PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU is going to be spending Christmas in Hawaii.
After pummeling Idaho State in its home finale, 42-10, BYU accepted an invite to the Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve.
Zach Wilson returned from a four-game absence because of a hand injury, and threw two touchdowns to Talon Shumway, while the Cougars defense forced two turnovers and held the Bengals to 271 total yards Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
On Senior Day, seniors Austin Lee, Dayan Ghanwoloku, Talon Shumway and Micah Simon all made big contributions for BYU.
“They each want to find ways to make a lot of plays,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “It was hard getting them off the field when we felt like we had a good lead and had the win on our shoulders. It was important that we gave a lot of guys reps on defense. They made some mistakes and we gave them some big plays.”
“It was fun,” said Lee, who returned an interception 26 yards for the game’s first score. “It was awesome. You never really think that you’re going to be in this position, but it’s harder now that it’s gone. It was a big blessing to come out here and make those types of memories and reflect upon all the memories I have in this stadium and all the relationships that I’ve developed, all the brothers and family that I’ve made over the years. It was really special to be out there with my boy, awesome to make memories with him.”
Wilson surpassed 3,000 career passing yards as he completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 187 yards and two touchdowns, but admitted to being a little rusty after his first action since September 28th.
“We got the win and overall we did some good things,” Wilson said. “We didn’t start well or have a great second half, but we had a lot of promising drives. We scored 42 points as a team.”
Sione Finau rushed the ball 16 times for 102 yards and a 16-yard score to become the first running back to top 100 yards for the Cougars this season.
Micah Simon led the team with seven receptions for 76 yards while also rushing three times for 34 yards and a 12-yard touchdown.
Defensive tackle Khyris Tonga capped the scoring for BYU with a 2-yard touchdown run to make the score 42-3.
BYU finishes the regular season with road games at UMass and San Diego State, before preparing for a bowl game opponent December 24th in Honolulu.
“Yeah, it’s huge,” Wilson said. “We get to go to Hawaii this year instead of Idaho, so that’s pretty exciting. We still have two more games until then that can be big wins for us. We need to get ready for those. However, knowing that we’re bowl eligible is nice.”