Even when BYU’s offense is not at its best, it is still scary good.
Just ask Western Kentucky.
The No. 11 Cougars scored on their first five possessions in the first half, jumped out to a 32-point halftime lead and ended up clobbering the Hilltoppers 41-10 on Halloween night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, a Heisman Trophy candidate, didn’t have one of his top performances of the season, but he had no trouble vanquishing WKU, completing 18 of 32 passes for 224 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in three quarters of action.
As a team, the Cougars accumulated 410 yards of total offense, which marked their lowest output of the year.
No, BYU didn’t do much offensively in the second half. Then again, with the outcome all but sewn up by halftime, the Cougars didn’t need many more yards, or points, in the final quarters.
BYU improved to 7-0 on the season while WKU fell to 2-5.
The Cougars’ lopsided victory sets up a huge showdown next Friday, when they visit No. 25 Boise State (2-0), which defeated Air Force Saturday, 49-30.
The Cougar defense limited the Hilltoppers to 262 yards of total offense.
BYU running back Tyler Allgeier rushed 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. Dax Milne caught five passes for 67 yards and a TD while Gunner Romney had five catches for 59 yards.
BYU received the opening kickoff and scored first on a 2-yard run by Allgeier. The drive was highlighted by 38-yard diving catch near the sideline by Romney, who returned to action after missing last week’s game due to injury.
It marked the fifth time this season that BYU has scored on its opening drive this season.
WKU then chewed 8:14 off the clock on its first possession, which featured two false start penalties and two timeouts. The Hilltoppers got on the board with a 44-yard field goal by Brayden Narveson.
At the end of the half, Wilson threw a dart to Milne for a 23-yard touchdown as the Cougars jumped to a 14-3 lead.
On the first play of WKU’s ensuing drive, BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi forced and recovered a fumble.
The Cougars capitalized with an eight-play drive that culminated with a 5-yard run by Wilson. At that point, it was 21-3 for BYU.
BYU 41, Western Kentucky 10
BYU, Tyler Allgeier 2-yard run (10:38), Jake Oldroyd kick
WKU, Brayden Narveson 44-yard field goal (2:24)
BYU, Dax Milne 23-yard pass from Zach Wilson (0:22), Jake Oldroyd kick
BYU, Zach Wilson 5-yard run (12:45), Jake Oldroyd kick
BYU, Lopini Katoa 42-yard pass from Zach Wilson (7:44), Jake Oldroyd kick
BYU, Isaac Rex 4-yard pass from Zach Wilson (00:16), Jake Oldroyd kick
WKU, Joshua Simon 3-yard pass from Tyrrell Pigrome (3:09), Brayden Narveson kick
BYU, Jake Oldroyd 49-yard field goal (0:00)
BYU, Jake Oldroyd 45-yard field goal (0:58)
While the Cougar defense continued to stifle the Hilltoppers, the offense managed to find the end zone twice in the final eight minutes of the half — a 42-yard catch-and-run by Lopini Katoa with 7:44 left and a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Isaac Rex with 16 seconds remaining.
The final drive of the half was BYU’s longest of the season in terms of plays (15) and covered 88 yards.
At intermission, the Cougars were up 35-3.
Wilson had completed 16 of 27 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns at the half.
Trailing 35-3 at halftime, WKU’s first drive of the second half lasted 10 minutes and was 20 plays, but the Cougar defense stuffed the Hilltoppers at the BYU 1-yard line.
The Cougars took over there, but a few plays later, Wilson threw just his second interception of the season as Dionte Ruffin picked off a pass and returned it to the BYU 3. One play later, the Hilltoppers found the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tyrrell Pigrome to Joshua Simon to cut the deficit to 35-10 with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
Later in the period, Allgeier’s 29-yard touchdown was nullified due to a holding call. Jake Oldroyd’s 54-yard field goal attempt was no good, but a running into the kicker penalty gave him another shot. Oldroyd then drilled a 49-yarder to give the Cougars a 38-10 advantage on the final play of the quarter.
Oldroyd closed out the scoring with a 45-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the game.