PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The BYU offense was struggling with Tanner Mangum at quarterback. Without him, the Cougars had no chance against #10 Wisconsin.
Beau Hoge made his first career start for the injured Mangum, and completed just 11 of 20 passes for 111 yards and two interceptions, while Alex Hornibrook threw for four touchdowns and 256 yards as the Badgers eased to a 40-6 victory over BYU on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The Badgers (3-0) met little resistance as they put the game away in the first half and led 24-6 at halftime.
“We have a lot of games left in the season so we need to find a way to win games,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “I was disappointed in the result, obviously. But if we had played our best game, I don’t know what the outcome would have been today. That is the type of team that you aspire to be. They did a good job of keeping us on our heels. They possessed the ball and played some great defense.”
Hornibrook missed on only one pass all day. He completed 10 of 11 passes in the first half for 149 yards and two touchdowns. The second half was more of the same as he hit on all eight attempts. The sophomore put up career highs in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completions. The 94.7 completion percentage was a single-game school record.
“It seemed like everybody was locked in,” Hornibrook said. “It just felt like a different energy on the field a little bit. I was glad that we saw our receivers have a great game, our running backs, our O-line. It just felt good as an offense.I think we came out with an edge.”
Jonathan Taylor gave the BYU defense fits as he repeatedly sidestepped defenders and finished runs with power. The freshman running back gained 128 yards and scored once on 18 rushes.
The Badgers’ first punt of the day didn’t come until the third quarter after scoring on all four first-half drives, including three touchdowns. The Cougars (1-3) were outgained 491 total yards to 192.
BYU quarterback Beau Hoge, son of former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Merril, made his first career start with Tanner Mangum out with an injury. Mangum was on the field with a boot on his left foot and used a scooter to move around the sideline.
Hoge threw an interception on his first attempt and never got a whole lot going. He managed 111 passing yards and had two interceptions. Freshman running back Ula Tolutau was the bright spot on an offense that has struggled all season. He ran for a career-high 58 yards on 13 carries.
“We were overwhelmed as a group,” Sitake said. “It’s just difficult to win games when you’re getting under 200 yards of production and you’re not getting in the end zone. And when our defense isn’t playing great, there’s the result — 40-6. We’ve got a long ways to go.”
“[Sitake] acknowledged that Wisconsin came in here and kicked our butts,” said BYU tight end Matt Bushman. “They played a great game. He also said we all need to do our parts. He talked about how we need to each do our 1/11th. We can’t be trying to do another guy’s job. We can’t be trying to do more than we can do. He just told us we have to stay together. We have a bye week and we have time to prepare for Utah State. We’re a little disappointed right now, but we need to step up. We need to take a moment to try and compete against these top-15 ranked teams.”
BYU next plays at Utah State on September 29th.