Ari Davis | Posted: 28 Sep 2019 | Updated: 7 Aug 2023

BYU drops 28-21 contest at Toledo

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TOLEDO, Ohio – The BYU football team came up short against Toledo, 28-21 on Saturday afternoon at the Glass Bowl.

Postgame Notes
Box Score
Photo Gallery

The game stayed close the entire contest and a wild closing minute of the game put the Cougars (2-3) on the wrong end of the score. 

With the game tied 21-21, Toledo (3-1) moved into BYU territory and then fumbled at the Cougar 20-yard line with 1:09 to play. Zach Wilson's first pass was intercepted and returned by the Rockets just shy of the goal line. Toledo scored on its first play from two yards out to take a 28-21 lead and held on to win. 

Wide receiver Aleva Hifo led the BYU offense with 183 all-purpose yard including five receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns, while Emmanuel Esukpa tallied 12 carries for 61 yards and one touchdown. Zach Wilson went 22 for 38 for 315 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Linebacker Kavika Fonua led the defense with 10 combined tackles and five solo stops. The Cougars out gained the Rockets on offense putting up 455 total yards with 354 through the air.

First Half

After a scoreless first quarter, the Rockets got on the board first in the second quarter with a 45-yard field goal to put Toledo ahead 3-0.

Late in the second quarter, BYU got their first points of the game. A 45-yard punt return by Hifo put BYU on Toledo’s 35-yard line. BYU offensive line created a hole that let Esukpa rush the ball 32 yards downfield into the end zone to give BYU the lead 7-3 going into half time.

First Half in Review

  • Tyler Allgeier tallied his first career sack with Zac Dawe
  • Payton Wilgar intercepted his second pass of the season and returned it 9 yards
  • Aleva Hifo put the Cougars into the Rockets territory with a career-long 45 yard punt return

Second Half

The Cougars opened up the second half quickly. On the first drive Wilson connected with Hifo on a long pass down the sideline and after securing the ball, Hifo dodged two Toledo players before taking the ball 75 yards to the end zone putting the Cougars up 14-3.

BYU was able to hold the Rockets to only a field goal on the next drive but it wasn’t long until the Rockets capitalized. On fourth and three, at BYU’s 18 yard line, Toledo’s Mitchell Guadagni found Shakif Seymour for a 18 yard touchdown. Instead of kicking a PAT, the Rockets went for the two-point conversion and tie up the game at 14-14.             

On a muffed punt, Dayan Ghanwoloku came up big for BYU picking up the fumble to bring BYU’s offense back onto the field deep in Toledo territory. A 3-yard pass to Hifo put the Cougars in the end zone to go up 21-14.

But, it wasn’t long before the Rockets answered back with a touchdown of their own. A 8-yard pass into the end zone, again tied up the game 21-21 to start the fourth quarter.

The game stayed tied 21-21 until the final sequence of trading turnovers ended with Toledo scoring the game-winner with 51 seconds left. The Cougars managed to get down to the Toledo 32-yard line but a pass to the end zone was out of reach for BYU. 

Second Half in Review

  • The 75-yard touchdown was a career long pass for Zach Wilson and a career long reception for Aleva Hifo.
  • Dayan Ghanwoloku picked up his sixth fumble recovery of his career and first of the season

The Cougars will take a week off before traveling to Tampa, Florida for its first ever game against University of South Florida at Raymond James Stadium on October 12. The game can be heard on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 with kickoff time and broadcast plans to be announced in the coming week.

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