Who needs a quarterback when you have Tyler Allgeier?
All Allgeier did was obliterate the Utah State defense, which knew he was coming but could do nothing to stop the train in BYU’s 34-20 win, which pushed BYU’s record to 5-0.
“I just love that guy. He’s a real stud,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said of Allgeier.
The circumstances were unique in this game.
BYU finished the second half with a third-string quarterback that hadn’t played in three years, Jacob Conover. USU’s defense knew the Cougars were going to be conservative with Conover. They stacked the box with eight defenders. They dared him to throw.
BYU tried to protect the lead and not ask Conover to do too much. It didn’t have to with Allgeier.
Allgeier rushed for a career-high 218 yards on 22 carries. He averaged nearly 10 yards a run.
He had 10 times the rushing yards that USU’s entire team did on this night.
“It was a great team win. The offense had the defense’s back and the defense had the offense’s back,” said Allgeier. “It was a matter of everyone doing their 1/11, doing their job. Our offensive line did a great job tonight.”
Well, the former walk-on is fast becoming the poster man for the Cougars.
He’s kind of the soul of the team.
He’s a former linebacker. A guy who’s paid his dues. A workaholic. An unselfish player who puts his team before himself. He’s a guy who had one of the most iconic defensive plays in school history in the game-saving chase down and punchout fumble against Arizona State.
In short, that hustle play against ASU should be used by football coaches across the country as a learning moment about what extra effort can do.
Somebody’s got to NIL him to death real soon.
On Friday, Allgeier ripped off a 67-yard run on BYU’s first play after the Aggies closed the Cougar lead to 27-20 with just over nine minutes left in the game. Two plays later, he plowed through to pay dirt on a block by Clark Barrington to score and put the game in the glove box at 34-20.
He had raced for a 59-yard touchdown earlier in the game. He scored three of BYU’s four touchdowns. He did all this with a busted-up offensive line. His starting center James Empey, right tackle Harris LaChance and his best lead blocker Masen Wake did not play in the game due to injuries.
Allgeier’s antics were sorely needed because the Cougars found themselves with Conover at quarterback to start the second half after Baylor Romney hit his head hard on the turf hard right before halftime. It looked like a concussion. Romney had replaced season starter Jaren Hall, who hurt his ribs in the win over Arizona State.
The thing is, USU’s defense only stopped the Romney-led offense on one of the first five possessions to start the game. Romney’s accuracy downfield had presented a major challenge for USU.
Then he was gone.
Conover had to become a custodian, the manager of a lead. Avoid messing up and trust the defense. He did just that. After three three-and-outs, USU gained a lot of momentum before the home crowd.
But then came the Allgeier factor.
BYU’s defense found itself on an island at that stage, trying to hold off the Aggies, who are known for late-game rallies in wins over Washington State and Air Force. USU began converting third-down plays like a game of dominoes — even though their vaunted running attack gained just 22 yards on 35 attempts.
BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick had to throw out his sophisticated pass play sets to help Conover ease into his first football game in three years.
Thus, it was stand-up time for Mr. Allgeier.
He ran tall.
Aggie defenders bounced off him, struggled to track him down from behind.
Allgeier’s makeshift offensive line managed to create creases and, like Picasso with a little paint, that’s all he needed. Credit goes to Clark Barrington and Joe Tukuafu.
“I give all the credit to the offensive line,” said Allgeier.
Even with BYU’s best weapons, the tight ends and a receiving corps that had a size advantage on the Aggie defenders in the secondary, BYU had to throttle that attack down and help Conover protect an 11-point lead.
Allgeier made all that moot.