Hot topics close

BYU football: Highlights, key plays, photos from 43-26 win over Houston

BYU survived its toughest test of the season, rallying from 12 points down in the third quarter to beat Houston 43-26 at TDECU Stadium in Houston on Friday night.

BYU survived its toughest test of the season, rallying from 12 points down in the third quarter to beat Houston 43-26 at TDECU Stadium in Houston on Friday night.

Zach Wilson again led a strong BYU offensive attack, as the visitors scored the final t29 points of the game to put the contest away and hand BYU its most impressive victory of the season.

With the win, BYU improves to 5-0 while Houston drops to 1-1.

3 takeaways Quarterback play outstanding on both sides

It was a big night for both BYU’s Wilson and Houston’s Clayton Tune, perhaps fitting for a matchup of two programs known for strong quarterback play.

Wilson finished the game completing 25 of 35 passes for 400 yards — his first 400-yard passing game of his career — and four touchdowns. Tune, meanwhile, put up 310 yards passing and two touchdowns while completing 21 of 31 passes.

Wilson had a pair of big runs — a 32-yarder in the first quarter to set up their second touchdowns and a 24-yarder in the fourth quarter with less than five minutes to play that set up a key touchdown — to help the BYU rushing attack.

Dax Milne, Wilson’s roommate, was his favorite target, as Milne finished the game with nine catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. That included a 78-yard score on BYU’s first offensive play of the game and an 18-yarder to put BYU up 10 with just over three minutes to play.

Onsides kick turns tide

A gutsy call from the BYU coaching staff played a big role in the rally, as the visitors opted to go for an onside kick late in the third quarter after cutting their deficit to 26-21.

BYU’s Talmage Gunther recovered the onside kick, and while BYU’s drive stalled and it had to punt, it pinned Houston deep and turned momentum in the game.

After a Houston three-and-out aided by penalties on the home team, BYU got favorable position by starting its ensuing possession at the Houston 23 following a 13-yard punt. BYU turned that into points, scoring on a Masen Wake 8-yard touchdown catch on a nice little flip pass from Wilson.

[embedded content]

BYU’s defense steps up in fourth

After Houston scored a field goal on its first drive, BYU built itself a 14-3 lead and forced Houston into back-to-back punts. Over the next two quarters, though, Houston scored on four straight possessions — including three touchdowns — to build a 26-14 lead. Two of those touchdown drives were 90-plus yards.

BYU defense, though, stepped up big in the final quarter. Houston finished the game with 438 yards of total offense — not far behind BYU’s 478 — but Houston had just 20 yards in the final quarter. Tune only completed 1 of 7 passes in the fourth, and the BYU defense came up with two sacks and forced three straight punts and a turnover on downs before Houston just ran out the clock on its final drive.

Grid View

  • BYU running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates his touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates his touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Dax Milne, left, catches a touchdown pass as Houston cornerback Damarion Williams defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Dax Milne, left, catches a touchdown pass as Houston cornerback Damarion Williams defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Talmage Gunther, right, celebrates recovering an onside kick with Jason Money, center, and Isaiah Kaufusi during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Talmage Gunther, right, celebrates recovering an onside kick with Jason Money, center, and Isaiah Kaufusi during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU defensive lineman Zac Dawe (99) celebrates his sack of Houston quarterback Clayton Tune, bottom right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU defensive lineman Zac Dawe (99) celebrates his sack of Houston quarterback Clayton Tune, bottom right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Neil Pau’u (2) yells after his catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete as Carter Wheat (96) watches during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Neil Pau’u (2) yells after his catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete as Carter Wheat (96) watches during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston quarterback Clayton Tune (3) throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston quarterback Clayton Tune (3) throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, right, runs past Houston safety JoVanni Stewart during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, right, runs past Houston safety JoVanni Stewart during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston defensive lineman Payton Turner, right, celebrates his sack of BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, bottom left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston defensive lineman Payton Turner, right, celebrates his sack of BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, bottom left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Dax Milne, right, runs for a touchdown as Houston cornerback Shaun Lewis, back left, watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Dax Milne, right, runs for a touchdown as Houston cornerback Shaun Lewis, back left, watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston wide receiver Nathaniel Dell (4) celebrates his touchdown with Deontay Anderson during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston wide receiver Nathaniel Dell (4) celebrates his touchdown with Deontay Anderson during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Dax Milne, right, runs for a touchdown as Houston cornerback Shaun Lewis, left, watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Dax Milne, right, runs for a touchdown as Houston cornerback Shaun Lewis, left, watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Dax Milne (5) is tackled by Houston linebacker Donavan Mutin during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Dax Milne (5) is tackled by Houston linebacker Donavan Mutin during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, right, runs past Houston safety JoVanni Stewart during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, right, runs past Houston safety JoVanni Stewart during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU quarterback Zach Wilson throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU quarterback Zach Wilson throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Dax Milne (5) celebrates his touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Dax Milne (5) celebrates his touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston tight end Christian Trahan, right, catches a touchdown pass as BYU linebacker Max Tooley, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston tight end Christian Trahan, right, catches a touchdown pass as BYU linebacker Max Tooley, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston running back Kyle Porter (22) escapes a tackle by Houston defensive lineman Derek Parish during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston running back Kyle Porter (22) escapes a tackle by Houston defensive lineman Derek Parish during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • BYU wide receiver Dax Milne (5) celebrates his touchdown with Neil Pau’u during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. BYU wide receiver Dax Milne (5) celebrates his touchdown with Neil Pau’u during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston running back Kyle Porter (22) escapes a tackle by BYU defensive lineman Hirkley Latu, left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston running back Kyle Porter (22) escapes a tackle by BYU defensive lineman Hirkley Latu, left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston wide receiver Tre’von Bradley, right, catches a pass as BYU defensive back Keenan Ellis defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston wide receiver Tre’von Bradley, right, catches a pass as BYU defensive back Keenan Ellis defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
  • Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen celebrates his team’s touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen celebrates his team’s touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. Eric Christian Smith, Associated Press
Live coverage End fourth quarter BYU 43, Houston 26

After what looked like it could easily be BYU’s first loss of the season, BYU’s offense, defense and special teams all make big plays to complete a comeback for the visitors.

For the first time since 1991 (with Ty Detmer at quarterback), BYU has gone four straight games without throwing an interception.

— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) October 17, 2020
1:40, fourth quarter BYU 43, Houston 26

BYU makes it a 17-point game as Tyler Allgeier scores on a 14-yard run after Houston failed to convert a fourth down deep in its own territory.

3:06, fourth quarter BYU 36, Houston 26

BYU goes on a key scoring drive, moving 57 yards on six plays to build a 10-point lead late. Zach Wilson hits Dax Milne with a dime for an 18-yard touchdown pass, Milne’s third score of the night.

It’s been quite the turnaround for BYU after falling behind by 12.

10:35, fourth quarter BYU 29, Houston 26

BYU is back in front after trailing by double digits for the first time this season, scoring on an 8-yard flip pass from Zach Wilson to Masen Wake. With a two-point conversion pass to Tyler Allgeier, BYU is up three.

BYU had favorable starting position on the drive — at the Houston 23 — after a 13-yard punt.

End third quarter Houston 26, BYU 21

BYU is driving after the onside, and will start the fourth quarter with the ball first-and-10 at the Houston 33.

Some game notes through three quarters:

  • Houston has 418 yards to 379 for BYU, and Houston has run 58 plays to 42 for BYU
  • Clayton Tune has completed 20 of 24 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns while Zach Wilson is 20 of 26 for 332 yards and two touchdowns
  • Houston is more effective at running the ball, with 111 yards on the ground to 47 for BYU
  • Both teams are committing costly penalties: Houston has seven for 86 yards, and BYU has six for 59 yards
0:50, third quarter Houston 26, BYU 21

BYU finally has a response, driving 75 yards in five plays before scoring on a 2-yard Dax Milne catch. Milne had a 37-yard grab earlier in the drive to get BYU inside the Houston 5, and Zach Wilson completed four passes for 76 yards.

BYU then makes a momentum-changing play, recovering an onside kick near midfield to take back possession.

3:05, third quarter Houston 26, BYU 14

Clayton Tune scores the hard — and pretty — way, escaping a sack attempt before scrambling for a diving 5-yard touchdown run. That caps a 16-play, 98-yard drive for Houston, after BYU’s first drive of the second half stalled.

9:53, third quarter Houston 20, BYU 14

BYU’s Micah Harper is disqualified for a targeting penalty, and Houston is in BYU territory near midfield with the ball again. BYU’s first possession of the second half led to a punt and had a 46-yard touchdown by Tyler Allgeier wiped out by a block in the back penalty.

End second quarter Houston 20, BYU 14

Houston caps a 17-point quarter with a 49-yard Dalton Witherspoon field goal and goes into the half up six. Some first-half notes:

  • Houston quarterback Clayton Tune has completed 15 of 18 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns; BYU’s Zach Wilson is 9 of 15 for 203 yards and a touchdown
  • Houston owns a 19:18 to 10:42 edge in time of possession
  • Houston converted all four of its third downs in the second quarter, while BYU was 1 of 4
  • Houston has 334 yards of total offense on 42 plays, compared to 244 yards on 27 plays for BYU

Kalani on radio as he walked to locker room: "We are not getting a pass rush. We have to regroup and figure something out in the second half."

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020
1:12, second quarter Houston 17, BYU 14

Houston makes a huge stand, stuffing Masen Wake for a 1-yard loss as BYU faced a fourth-and-1 at the Houston 2. This could be a big moment at the end of what’s been a tight game so far, and with Houston in clear control of the momentum now.

4:42, second quarter Houston 17, BYU 14

Clayton Tune is on fire right now, having completed his past eight throws. The latest is a 5-yard touchdown throw to Nathaniel Dell on third-and-goal, and Houston is back out in front after a seven-play, 61-yard drive.

9:01, second quarter BYU 14, Houston 10

Houston trims the BYU lead to four points with an impressive eight-play, 91-yard drive where Clayton Tune completed four passes for 64 yards and Kyle Potter had 42 rushing yards on five carries.

If it seems like UH has had the ball all night, that's because it has; Time of Possession is Houston 15 minutes, BYU 6.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020
End first quarter BYU 14, Houston 3

A few notes from the opening quarter:

  • BYU has 178 yards of total offense to 106 for Houston, though BYU has an average of 17.8 yards per game to 5.6 for Houston
  • Zach Wilson is 4-for-4 for 140 yards (one touchdown) to start the game
  • In a mostly clean first quarter, two late 15-yard penalties cost Houston, including one on a fourth down play that forced Houston to punt after reaching BYU territory
  • BYU is 1 of 1 on third down, Houston is 1 of 4
4:42, first quarter BYU 14, Houston 3

Zach Wilson is off to a stellar start, leading BYU on a seven-play, 85-yard drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from Lopini Katoa. On the drive, Wilson had a 32-yard run, followed by a 35-yard pass inside the Houston 5 on a trick play. He’s completed 3 of 3 passes for 128 yards and a score and has a 568.4 passer rating.

9:34, first quarter BYU 7, Houston 3

BYU has the perfect response to Houston’s opening score, as Zach Wilson hits Dax Milne for a 78-yard touchdown pass on BYU’s first offensive play of the night.

Zach Wilson TD pass goes for 78 yards, longest of his career. Also a new career-best for Dax Milne. Milne and Wilson hooked up for a 70-yarder vs. Troy. #BYUFootball

— BYU Game Notes (@BYUGameNotes) October 17, 2020
9:53, first quarter Houston 3, BYU 0

Houston takes its opening drive 65 yards for a score, kicking a field goal after taking 5:07 off the clock on the 10-play drive. Quarterback Clayton Tune went 4-for-4 passing for 59 yards on the drive.

Pre-game

Here’s a few links to other stories you may want to read before the contest and during the game:

A few player personnel notes from Deseret News BYU football beat writer Jay Drew:

BYU OL Tristen Hoge is still out with pneumonia and didn't make the trip; However, Cougars welcome back OL Keanu Saleapaga tonight.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020

BYU center James Empey is out there warming up; Looks like he's favoring his right ankle, slightly.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020

Looks like Caden Haws will take Khyiris Tonga's spot on the three-man shield that protects the punter, joining regulars Bracken El-Bakri and Pepe Tanuvasa.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020

BYU backup QB Jaren Hall made the trip and is out there helping the other QBs with snaps and stuff, but he's not dressed to play.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020

We could see two Cougars make their season debuts tonight: No. 21 RB Sione Finau and No. 61 OL Keanu Saleapaga. Also, holder Hayden Livingston will wear No. 28.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020

This will be the first game BYU plays in front of fans during this COVID-19-impacted season:

An hour before kickoff in Houston, and very few of the 8,500 or so fans who will be allowed inside stadium have arrived. 100 or so BYU fans arrived early.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 17, 2020

A look inside the stadium pre-game:

Similar shots