No. 9 BYU finally broke through for its first win on Boise State’s blue turf Friday night, and the Cougars did so in convincing fashion with a 51-17 win over the No. 21 Broncos. The victory improved BYU to 8-0 as the Cougars continue to build on their dark-horse candidacy for the College Football Playoff with a statistically-dominant effort against the best opponent on their 2020 schedule.
The Cougars out-gained Boise State 573-310 while handing the Broncos their worst home defeat since a 2001 loss to Washington State. An injury to Boise State quarterback Jack Sears set the 2-1 Broncos back as they were already without incumbent starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier. With its top two quarterbacks out, Boise State turned to freshmen Cade Fennegan and Andy Peters. Fennegan eventually found Khalil Shakir for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to give Boise State some life.
By that point, however, BYU had already put together another prolific offensive performance. Quarterback Zach Wilson connected on 21 of 27 passes for 359 yards without an interception while surpassing 2,500 yards passing for the season. The win was especially meaningful for Wilson and other BYU upperclassmen who were part of a dramatic 21-16 loss at Boise State in 2018. That defeat dropped BYU to 0-5 all-time in road games against Boise State, with three of those losses coming by a single point.
The oddsmakers expected another one-possession game Friday night with BYU entering kickoff as a 4.5-point favorite. But Boise State’s visions of defeating the highest-ranked foe to play at Albertsons Stadium since the Broncos joined the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1996 faded quickly. Tyler Allgier ran 86 yards for a touchdown on BYU’s second offensive play, Sears was injured shortly after and the Cougars cruised the rest of the way.
BYU’s next game is Nov. 21 against North Alabama of the FCS. The Cougars are scheduled to conclude their 10-game slate against San Diego State on Dec. 12.