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BYU plays without a couple of injured starters against Utah State, including QB Jaren Hall

Brigham Young Cougars players pray prior to warming up in Logan.
Brigham Young Cougars players pray prior to warming up in Logan on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

BYU just can’t seem to shake the midseason injury bug.

For the second-straight game, the Cougars were without several starters when they took on Utah State on Friday night at Maverik Stadium.

This time, it was on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback Jaren Hall, tight end Masen Wake and a pair of starting offensive linemen — center James Empey and right tackle Harris LaChance — did not play due to injury. Hall was injured in the waning moments of BYU’s 27-17 win over Arizona State, and Wake and the linemen were injured during last week’s 35-27 win over South Florida.

Connor Pay, Joe Tukuafu and Campbell Barrington started in the place of the linemen.

Hall, who played well in the first three games, “wants to play, but we have to do the smart thing and protect him,” Sitake said before the game via KSL radio.

Meanwhile, the Cougars got back a couple injured defensive starters who didn’t play last week: defensive end Tyler Batty, nose tackle Atunaisa Mahe and cornerback Isaiah Herron.

Kicker Jake Oldroyd also returned to the starting lineup after having missed three of the first four games.

He was a game-time decision with an ailing back.

What a grab

BYU safety Malik Moore recorded his fourth career interception on USU’s first possession, snagging a Logan Bonner pass intended for Deven Thompkins. USU’s receiver momentarily broke free from the cornerback defending him, but Moore was there for the one-handed pick.

Washington transfer Puka Nacua caught a 42-yard pass from Romney on BYU’s first play from scrimmage (after a sack was negated by an offsides penalty) and two plays later Tyler Allgeier scored on a 22-yard touchdown run to put the Cougars on the board first.

Briefly

A moment of silence was held before the game to recognize the death of University of Utah defensive back Aaron Lowe, who was murdered early last Sunday morning in Salt Lake City. … BYU’s alumni flags were carried out by receiver Brent Nyberg, offensive lineman Mike Keim and defensive lineman Hyrum Summers. All three have sons on the current team. BYU players Cade Parrish and Hayden Livingston brought out the other flags. … It was 68 degrees in Logan at kickoff.