AMHERST, Mass. (ABC4 Sports) – Zach Wilson threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns, while Jackson McChesney set a BYU freshman record, rushing for 228 yards and two scores as BYU won its fifth straight game, beating UMass 56-24.
The Cougars took a 49-0 lead at the half, and amassed 628 yards of total offense for the game.
BYU (7-4), gained 440 total yards in the first half alone, the fourth most in any half in program history. McChesney’s 228 rushing yards are the most by a BYU freshman and the sixth most in school history.
“I was really pleased with the guys,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I thought they played really well, assignment-sound on defense. On offense, I think the first drive was the only that didn’t end up in points, and the last one where we missed the field goal. So there are some things we need to keep working on but overall just really pleased with the way those guys worked.”
McChesney, former Lone Peak High star, was forced into action when Sione Finau tore his ACL Tuesday in practice. He ran for two TDs and had a 62-yard romp in the third quarter, the Cougars’ longest run of the year. Lopini Katoa and Aleva Hifo also ran for scores.
Wilson was 17 of 20, with TD passes to Tyler Allgeier, Katoa, Guner Romney and Talon Shumway, who had four catches for 92 yards. Tight end Matt Bushman had two catches for 36 yards, including the 112th catch of his career.
JJ Nwigwe’s interception of a Randall West pass set up Wilson’s 18-yard TD toss to Romney for a 42-0 lead. Dayan Ghanwoloku recovered his seventh career fumble, setting up Allgeier’s 3-yard TD run.
West was 15-of-21 passing for 131 yards for UMass (1-11), with TD passes to Zak Simon and Josiah Johnson. Bilal Ally, 127 yards on 26 carries, scored on a 46-yard run and Cooper Garcia kicked a 29-yard field goal.
BYU wraps up the regular season next Saturday at San Diego State, before playing in the Hawaii Bowl Christmas Eve.