Rankings climb with 52-14 win over Texas State

Six thousand fans were scattered throughout LaVell Edwards Stadium as Zach Wilson led the No. 12 BYU Cougars to a convincing victory over the Texas State Bobcats, 52-14, and extended their undefeated record to 6-0.

The win was enough to move the Cougars up one spot in both of the national polls. BYU now sits at No. 11 in the AP Top 25 and No. 10 in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Texas State opened the game with a quick drive down the field, culminating with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Marcell Barbee. The Bobcats came out hot, finding weak points in the BYU defense that they would struggle to attack later in the game. 

The Cougars then responded with four consecutive touchdown drives, outscoring the Bobcats 35-0 the remainder of the first half. 

Lopini Katoa opened the scoring for the Cougars with a four-yard rush, scoring the 20th touchdown of his career and fourth of the Cougars’ 2020 campaign. 

Lopini Katoa celebrates after the opening touchdown for the Cougars. It was his fourth touchdown of the season. (Preston Crawley)

Wilson nearly snapped his no-interception streak with an intended pass for Dax Milne late in the first quarter, but the pick was negated by a pass interference call on Texas State’s junior cornerback Jarron Morris. The penalty proved fatal for the Bobcats, as Wilson and the Cougars marched down the field and scored shortly thereafter with a 33-yard touchdown reception for freshman Keanu Hill, his first as a Cougar. 

The Cougars continued their successful trickery this season with a pass from receiver Neil Pau’u to quarterback Wilson for a gain of 16 yards. Wilson’s reception set up Tyler Allgeier for a rushing touchdown from inside the red zone.

Wilson fumbled a snap on the BYU 10-yard line on the next drive, setting the Bobcats up for first and goal with four minutes to go in the second half. BYU’s defense came up with a huge stop, however, keeping the Bobcats from converting and forcing a turnover on downs.

The Cougars regained possession where they originally lost it and ran a quick two-minute drill to increase their lead 35–7 at the half. Wilson connected with a Milne for a 45-yard touchdown on the drive, giving the receiver his fifth score of the season.

Dax Milne takes a bow after catching a 45-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wilson for his fifth score of the season. The throw was the highlight of the night, with Wilson throwing from the opposite sideline to find Milne in the end zone. (Preston Crawley)

Texas State held BYU to three downs to start the second half, but gifted BYU an automatic first down after roughing BYU kicker Ryan Rehkow on his punt.

Wilson then led the Cougars down the field for their sixth touchdown of the night. He completed a 30-yard pass to junior tight end Isaac Rex to give the Cougars a 49-7 lead.  

The Cougars scored on all but one drive before pulling Wilson to give Baylor Romney some reps in the pocket. Wilson finished the game completing 19-of-25 pass attempts for 287 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson’s fumbled snap was the Cougars’ only turnover while the Heisman contender was under center.

Isaiah Kaufusi hauled in a pick-six for the Cougars immediately following Rex’s touchdown. It was his first interception of the season and BYU’s first touchdown on defense since 2018.

After punts from both sides, the Bobcats got back on the scoreboard for the first time since their opening drive, ending the Cougars’ 49-0 run. Barbee scored his second touchdown of the night on a 20-yard reception. 

Zach Wilson scans the field for a receiver against Texas State on Oct. 24 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Wilson had four touchdown passes on the night to keep his Heisman and NFL Draft hype rolling. (Preston Crawley)

Rehkow rushed for 49 yards on the following drive after keeping the ball on fourth-and-inches, setting up kicker Jake Oldroyd to secure another three points for the Cougars.

BYU forced a second interception on Bobcat quarterback Brady McBride, with redshirt senior Jared Kapisi securing the pick this time, his first of the season. The turnover all but sealed the 38-point win for BYU. 

The four-touchdown performance from Wilson helped maintain his spot in the Heisman race and gained more NFL attention for the junior, who is climbing as high as the first round in some draft projections.

The Cougars will look to keep the unbeaten streak alive when they host Western Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 8:15 p.m. in Provo.

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