PROVO – Zach is back, both playing and starting for BYU football.
Zach Wilson threw for 187 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in his first game since Sept. 28 to lead the Cougars to a 42-10 victory over FCS Idaho State in front of an announced crowd of 57,379 Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Sione Finau ran for 102 yards and one touchdown for BYU (6-4), and Micah Simon ran 34 yards and one touchdown in the win. Finau became BYU's first 100-yard rusher since Riley Burt pitched 110 in the famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Western Michigan in the 2018 season finale.
Talon Shumway, one of 19 seniors honored on Senior Day, took five passes for 41
"I am grateful to our players who played hard and gave the seniors what they needed: a win in their last game at home," BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “I am really grateful for the position we are in right now. We have a few dashes going on, and I look forward to being No. 7 next week on the road. "
Eight rushers took off for BYU football, including junior defender Khyiris Tonga, who scored on a 3-yard dive in the third quarter to give the Cougars a 42-3 lead.
After a slow start, two points and a series of early penalties that ended with 12 mistakes in the 85 meters, the Cougars opened the scoring via Austin Lee's interception return for a touchdown. Senior security collected an incorrect pass from the helmet of an Idaho State receiver and sprinted 26 yards for the score.
It was BYU's first pick of six since Micah Hannemann returned an interception 46 yards against Utah State on September 29, 2017 Lee finished with a team-high five tackles and one tackle for loss, in addition to the interception, in his last home game.
It started a 42-3 run that included a 12-yard touchdown run by Simon (giving him a passing, receiving and rushing touchdown in his senior year), a 16-yard point by Finau and back-to-back touchdown grabs by Shumway.
"It's always fun, especially when you win," Shumway said. “It's a bit sad to be the last time (at home). But it's not the last game, and I'm happy with it. "
The rough start gave way to the kind of game that most FBS vs. FCS challengers often end: with BYU streaming at 449 yards, split between 204 on the ground and 233 through the air, and ending with quarterback Joe Critchlow who completed 5-of-5 passes at 58 yards in his first season game.
But the beginning stuck with Wilson, even as some tried to blame the rust on his nearly seven-week-long layoff that included tumor surgery.
"That's no excuse," he said matter-of-factly. “They did some confusing things in front of them, changed a lot and stuttered their D-line. Some of their D-linemen shouted "Move!" And it made our linesmen react to the noise and jump. "
Shumway quickly said" I thought he was playing well, "when reporters asked Wilson about the game. But he also admitted there will be much to improve in the last two games of the regular season – plus an autumn bowl for the third "It was tough sometimes," Shumway said. "Overall, as a crime, we can be more flexible. There were many penalties, and we have things we can work on this week. we still won. ”
Remove the 66-yard scoring drive that ended with Kevin Ryan's 27-yard field goal, and a 54-yard TD run by Idaho State running back Malakai Rango, and the Cougars held their Big Sky & # 39; s Bengals (3-8) to 151 meters.
BYU is contracted to attend the SoFi Hawaii Bowl, which will be played December 24 in Honolulu, and formally accepted the invitation from ESPN Events in a short ceremony after the game at midfield.
Mountain West has reportedly worked to ensure that the University of Hawaii will receive a bid for the Hawaii Bowl, the Hawaii Star-Advertiser reported before the season. The Rainbow Warriors improved to 7-4 with a 21-7 victory at UNLV.
But ESPN's Pete Derzis could not confirm Cougar's opponents after extending the invitation to Aloha Stadium.
"It will be from the AAC or Mountain West," Derzis said. "But it will be fixed at a later date, when these things are played out."
"We were happy to invite (BYU). It's going to be good, "Derzis added. “They have a huge following in the Hawaiian Islands, so it's a kind of home for their fans and alumni who live there. And with a little warning in mid-November, hopefully some people will continue to get their air tickets booked before the holidays. "
Rango finished with 142 yards to lead Idaho State. Bengals quarterback Matt Struck completed 11-of-23 passes for 114 yards and two interceptions, including a second-half pick by Dayan Ghanwoloku.
BYU merges the regular the season of back-to-back road games against UMass and San Diego State.