LaVell Edwards Stadium
1700 North Canyon Road Provo UT 84604
BYU wins Homecoming game against Hawai'i
PROVO, Utah — BYU racked up 474 total offensive yards on its way to scoring a season-high in points in a 49-23 win over Hawai'i during Homecoming at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
“I’m happy about the result; a lot of guys contributed,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “There are some things we can work on, but we got out of the slump of not playing our style of football for the past couple weeks.”
The 474 yards is the most for BYU since earning 598 yards against San Jose State in 2017. The Cougars also set a season high in rushing yards with 280 and had four players score on the ground. Matt Hadley had a career night with 95 yards on 10 attempts and a game-high 39-yard rush while also scoring his first touchdown. Lopini Katoa gained 79 yards on 15 attempts and a score and Riley Burt rushed for 59 yards on nine attempts and a score.
Zach Wilson made his first career start at quarterback for BYU, throwing for 194 yards and three touchdowns while also contributing a score with his feet. Wilson involved nine different receivers in the passing game with Aleva Hifo leading the team with three receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown. Wilson hooked up with Gunner Romney for a touchdown for the second week in a row on a 26-yard pass while tight end Dallin Holker pulled in a 12-yard reception for his first collegiate score.
The defense recorded a season-high four sacks. Austin Lee recorded his first career interception and Dayan Ghanwoloku recovered a fumble off a muffed punt return.
After Hawai'i punted on its opening drive, Wilson and the BYU offense put together an 87-yard opening drive that was capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Lopini Katoa.
The BYU defense forced another Hawai'i punt with the help of an 11-yard sack from Khyiris Tonga. The Cougars marched down the field and went up 14-0 after Wilson scored from 23 yards out.
First career start for Zach Wilson at quarterback and the youngest player ever to start at quarterback for BYU (19 years, two months)
Akile Davis had a 16-yard reception, his longest of the season
The Cougar defense forced a turnover on downs at their own 46-yard line. Six plays later, Hadley broke a 21-yard run to the outside to score his first career touchdown and bring the score to 21-0.
The Warriors scored their first points of the game off a 33-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-3. The Hawai'i defense then forced the Cougars to punt on the ensuing drive. However, Austin Lee intercepted McDonald the next play and returned it 36 yards. The BYU offense capitalized on the turnover on its first play of the drive with Dallin Holker catching a 13-yard bullet from Wilson, extending the lead to 28-3 at the half.
First career touchdown for linebacker-turned-running back Matt Hadley
First career interception for defensive back Austin Lee
Largest first-half lead of the season for BYU at 25 points
Most points in the first half since BYU had 31 on Nov. 12, 2016, against Southern Utah
First time BYU’s defense has three sacks in a game this season and first-career sack for Isaiah Kaufusi
Hawai'i held the Cougars to a three-and-out to start the second half. The Warriors converted a 4th-and-2 from the 5-yard line to extend their drive and set up Dayton Furuta’s 1-yard score, closing the gap to 28-10.
Dayan Ghanwoloku recovered a muffed punt return at the Hawai'i 35-yard line. Riley Burt rushed the ball five-straight times, scoring a 3-yard touchdown on his fifth touch to put BYU up, 35-10.
McDonald led Hawai'i down the field, completing six of his seven pass attempts for 56 yards. McDonald capped off the 69-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dayton Furuta.
Most points in a game for BYU since 41 against San Jose State last year
Hadley helped the Cougars advance down the field by running the ball four times in a row for 22 yards. Hifo then caught a short pass before breaking it to the outside for a 24-yard score, giving BYU a 42-17 advantage.
Corbin Kaufusi recorded his second sack of the game after getting to McDonald for a 6-yard loss. McDonald linked up with John Ursua three times on the drive for a total of 54 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown. The Warriors failed their two-point conversion after Isaiah Kaufusi caught the Hawai'i runner in the backfield making the score 42-23.
On the ensuing drive, Hadley burst down the middle of the field for a game-high 39 yards to highlight the drive for the Cougars. BYU scored its seventh offensive touchdown of the game when Romney pulled in a 26-yard throw from Wilson to put BYU up 49-23.
Hawai'i failed to convert on fourth down on its final drive, giving BYU the ball to run the clock out.
The 49 points are the most for BYU since the team had 51 against UMass on Nov. 19, 2016
474 is the most total yards for BYU’s offense since it had 598 against San Jose State last year
Young guns blazing
BYU started six freshmen against Hawai'i, with five on the offensive side of the ball alone. The freshman scoring tandem of Wilson and Katoa led the Cougars to their most prolific opening period of the season, going up 14-0 early on the Rainbow Warriors. In total, the freshmen offensive players accounted for four touchdowns on the night, or 28 of the Cougars’ 49 points.
It was a night of firsts for the freshmen, with Dallin Holker catching his first touchdown pass and Wilson running for his first touchdown as a Cougar. Lopini Katoa and Gunner Romney both reached new career highs in yardage, with Katoa going for 83 total and a long run of 16, and Romney going for 39 total and a long catch of 26, which also happened to be a touchdown.
Defense is spelled K-A-U-F-U-S-I
Cousins Corbin and Isaiah Kaufusi combined for 15 total tackles on the night, including three of the Cougars’ four sacks in the game. Corbin is the first Cougar with two sacks in a game since Sione Takitaki had two against Portland State last year. Isaiah had one sack himself, along with two pass breakups and a forced fumble in his first start as a Cougar.
The Cougars have a bye week next week before continuing their homestand against Northern Illinois at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 27. Audio broadcasts will be available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2) and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM). Television and kick time details are yet to be announced.
Homecoming game against Hawai'i Saturday
PROVO, Utah – BYU football takes on Hawai'i in 2018's Homecoming game at LaVell Edwards Stadium on October 13 at 8:15 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Homecoming week is packed full of festivities on campus, including Saturday's game against the Warriors. For more information, visit homecoming.byu.edu.
Live radio coverage can be found on the BYU Sports Network two hours prior to kickoff with Greg Wrubell, which will be broadcast on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio, BYURadio.org and on the BYU Cougars app, BYU Radio app and KSL app.
Fans can get end zone tickets for just $15 and sideline tickets for $25 using the promo code: TUESDAY. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
BYU (3-3) vs. Hawai'i (6-1)
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018
Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. MDT
LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,470)
THE SERIES. BYU and Hawai'i are playing for the 31st time in the series, with BYU having a 22-8 edge. The first game was played in 1930 in Hawai'i. The Cougars won the last matchup 30-20 in Honolulu in the last regular season game of 2017. BYU relied on 285 rushing yards, led by Squally Canada's 113 yards and two touchdowns. The Cougars have never lost in Provo to the Warriors with a perfect 9-0 record and have won the last four matchups in the series dating back to 2002.
HOMECOMING. The game against Hawai'i is BYU's homecoming game for 2018. Homecoming week is packed full of festivities on campus, including Saturday's game against the Warriors. For more information, visit homecoming.byu.edu.
TOUGH SCHEDULE. According to the latest Sagarin ratings in USA Today, BYU has played the 10th toughest schedule in college football. The University of Utah (4), South Carolina (5), Southern California (7), Texas (8) and Stanford (9) are the only schools with at least three wins and a top-10 schedule.
ALMA MATER COACHES. Both head coaches in the matchup are coaching at their respective alma mater. Nick Rolovich played quarterback at Hawai'i from 2000-01, while Kalani Sitake was a fullback at BYU in 1994, 97-2000. Rolovich set a Hawai'i record with eight touchdown passes in a 72-45 defeat of the Cougars who had entered the game at a perfect 12-0. BYU is 2-1 this season against teams with head coaches at their alma maters with wins over Wisconsin (Paul Chryst), McNeese (Lance Guidry) and a loss to Utah State (Matt Wells).
THERE AND BACK AGAIN. Dylan Collie's college career is ending where it began. The Cougar wideout started his career at BYU in 2012 and redshirted that season. Following his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Collie transferred to Hawai'i and played three seasons for the Rainbow Warriors. He totaled 118 receptions, 1,300 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Collie played against BYU last season and led the Warriors with 103 yards on six receptions. After graduating with his bachelor's degree, he transferred back to BYU with one year left to play as a graduate student.
The following quotes are from Monday's media availability.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
On lessons learned against Utah State
"We need to evaluate everything. We are going to stay the course with our principles of hard work and we will believe in each other and improve. But, I’m open to everything as far as change if it will make us better. That being said, it’s schedule, personnel, scheme, whatever it may be to perform better, that’s what we’re looking at. We’ll tweak some things here and there, build on our core principles which is hard work and our belief in each other, in our coaches and in our players. That’s what we’re going to go with this week, work extremely hard and try to have a better result on Saturday."
On improvements and changes to be made
"When it comes down to the fundamentals, the tackling, the blocking and things like that, those are things you always continue to work on. There’s a way we can put our guys in better positions to have success and to help our team. Offensively, we can do the same thing, as well as with special teams. There’s plenty of time to get it done because the foundation has already been set to be able to make these tweaks if we feel they are needed. The game of football is all about adjustments and having the ability to adjust is the most important. After plays, after drives and at halftime you’re always looking at ways to adjust defensively, offensively and on special teams. We need to have the scheme and ability to make adjustments. You can’t just keep doing the same thing expecting different results. We have to be open to all of that and that’s what we’re doing with our evaluation as coaches and players."
On stopping the run as a defense
"We have played some really good running backs and offensive teams, but that’s just an excuse. We thought about the missed tackles after the game, that would help, along with being better at our fundamentals. I think what we’re seeing is a lot of teams are trying to get to the outside on the run game, so we have to be a lot better on the edge. That comes down to the outside linebackers and defensive backs. Teams are trying to make our defensive backs tackle more and that’s what they have to do. Scheme-wise we have to protect that a little bit and make some adjustments and that’s the goal. Hawai’i is a spread team, they can throw the ball, so we should learn our lesson in how we can defend them."
On quarterback position
"That position probably will get a lot of attention, but just like every personnel group I’m open to anything. Everyone will compete at every position and we’ll see who plays on Saturday."
Wide receiver Dylan Collie
On the team
"It’s a matter of the focus. When you dwell too much on the negatives going on, you can’t think of the talent and ability that we do have. The chance that we’ll have to go in today and refocus will help us as players and coaches to stay positive and come out where we need to for the next games."
On this game for Hawai'i
"It means a lot. It’s a very big game. It is a rivalry game and it has been that way for a very long time. The passion that they have for it is a big deal."
Defensive back Chris Wilcox
On pinning down what has been going wrong with the defense
"It’s always just small mistakes that we make in every position group. We watch film and we see different things that we can work on and different things that we can fix every game. That’s what we are doing today. We’re going to watch film and see what we can fix, then move on from that because it’s in the past. We just have to correct those things and move on."
On watch Hawai'i
"They were one of the first teams to play this year and they were definitely putting up points. They’re looking like a different team than last year so we can’t sleep on them or anything like that. We’re just going to go over film this week so we still have to watch them, but I feel like we’ll be ready for them in this upcoming week."
On his own personal progress
"I feel like I’ve improved a lot compared to my last two years here. There are always things that I can work on and can get better at. I never want to settle, to be at one pace. I can always be better at my craft, so that’s how I always look at it. I always look at it game-to-game, just looking at little things I can work on. I take notes on it and then try and perfect that for the next game."
Linebacker Sione Takitaki
On being disruptive up front
"I think we need to film study and attack in practice. The coaches do a good job with coming out and setting us up and letting us know that we need to be disruptive and do things actively. On Friday, we didn’t do it and it’s nobody’s fault but the players."
On tackling and getting guys to the ground better
"There were some third downs where there was a one-on-one and you’ve got to make that tackle off the field. We just couldn’t do it and we let a couple get by but starting today we’re going to emphasize that and attack the week for Hawai'i."
On his relationship with Aleva Hifo
"Aleva is like my little brother. We were really close growing up with each other. Aleva lived and hour away from me. His dad was a high school football coach so my sophomore year I ended up moving in with Aleva and his family to pursue football and stay out of trouble. His dad is like another father figure to me and Aleva is like another brother to me."