LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – With BYU down to its third string quarterback, the Cougars turned to Tyler Allgeier, and the Cougars star running back took over.
Allgeier rushed for a career-high 218 yards and three touchdowns as BYU held off Utah State, 34-20, to improve to 5-0 on the season.
“I just love that guy, he’s a real stud,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said about Allgeier.
Baylor Romney started in place of the injured Jaren Hall, and completed 15 of 19 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown to Isaac Rex, all in the first half. But at the end of the half, Romney was slammed to the turf and suffered an apparent concussion.
Freshman Jacob Conover played the entire second half and struggled, as Utah State got back in the game. Logan Bonner connected on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Deven Thompkins to pull the Aggies to within 27-20.
But Allgeier then busted off a 67-yard run, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:40 left to ice the game for the 13th-ranked Cougars.
“It was a great team win,” Allgeier said. “The offense had the defense’s back and the defense had the offense’s back. It was a matter of everyone doing their 1/11, doing their job. Our offensive line did a great job tonight.”
The BYU defense held the Aggies to just 22 yards rushing on 35 carries. Bonner completed 21 of 41 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
The win moves BYU to 5-0 to begin the season for just the seventh time in program history and first time in back-to-back seasons.
“It was a fun game,” said Sitake. “Thought it was a really, really cool environment. Just really, I mean it was loud and a lot of fun. A lot of credit to Utah State and their fans being loud tonight and showing up and supporting their team. Just like to thank all the fans that showed up for us. Glad that we were able to ground out the win. It wasn’t easy. Utah State, give them a lot of credit, they made things really difficult for us to get this win. But I’m just proud of our players and the way they made enough plays to win the game. Really happy with our players but really happy with our coaches, the adjustments that they made and the things that they did with playcalls on offense, defense, and special teams. Really happy.”
“What a game, honestly. What an atmosphere,” said Utah State head coach Blake Anderson. “That was an unbelievable crowd, electric environment, everything you want Friday night football to be. I’m extremely proud of our guys’ battle, we played a lot better than we did a week ago. We got better this week. We were frustrated with how we finished a week ago, with a lot of mistakes.”
BYU jumped out to a 10-0 lead after Malik Moore intercepted a pass on the first possession of the game, setting up Allgeier’s first touchdown run.
The Cougars extended the lead to 17-3 when Romney hit Isaac Rex on a 15-yard scoring strike to give BYU a 17-3 lead. But Utah State went on a 19-play drive, capped by a Bonner touchdown pass to Justin McGriff to cut the deficit to seven points.
Allgeier then rumbled 59 yards for a touchdown to give BYU a 24-10 lead. After a Utah State field goal, Romney was trying to lead a last-minute drive when he was slammed to the turf, ending his night.
The Cougars scored on their first four drives and averaged 9.1 yards per play before halftime. Romney completed his first eight passes, and Allgeier nearly eclipsed 100 rushing yards before halftime.
But when Conover took over, the BYU offense struggled for most of the second half, scoring just a field goal before Allgeier’s game-clinching touchdown. Conover threw for 45 yards on 5-of-9 passing in his college debut.
After Romney’s injury, BYU became more conservative and punted on three straight drives in the third quarter before getting back on track behind Allgeier’s running.
Puka Nacua led the Cougars in receiving with three catches for 62 yards. Thompkins had nine catches for 162 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies.
BYU linebacker Ben Bywater, starting in place of the injured Keenan Pili, led the Cougars with nine tackles, including three tackles for loss. Jakob Robinson added an interception for BYU.
Jake Oldroyd set a BYU record with his 16th consecutive field goal in the first half, before missing a kick at the end of the first half.
“We played all 60 minutes,” Thompkins said. “We played the whole entire game. Same thing we did against Boise. Every time we do get down, it sucks but we still play hard the whole entire time.”
BYU next hosts Boise State on October 9th at 1:30 p.m. while Utah State has a bye week before playing at UNLV October 16th.