It was an intriguing matchup going in: A slumping Brigham Young team hosting an overachieving Hawaii squad.
But the Cougars took the mystery out of it early, scoring the game’s first four touchdowns on the way to a 49-23 rout after two disappointing losses. UH (6-2) is now 0-10 on the road against BYU (4-3), and will have to wait until at least next week’s home game against Nevada to clinch a bowl game spot.
Six-foot-nine defender Corbin Kaufusi was all over the field for BYU, with eight tackles including two sacks.
Last week Hawaii started a freshman quarterback, Chevan Cordeiro, and got a win. This time it was BYU freshman Zach Wilson‘s turn.
Wilson looked like a seasoned veteran in his first career start. Meanwhile, Hawaii’s offense, with the return of quarterback Cole McDonald after a missed game due to injury, was off-key throughout the first half.
Hawaii started the second half with two three-and-outs by the defense sandwiching the Warriors first touchdown, a 2-yard run by Dayton Furuta. It looked like UH could make a game of it. But then a muffed punt return by Justice Augafa gave BYU the ball in Hawaii territory, and the Cougars regained the momentum with a touchdown to put their lead back to 25 points.
Furuta scored again, this time on a 20-yard shovel pass from McDonald, and the score was 35-17 late in the third quarter.
But the Cougars scored again early in the fourth quarter as Wilson’s pass to Aleva Hifo went for a 24-yard touchdown, and never lost control of the game, even after McDonald’s 17-yard touchdown strike to John Ursua for UH’s final score. A 2-point conversion attempt that would’ve turned it into a 17-point deficit with 7:08 left failed.