TOLEDO, Ohio (ABC4 Sports) – The news has gone from bad to worse for the BYU football team.
Quarterback Zach Wilson suffered on a thumb injury on a game-changing interception in the final minute in a 28-21 loss to Toledo.
Wilson was replaced by Jaren Hall on the Cougars final drive. After the game head coach Kalani Sitake said he expects Hall to be the starter when BYU returns from its bye week against South Florida in two weeks.
“It looks like we’ll have a new quarterback next game.” Sitake told BYUtv. “Jaren Hall will be our quarterback (against USF).”
Wilson completed 22 of 38 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns to Aleva Hifo, but threw a costly interception to Khalil Robinson, who returned the ball 40 yards to the BYU 2-yard line. Shakif Seymour scored on the next play with 51 seconds left to break a 21-21 tie.
Hall drove the Cougars to the Toledo 32-yard line, but his last pass fell incomplete in the end zone as time expired.
Emmanuel Esukpa, starting in place of the injured Ty’Son Williams, rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries, and scored BYU’s first touchdown on a 32-yard run in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 7-3 lead
The Cougars took a 14-3 lead early in the third quarter, as Wilson hooked up with Hifo on a 75-yard touchdown pass.
The Rockets eventually tied the game up on a touchdown pass from Mitchell Guadagni to Seymour and a 2-point conversion scored by Reggie Gilliam.
After a muffed punt by Toledo that was recovered by Dayan Ghanwoloku, Wilson threw a 3-yard pass to Hifo to put the Cougars up 21-14.
The Rockets then tied the game again early in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Bryant Koback setting up the dramatic finish.
Toledo was driving for a potential game-winning touchdown, when Chaz Ah You ripped the ball away from Koback at the 20-yard line.
But Wilson threw an interception on the very next play setting up Seymour’s game-winning touchdown.
Hifo finished the game with 5 catches for 111 yards, while Matt Bushman added 3 receptions for 45 yards.
“There is no one who is immune from getting criticism, myself included,” Sitake said. “I’m looking at the whole gambit of it all and being able to evaluate everything. From my decisions all the way down to the coaching staff, to the players. All that is being evaluated. We have a bye week next week, and it looks like we’ll be having a new quarterback for that next game, so we’ve got to be ready to go.”
Guadagni completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards, while 54 yards on 12 carries. The Rockets had 242 yards rushing as a team, led by Seymour, who had 96 yards on 19 carries.
BYU (2-3) now has a bye week before traveling to South Florida on October 12th.