Provo • The fighting and offensively challenged BYU turned to Zach Wilson on Saturday night, hoping for a spark from the quarterback, who was busy preparing Draper's Corner Canyon High for the playoffs last season. 19659002] Supported by some willing team members who seemed to be playing better with Wilson in the lineup, the seventh-year first-year freshman for BYU kicked off an offensive that has not occurred in Provo since 2016.
Substitute for Tanner Mangum at the start lineup for the first time this season, Wilson manages the game well, played mostly error-free and contributed to the rushing attack with a deft 23-yard trip to the end zone. The Cougars came in the winning column after consecutive lonely losses to Washington and Utah State with a 49-23 win over Hawaii ahead of an announced crowd of 52,354 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The Cougars improves to 4-3 during the scoring Most points since hanging up 52 on UMass two years ago, while Hawaii dropped to 6-2 and has never won in Provo and dropped to 0-1
Wilson was supported by something Mangum did not like during the Cougars' bad luck streak – a rushing attack. The BYU crashed over 250 yards and the freshman threw for 194 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
"He is confident in his ability to throw, but he can run it too," said BYU coach Kalani Sitake of the BYU radio network before the game. "We'll see what he can do, but it's a good time for him to take over and provide us with a spark."
The BYU apparently played a role in mid-season change and the rare cornering of an older quarterback from his best halves of the season when he jumps to a 28-3 lead.
Wilson could not have come to a better start. He led the Cougars on touchdown rides on their first two possessions, and his quarterback rating was through the roof. It was the first time since the San Jose State game in 2017 that the Cougars have met in successive possessions.
The 14 points doubled their performance in the first quarter for the entire season, and the inaugural touchdown drive was the first time they made 2015900. Lopini Katoa galloped 12 yards for the first touchdown after Sitake on 4th and 3rd -1 and Wilson ran for his first career TD on a one-third-and-fifteen situation and made a UH defender miss the 15 and plunged into the end zone.
But just as the BYU fans announced that the 19-year-old should have been playing all season, he made a freshman mistake. Two, indeed.
Hawaii linebacker Solomon Matautia dropped a safe break when Wilson signed a receiver. But in what looked like a repeat of this failure, the next game, UH Rojesterman Farris pulled into a selection.
Wilson recovered well. At the next possession of the ball he gave Talon Shumway a nice strike for 16 yards and the Cougars did the rest of the work on the ground. Former linebacker Matt Hadley's first touchdown career went for 21 yards, giving the Cougars a 21-0 lead with 7:24 in the second quarter.
Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald, the nation's second-largest passer, eventually reached a mid-second-quarter rhythm. His 42-yard pass to Cedric Byrd took the Warriors deep into BYU territory. However, BYU's defensive forced three incompleteness, and UH picked Ryan Meskell's 33-yard field goal.
McDonald's keeper was still in the field – he was 21 of 35 for 247 yards and two touchdowns – but the crowd came after half time.
Austin Lee's first career interception, which he returned 36 yards to Hawaii 13, put BYU's fourth touchdown of the first half on. Freshman tight end Dallin Holker got a 13-yard TD pass from Wilson, the first TD catch from Holker's career and the first TD pass from Wilson's career.
The 28 points were the most in a first-half against a FBS opponent in Sitake's Four-Year Term
Riley Burt ran 4 yards for a touchdown and Wilson threw 24 and 26-yard touchdown passes to Aleva Hifo and Gunner Romney in the second half.
BYU 49, Hawaii 23
• Zach Wilson becomes the seventh real freshman to begin quarterback for BYU, leading the Cougars to their fourth win of the season.
• Hawaii drops to 6-2 and remains without a win at LaVell Edwards Stadium, falling to 0-10. Time in Provo
• The Cougars will take a 4: 3 record into their reunion week and compete in the LES against Northern Illinois on October 27