Allgeier scores five touchdowns in historic 66-49 win over Virginia


PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It was a record-setting, jaw-dropping night in Provo.

BYU and Virginia combined for 1,322 total yards and 115 points, the most ever at LaVell Edwards Stadium, as the Cougars eventually pulled away for a 66-49 victory.

Tyler Allgeier rushed for a career-high 266 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns, as the Cougars improved to 7-2 on the season, spoiling Bronco Mendenhall’s return to Provo.

Jaren Hall threw for a career-high 349 yards and three touchdowns. Hall also ran for 42 yards and another score. The Cougars (7-2) pulled away after scoring 21 points off three turnovers.

“Defensive coaches don’t really like this game, but it felt like an old-school BYU type of game,” Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said.

“We continued to execute on offense,” wide receiver Puka Nacua said. “That was the thing. It was either going to be a big advantage for somebody, or it was going to be a shootout, and they were ready for a shootout, and it was fun.”

Brennan Armstrong threw for 329 and four touchdowns to lead Virginia, and also tossed a pair of interceptions. Armstrong added 94 yards and two TDs on 11 carries. He left late in the fourth quarter after sustaining an apparent rib injury.

The Cougars were mired in a shootout with Virginia until forcing back-to-back turnovers in the fourth quarter.

After BYU took a 52-49 lead on Hall’s 10-yard pass to Neil Pau’u, Uriah Leiataua forced and recovered a fumble at the Virginia 31. Allgeier scored on a 31-yard run two plays later. Then, Drew Jensen picked off a pass from Armstrong at the BYU 35 and the Cougars cashed in with a 4-yard run by Allgeier that increased the lead to 66-49 with 7:12 left.

BYU could not have scripted a better start. The Cougars scored touchdowns on their first four drives and forced a turnover to bury Virginia in a major hole only a few minutes into the game.

“We had expected that of BYU,” said Mendenhall, who coached at BYU from 2005-2015. “They start fast against a lot of different teams. They jumped out on us quickly, but our team remained poised and composed. Our offense responded and we went in with a lead at half time. That’s tough to do.”

Hall threw a 52-yard pass to Samson Nacua on BYU’s first play and scored on a 2-yard run three plays later. The Cougars extended their lead on a 1-yard plunge by Allgeier, set up by Payton Wilgar picking off a pass from Armstrong and returning it to the Virginia 11. BYU extended its lead to 21-0 midway through the first quarter after Hall connected with Puka Nacua on a fade route for a 26-yard touchdown pass.

“It just felt like everything was flowing,” Hall said.

The Cavaliers finally got on the board when Armstrong scored on 5-yard run late in the first quarter. BYU answered with a 4-yard run by Allgeier to extend their lead to 28-7 less than a minute into the second quarter.

Then, the Cougars’ normally stout defense fell apart.

Virginia rallied before halftime behind a series of big plays. The Cavaliers scored touchdowns on six straight drives – including all five second-quarter drives.

Armstrong threw a 40-yard pass to Jelani Woods and a 70-yard pass to Dontayvion Wicks to cut BYU’s lead to seven. Then, Devin Darrington scored on a 49-yard run and Armstrong followed with a score on a 30-yard run that gave Virginia its first lead at 35-31.

The Cougars regained a 38-35 lead on a 40-yard catch by Samson Nacua. But Virginia went back in front 42-38 on a 12-yard catch by Billy Kemp just before halftime.

Coming out of halftime, the Cougars turned to Allgeier who ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, tying Taysom Hill for second most rushing yards in a half at BYU. 

Hall completed 22 of 37 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns while running for 42 yards and another score. 

BYU totaled 734 total yards of offense which marked the first time since Mendenhall’s first season as the Cougars’ head coach in 2005 that BYU tallied 300 or more yards passing and rushing in the same game. 

Wide receivers Samson and Puka Nacua each finished with 107 receiving yards and one touchdown apiece. 

Payton Wilgar led the defense with 11 tackles and had the first interception of the game. Defensive end Uriah Leiataua forced the second fumble of his career and recovered the fumble in a crucial juncture which led to a BYU touchdown. Defensive back Drew Jensen recorded his second career interception with 10:40 to play swinging the momentum in BYU’s favor.

“It was a unique experience to have spent 13 years at one place and then come back,” Mendenhall said. “I’m grateful to have been the coach here.”

BYU next hosts Idaho State Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

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