BYU moved to 7-4 on the year after handling UMass 51-9 on Saturday afternoon in Provo. The Cougars racked up 437 yards of total offense in the convincing win.
The Minutemen scored first in a strange series of events. Taysom Hill gave the ball up to UMass on a fumble. UMass quarterback Andrew Ford then threw a pass to Bernard Davis, who broke free from a tackle and ran it in for a 70-yard touchdown. Kicker Mike Caggiano missed the extra point to give the Minutemen just a 6-0 lead.
Hill and KJ Hall led the Cougars to a touchdown at the start of the second quarter. Hall rushed to the goal line from the 11-yard line and Rhett Almond kicked in the PAT for BYU to go up 7-6 on the Minutemen.
Harvey Langi leaped into the end zone for the five-yard rushing touchdown after UMass put up a 44-yard field goal by Logan Laurent. Langi’s first touchdown of his career put the Cougars up 14-9.
“I think we just stopped getting penalties and started taking care of the ball,” Sitake said. “That was a key for us, and just sticking to what was working.”
Almond hit two more field goals in the third quarter, from the 33-yard line and the 34-yard line, respectively.
“We were confident going into the second half,” Hill said. “We knew we left some stuff out there.”
Eric Takenaka forced a fumble during a kickoff return for UMass midway through the quarter and Langi picked up his second touchdown of the day from the two-yard line. Francis Bernard followed up the Cougars offensive effort with a 39-yard pick-six.
“I think it started with the special teams first, getting the blocked punt,” coach Sitake said. “Guys just played hard and just stuck with it and they didn’t doubt what was going on. They just stuck with it and plays went our way.”
The Cougars led 34-9 at the end of the third quarter.
The Cougars scored another touchdown at the start of the final quarter, this time from the quarterback. Hill rushed in for a five-yard score to cap a six-minute drive.
Tanner Mangum got some playing time in the fourth quarter and threw his first touchdown of the season to Garrett Juergens for a seven-yard score. Almond capped off the game with a 21-yard field goal for the Cougars.
“It’s fun for our backup guys to get some quality reps,” Sitake said.
The 51-point effort was the second-highest total for the Cougars this season, second only to scoring 55 points against Toledo in September.
“I was pleased with the way the game went,” Sitake said. “Definitely happy with the score.”
The Cougars play their final regular season game next Saturday against the Utah State Aggies.