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Saturday morning quarterback: Stars and stats from BYU's thrilling win over Toledo

Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) runs the ball for a touchdown, his fifth of the game, making the score 52-45 after the PAT, during a game against the Toledo Rockets at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.
Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) runs the ball for a touchdown, his fifth of the game, making the score 52-45 after the PAT, during a game against the Toledo Rockets at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.
Spenser Heaps,

In a game reminiscent of the old WAC days, BYU came from behind to knock off the Toledo Rockets 55-53 at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday night.

Trailing by a point, Rhett Almond connected on a 19-yard field goal as time expired to push the Cougars over the top in another nail-biting game.

Scoring recap

The Cougars got on the board on the first play from scrimmage when Taysom Hill found Jonah Trinnaman behind the defense for a 75-yard touchdown.

Toledo answered back just minutes later when Terry Swanson scored from 8 yards out to tie the game.

After trading punts, BYU found the end zone again when Jamaal Williams scored on a 1-yard run. Williams did most of the heavy lifting on the drive with runs of 17 and 20 yards.

Following a Dayan Lake interception that gave the Cougars excellent field position, Williams scored from 2 yards out to push the BYU lead to 21-7.

Toledo responded in no time when Logan Woodside found Jon'Vea Johnson for a 79-yard touchdown.

After back-to-back defensive stands, the Rockets tied the game on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Woodside to Corey Jones. They converted on two key third downs on the drive, including an 8-yard reception by Michael Roberts on third and 5 and a 2-yard run by Swanson on third and 1.

Toledo took its first lead of the night when Johnson hauled in his second touchdown reception from 12 yards out. Big plays were the key on the possession as the Rockets had five plays of 10 yards or more, including four passes and a 15-yard run from Kareem Hunt.

BYU's quick-strike offense tied the game 44 seconds later when Williams scored his third touchdown on a 48-yard touchdown run.

James Vest pushed Toledo back in front 31-28 with a 28-yard field goal. A key play to set up the kick came when Woodside hit Cody Thompson for a 46-yard reception.

Williams showed off his speed as he scored on a 62-yard run to give the Cougars a 35-31 lead.

The lead for BYU didn't last long as the Woodside-Johnson connection struck again from 15 yards out for the 38-35 lead. Jones had a massive play to set up the score with a 25-yard reception on third and 7.

Squally Canada got into the action with a 17-yard touchdown run as the Cougars regained the lead. Tanner Balderree had a huge play on the drive with a 27-yard reception.

Toledo was back on top 2:23 later when Woodside delivered a perfect ball to Thompson for a 78-yard touchdown.

The Cougars tied the game at 45 on the next possession when Almond drilled a 32-yard field goal. Balderree had another 27-yard catch to help move the ball down the field.

After a Kai Nacua interception, BYU got the lead back when Williams scored his fifth touchdown of the night from 14 yards out.

The Rockets took the lead back on a 7-yard touchdown run by Hunt followed by a Roberts two-point conversion.

The Cougars used the last 1:11 of the contest to move the ball 71 yards on eight plays before Almond nailed the game-winning field goal. Colby Pearson had one of the big plays on the drive with a 33-yard reception.

Three stars

3. Tanner Balderree

Balderree had his most productive receiving game in a BYU uniform with three receptions for 62 yards, including two massive catches for first downs.

2. Kai Nacua

In a game where almost no defense was effective, Nacua came up with a massive defensive stop when he intercepted Woodside late in the fourth quarter. He chipped in with six solo tackles as well.

1. Jamaal Williams

Not only did he tie the school record with five touchdowns, but he also set the BYU single-game rushing record with 286 yards on 30 carries.

Analyzing the stats

The 55 points scored by the Cougars were more than the combined output they put up in the first three games of the season. Those 55 points were also more than Toledo had given up in its first three games.

The 108 points scored were the most in a BYU game since 1993 when the Cougars lost 58-56 to Utah State.

BYU scored on all six second-half possessions with four touchdowns and six field goals.

The 75-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Trinnaman on the opening drive of the night was the longest pass of Hill's BYU career.

Williams' 286 rushing yards is the most by any FBS running back so far this season. He is now No. 1 in the nation in both rushing yards (703) and yards from scrimmage (779).

Although the Cougars gave up 505 yards passing and five touchdowns to Woodside, they did sack him twice. They were the first two sacks Toledo had given up all year.

Up next

The road just gets tougher as the Cougars travel to East Lansing to square off against the Michigan State Spartans.

The Spartans are 2-1 on the season with wins over Furman and Notre Dame followed by a loss to Wisconsin.

Tyler O'Connor leads the very balanced Spartan offense that has thrown for 681 yards and rushing for 506 yards. He has completed 61 percent of his passes for 655 yards and five touchdowns to go along with five interceptions.

His favorite weapons in the passing game are Donnie Corley and Monty Madaris. Corley leads the team with 189 yards on 10 receptions while Madaris has team-high 12 catches for 174 yards.

The main attraction in the running game is LJ Scott, who has totaled 56 carries for 264 yards and two touchdowns.

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for Contact him at