After BYU took a 14-3 lead on Aleva Hifo’s 75-yard touchdown reception to start the second half, it looked like the rout was on. But as Lee Corso would say, “not so fast, my friend.”
BYU’s offense sputtered and the defense couldn’t do anything to stop the Toledo offense as the Rockets came-from-behind for a thrilling 28-21 victory at home.
BYU won nearly every offensive category, but missed field goals and failed fourth-down conversions killed drives and gave new life to the Rockets. BYU QB Zach Wilson threw for 315 yards — his second career 300-yard game — and helped the Cougars rack up a season-high 455 yards, but it wasn’t enough.
With that first pass (16 yards), Wilson is over 1,000 yards this season on his 138th attempt. He is the fastest to 1,000 yards in a season since Max Hall in 2009 (107 attempts). #BYUFootball
— BYU Game Notes (@BYUGameNotes) September 28, 2019
Toledo, which was held to just 147 yards at the half, had over 300 yards in the second half as the coaching staff made adjustments to BYU’s three man pass rush. Despite having eight players in coverage, the Cougar defense — which gave soft cushion to Toledo’s receivers — couldn’t stop crossing routes, combined with the scrambling abilities of dual-threat QB Mitchell Guadagni.
After facing three ranked teams in four games, BYU fans were looking forward to the soft part of the schedule before looming games against Boise State and Utah State. Yet the stunning loss left Cougar fans with plenty of frustration due to the coaching staff inability to adjust as well as questionable decisions such as letting Jake Oldroyd — who was sick and despite having a solid backup kicker — try two field goals, in which he missed both.
Jake was very sick. I was talking to his mom before the game.
— Lisa Wilson (@bekindorgoaway) September 29, 2019
Adding insult to injury, not only did BYU lose Saturday afternoon, but it may have lost its starting quarterback for the season too.
BYU coach Kalani Sitake confirmed after the game that Wilson sustained an injury to his thumb on his throwing hand and would be out “for awhile.”
“We are still evaluating it (Wilson’s hand),” Sitake said after the game. “I don’t know the time frame, but it looks like he is going to be out for a little bit. How long that is, we have to evaluate it some more and get more opinions on it and everything. But yeah, we will have to be ready for that.”
It all depends on the severity, however, if Wilson did indeed sprain or break his thumb, he’ll likely be out for 1-3 months before he’s throwing again.
The sophomore quarterback was injured after throwing an interception with just a minute left in regulation. Wilson chased down Toledo’s Kahil Robinson and upon tackling him, got sandwiched by several other BYU players in the process. Toledo would later score the game-winning touchdown with 51 seconds to play.
Backup Jaren Hall, who finished the game, completing 3-of-6 passes for 39 yards, will start for the Cougars against South Florida in two weeks, after BYU’s bye week.
Here’s how BYU players and fans reacted after the loss, including several shots at ESPN+ after the game was only shown over the new streaming service.
Nobody knows what play was called, what route was run, what block was missed or if a pass was overthrown. But I do know that these boys LOVE their brothers & fans, they play their ?
out every week & that NONE of us could do any better. My heart is aching tonight. Twitter SYS pic.twitter.com/uQvURVdDy5
— Lisa Wilson (@bekindorgoaway) September 29, 2019
Win or lose I’m Grateful to God, for another opportunity to step on the field to represent for all those who support. #findingoutY
— Moroni Laulu-Pututau (@laulu_1) September 29, 2019
It hurts, but grateful for my brothers, coaches & fans! The support we had in Toledo today was amazing. Stick with us cougar nation, we appreciate you guys! #GoCougs
— Khyiris Tonga ?? (@khyiristonga) September 28, 2019
It’s all about how you respond when adversity hits you…
— malik moore (@malik9moore) September 29, 2019
One day, years from now we’ll appreciate Kalani for sticking it out and laugh at all these losses. We have the right man for the job.
— Lapuaho (@ulapuaho) September 28, 2019
Cougar Nation….POSITIVE Vibes only! You’re either in or your out! Love these young men and coaches! @BYUfootball @TotalBlueSports @kslsports @CriddleBenjamin @royalarmybrand @CindyHoge @HogeTristen @BamBamsBBQ pic.twitter.com/0qG50GOCTr
— Marty Hoge (@martyhoge) September 28, 2019
BYU has scored fewer than 24 points 21 times in 44 Sitake-era games; BYU is 3-18 in those games (2-18 v. FBS).
Sitake-era FBS wins when scoring fewer than 24 pts: 18-16 v. Arizona ('16), 20-3 at Cincinnati ('16).
BYU has lost 16 consecutive games when scoring fewer than 24 pts.
— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) September 28, 2019
BYU's win against USC was excellent.
Their 2-2 start was expected.
Their struggles against Washington could be explained.
This loss to Toledo is just unexplainable. Can't lose that game.
So many horrible moments.
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) September 28, 2019
I love @BYUfootball and I always will love and support my Cougars, but days like today hurt. Like most BYU fans, I only criticize and moan because I care. Can you imagine how much worse it would be if we didn’t care? Let’s all use a needed bye week and regroup for USF #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/EGz18PVxAv
— Tyson Scott Burnham (@tsburnham) September 29, 2019
— jordyn (@j_hancock34) September 28, 2019
I hate #BYU so much right now. No wonder my kids want to be Utah fans. Every damn year it’s the same story. Lose to Utah, beat a big name school, lose to Toledo, squeak into a bowl. So tired of this garbage offense.
— El Jefe (@jaguavai) September 28, 2019
Missing person’s request for Matt bushman. Did he go back to Provo at halftime? Why would we not be targeting him in 2nd half? #BYUvsTol
— Justin Sweeney (@justindsweeney) September 28, 2019
The question for any BYU fan who is still a hardcore Kalani and Co. enthusiast is: just where do you think they can take the program?
These "Toledo" type games are the ones that we HAVE To have to get to reach 10 wins, and they're the ones they never get. Sick of this.
— Gene "Talent Gap" Frenkle (@Quoth_the_Maven) September 28, 2019
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 28, 2019
Yah the @ESPN+ announcers for the BYU v Toledo game were a hot mess trying to pronounce the players and coaches names…I mean how hard is it to say ZACH WILSON! I feel for MLP, I hope if he watches the game he does it on mute. I wanted to punch them in the neck it was so bad.
— Mark McCrady (@nomadcoug) September 28, 2019
The whole production value was so awful. Can't imagine ESPN+ keeping many subscribers after trying it out today.
— ?????? ???????? (@BYU_VictryStory) September 28, 2019
When I think about USC fans going through their ESPN app and seeing BYU lost to Toledo today… I feel that shame personally.
— Forrest (@utahforrest) September 28, 2019
— Spencer Adams (@Spencellis) September 28, 2019
@BYUfootball Alert to all fans. Let's keep our poise and stay the course. There's going to be highs, and Lows. The real question is the trend. And things are trending the right way. So, be mad about today. But at the same time we don't need to push any reset buttons.
— Brady Poppinga (@BradyPoppinga) September 29, 2019
I believe injuries like these are a direct result of scheduling 4 straight P5’s. These injuries plus many other guys being banged up then impact a game like Toledo.
— Andrew George (@AGeorg88) September 28, 2019
BYU forced 3 takeaways and was +2. That's more than enough to win as well.
Finishing drives is a priority moving forward.
Jake Oldroyd being ill this week and missing two FG's ended up costing BYU valuable points as well.
— Jarom Jordan (@jaromjordan) September 28, 2019