter gave BYU a 10-7 lead.

Katoa returned to Provo for his final season in 2022, utilizing an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic. Kat0a had 42 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown coming into the 9th game of the season for the Cougars.

BYU/ECU Notes

  • The all-time series between the two teams is 1-1. BYU’s victory was in 2015, with Tanner Mangum at quarterback.
  • Weather forecast calls for a low of 30 degrees this evening. The sunset will take place at 6:28 p.m. (MT).
  • BYU is 8-3 overall in Friday night games in the Kalani Sitake era (since 2016).
  • BYU will be without their leading running back Chris Brooks and leading receiver Kody Epps due to injury.
  • East Carolina is led by coach Mike Houston. Houston graduated from an out-of-this-world name for a college, Mars Hill University (’94), which is located in North Carolina.
  • Last week, ECU defeated a future Big 12 program in UCF. They will look for their second consecutive win over a Big 12 team tonight in BYU.
  • TV announcers for tonight’s game include former 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware as the analyst. Ware has been known to give high praise to BYU in the past. Back in 2009, he predicted BYU to defeat Oklahoma. Then from 2018-20, Ware was the leader of the Zach Wilson fan club when he was the QB at BYU.
  • East Carolina is 7th nationally in third down conversion percentage at 52.5%. BYU’s defense is 128th in, stopping their opponents on third down.

Dallen Graff is a KSL Sports Contributor. He is the Producer of Cougar Sports Saturday (SUBSCRIBE) on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Twitter.

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