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‘I’m going to keep you guys guessing’ Tyler Allgeier says of future after big bowl game

Cougars sophomore became BYU’s single-season rushing yardage leader, but still isn’t saying what will come next

BYU running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates a touchdown as BYU and UAB play in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl.
Brigham Young Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier (25) celebrates a touchdown as BYU and UAB play in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. UAB won 31-28.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SHREVEPORT, La. — Running back Tyler Allgeier was in no mood to discuss his record-breaking performance after BYU fell 31-28 to UAB Saturday afternoon in the Independence Bowl.

The fourth-year sophomore also wasn’t willing to talk about a timeline for when he will decide whether he will turn professional or return to BYU next season.

“We will see what happens,” Allgeier said. “I am going to keep you guys guessing.”

If it was his final game as a Cougar, Allgeier can always say he went out with a bang — despite the loss that coach Kalani Sitake said had “everybody hurting” in the locker room at Independence Stadium.

Allgeier finished with 27 carries for 192 yards and three touchdowns, including a trademark 62-yard breakaway in the third quarter that knotted the score at 21-21.

“It’s an honor to be on the field with this team and to be a part of this offense,” said Allgeier, who told reporters Friday in a pre-bowl news conference that he had yet to make a final decision on his future.

If he does turn pro, Saturday’s tape will be a good one to show NFL scouts.

With 4:46 remaining in the third quarter, Allgeier had a 3-yard run to break the BYU single-season rushing mark. He passed Luke Staley, who had 1,582 yards in 2001 when he won the Doak Walker Award.

Allgeier finished the season with 1,601 rushing yards.

“He works hard, and he loves football,” Sitake said of the back from Fontana, California. “There is tons of football ahead of him, whatever he decides. He knows we love him.”

Other marks that Allgeier set on Saturday:

• He passed Ronney Jenkins (253 carries in 1998) for most carries in a single season by a BYU football player.

• The 192-yard game caused Allgeier to pass Lakei Heimuli (2,710) and Taysom Hill (2,815) and move into No. 5 in career rushing yards in school history.

• Allgeier has 36 rushing touchdowns, which is tied with BYU running backs coach Harvey Unga for No. 2 all-time. Staley had 41 in his BYU career.

• Allgeier’s three rushing touchdowns is a BYU bowl game record, passing several Cougars who had two, including Zach Wilson. It was Allgeier’s third game of the year with three or more rushing touchdowns.

After a slow start, Allgeier reeled off a 35-yard run late in the first quarter to get the Cougars going. He capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

With backup quarterback Baylor Romney filling in for injured starter Jaren Hall, Allgeier also made some key blocks on blitzing linebackers to give Romney time to throw for 195 yards.

Why didn’t Hall play?

Sitake said he was only available as an emergency quarterback in case Romney or the other backups went down.

“We didn’t have enough time for him to recover (from an ankle injury sustained against USC),” Sitake said, “and when we were looking at it, we felt like Baylor has had some great moments in practice and some great prep, and we felt like that gave us the best bet for us to win.”