BYU’s powerful running back tandem may carry the load this season

Sports

PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – With Zach Wilson gone, there may be added pressure on BYU’s running game this season to carry the load.

If that is the case, the Cougars have the talent to do it.

Last season, Tyler Allgeier was 8th in the nation with 1,130 yards, and his 7.5 yards per carry were 7th best in the country. He has made numerous preseason watch lists, including the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back.

“That’s for sure a blessing,” Allgeier said. “All the credit goes to my offensive line, though. All the credit goes to them.”

Allgeier came to BYU as a running back from California in 2018. But he switched to defense and was excelling as a linebacker. Then at the end of the 2019 season, a slew of injuries forced him switch to back running back.

“Once, everyone started getting hurt in the running back room, they were like hey, we’re switching you back,” Allgeier said. “I just ended up doing my thing there.”

Now Allgeier and Lopini Katoa, who has rushed for 1,225 yards and 17 touchdowns in his three-year BYU career, have become a dynamic duo. In fact, one publication has them as the 8th best running back tandem in the entire country.

“We welcome any more attention we can get,” Katoa said. “We’d love to have the ball more. I think he and I both have a good balance of what we can both do. So I think you’ll see a lot of us both.”

“Me and Lopini do a really good job of just trusting each other,” Allgeier said. “So me and him have a pretty good relationship on and off the field.”

With a new quarterback at the helm this year, Allgeier and Katoa welcome all the attention they’re going to get from opposing defenses this season.

“Put on the pressure on us so it makes it easier for everyone else,” Allgeier said. “We always have that mindset when Zach was here and when Zach is not here. So just having all that pressure on us and doing whatever we can to help us win.”

“I feel like there’s always pressure,” added Katoa. “If we need to carry the weight, then we’re always ready for that. It’s something our coach always gets us ready for to carry the load if we need to.”

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