BYU gets best of WSU

Cougs can’t contain Cougs, WSU loses 21-19



WSU running back Max Borghi (21) scores a touchdown during the second half of a football game on Oct. 23, 2021, at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

TOM ABBOTT, Evergreen sports editor

On Saturday, BYU was victorious over WSU by two points, winning the Cougar versus Cougar matchup 21-19 and ending WSU’s three-game win streak. 

The difference-maker for BYU was 5-foot-11-inch, 220-poundsophomore running back Tyler Allgeier, who rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

The WSU defense did not have a response to the running game of Allgeier, and BYU used this advantage to consistently move the chains downfield.

WSU quarterback Jayden de Laura (4) throws the ball during the first half of a college football game on Saturday at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

“We just didn’t do our best today as far as scrapping and squeezing and taking angles,” WSU interim head coach Jake Dickert said about making tackles on defense. 

In total, the BYU rushing offense picked up a total of 238 yards thanks to Allgeier and dual-threat sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall, who rushed for 17 yards and threw for 143 yards.

The WSU run game was missing running back Deon McIntosh, the go-to man for runs up the middle. McIntosh was seen in sweats on the sideline after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s win over Stanford. 

Running back Max Borghi was left to manage the run game by himself, accounting for 83 yards and all three WSU touchdowns. The three rushing touchdowns increased Borghi’s career rushing touchdowns to 28, the second-most in WSU history. The game was Borghi’s first three rushing touchdown game of his career.

In more than one instance, WSU stalled their drives due to penalties that negated first down conversions. An uncharacteristic amount of holding calls went against the Crimson and Gray, limiting the team’s momentum. 

In the press conference after the game, offensive lineman Abraham Lucas wore a “Freedom of Choice” t-shirt.

“In my O-line opinion, none of those were actual holds,” Lucas said. “I just think the wrong calls were made. I don’t know the process of training whoever makes those calls, but I would advise them to take a look in their manual and maybe change some stuff up.”

The defensive setup of BYU made long passes from quarterback Jayden de Laura more difficult to complete. BYU set up their defense with three defensive linemen and maintained a heavy presence in the box, not allowing for inside receivers to find as much success with routes in the middle of the field. 

In previous games this season, passes across the middle were key parts of WSU’s offensive game plan. 

Speaking of the WSU pass game, de Laura threw for 257 yards and completed 26 passes against BYU. De Laura’s favorite targets were the usual culprits, Travell Harris and Calvin Jackson Jr., who accounted for 60 and 52 yards respectively. 

Saturday’s loss is the first game with Dickert at the helm. WSU was also missing four other coaches, including their former co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann.

WSU wide receiver Travell Harris (1) celebrates a first down during the first half of a college football game on Saturday at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

“It was a smooth transition,” Jackson Jr. said about the coaching changes. “You know Coach Stutz [Stutzmann], Coach Rolo, all those guys are great, but you know at the end of the day right now our play-caller is Coach Smitty [Smith] and he did a really good job today.”

The WSU special teams unit struggled in the game, with holder Nick Haberer botching an extra-point snap that would have tied the game 14-14 in the third quarter. Instead, BYU kept the lead 14-13 which then forced WSU to try a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to tie the game 21-21. If the extra-point would have been made in the third quarter, WSU could have kicked an extra point to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

With Rolovich leaving earlier this week, Haberer was one of the most affected players on the team. Recruited by Rolovich from Australia, Haberer said on Twitter, “He was my Coach, my mate and most importantly my mentor and taught me valuable life lessons that will always be with me!”

With the win over WSU this Saturday, BYU is back in the AP Top 25 as the No. 25 ranked team in the country.

Now, WSU turns their attention towards Arizona State, formerly ranked as the No. 18 team in the nation before their loss this week against Utah, 35-21.