BYU came into Saturday’s game against No. 6 Wisconsin as a three touchdown underdog, but walked out of Camp Randall Stadium with the biggest upset of the season as the Cougars won 24-21, and knocked off one of the favorites to win the national championship.
The Badgers, who came in with three preseason All-American’s along its offensive line, were outplayed Saturday as BYU controlled the line of scrimmage as they averaged 6.8 yards per carry compared to just 4.7 for Wisconsin.
Saturday marked the first top-10 victory on the road since BYU’s 20-14 win over No. 3 Pitt in 1984. The Cougars defeated No. 3 Oklahoma 14-13 in 2009, however, that was a neutral site game played at Cowboys Stadium. The victory also snapped Wisconsin’s 41-game non-conference home winning streak.
— BYU Football (@BYUfootball) September 15, 2018
BYU running back had another game to remember as the senior rushed for 118 yards on just 11 carries to go along with two touchdowns.
After failing to get much going last week against California, the Cougars gave the sixth-ranked Badgers fits with its sweeps and motion plays. The BYU offense even pulled out some trick plays as wide receiver Aleva Hifo found tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau for a 31-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Cougars its first lead of the game.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake was pleased with the toughness his team and noted that he gave the game ball to his strength and conditioning coaches.
“I talked about how much I admire the [Wisconsin] program, the tradition and the smashmouth football that they play,” Sitake said. “But [BYU’s] players were gritty and they played hard and with a lot of toughness.”
ESPN College Gameday Curse
The curse of College Gameday continues.
After being picked to lose heavily to Arizona and Wisconsin, the Cougars came out victorious. Then when picked to beat California, the Cougars fell 21-18 in its home opener against the Golden Bears.
Former BYU alumnus and current NBC Sports reporter, Todd Harris, made sure to call out the College Gameday crew who didn’t give the Cougars much of a chance saying, “Hey College GameDay I think the quote was ‘Wisconsin will roll today over BYU.'”
— Todd Harris (@TheToddHarris) September 15, 2018
After the game, ESPN’s Rece Davis — who gave BYU a top-25 vote after beating Arizona — tweeted, “Tremendous performances today by BYU and Oklahoma State. The smoothies will be strong tonight. Fun will be had in Provo too.”
— Rece Davis (@ESPN_ReceDavis) September 15, 2018
The upset will certainly draw attention from voters for BYU. The Cougars will likely be ranked come Sunday and it will be interesting to see where Rece Davis puts the Cougars this time around.
And with a big game against Washington looming in two weeks, BYU fans might want the College GameDay crew to pick against them again based on the trend this year.
BYU: Hosts McNeese State on Sept. 22
Wisconsin: Badgers open Big Ten play at Iowa on Sept. 22
The Cougars also snapped Wisconsin’s 41-game non-conference home winning streak. It was the fifth-longest in the modern era (since 1946).
BYU evened the series with Wisconsin at 2-2. The Cougars also took a 2-1 edge in Madison in the series. Jim McMahon led BYU to a 28-3 win in 1980.