BYU utilizes freshman depth against UMass

Zach Wilson throws a pass in game against UMass on Satruday, Nov. 23. The Cougars won the game 56-24. (BYU Photo)

BYU walked away with a 56-24 victory over the University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 23. The win was accomplished with a lot of help from BYU’s depth, including a few of the team’s freshmen.

One of these freshmen was running back Jackson McChesney, who replaced BYU’s top running back Sione Finau, who is also a freshman, after Finau injured his knee this week in practice.

McChesney ran a total of 228 yards on 15 attempts. This is the most yards ever run by a freshman in a single game in BYU history, and the sixth most yards run by any BYU player in a single game. McChesney also scored two touchdowns for the team, one in the second quarter with a 44-yard run and the other in the third quarter with a 12-yard run that followed up his own 62-yard run. These were the first two touchdowns of his college football career. McChesney also played against Idaho State and rushed for 46 yards.

Other notable freshman players in this game were linebacker Tyler Allgeier, tight end Isaac Rex, and wide receiver Tevita Ika, all of whom added to BYU’s receiving yards. Allgeier received a 57-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wilson while also running for 37 yards. Allgeier has also contributed on defense this season with a total of 24 tackles.

Rex received a 23-yard pass from Joe Critchlow in the third quarter of the game, finishing with two receptions for 10 yards two passes for a total of 10 receiving yards while also running for 92 yards while receiving five kickoff returns. Ika also played last week against Idaho State and received an 18-yard pass from Critchlow.

This isn’t the first time this season that the team has depended on its freshman players. The most notable example of freshmen depth this season was third-string quarterback Baylor Romney who started two games after first and second-stringers Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall were both injured. Baylor led the team to victory in both of the games that he started, beating Boise State 28-25 and Liberty 31-24.

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