BYU gets best win this decade beating number 6 Wisconsin on the road

BYU coaches, players, and Cougar Nation have reason to celebrate after upsetting no. 6 Wisconsin (Steve Griffin, Deseret News).

The game stats show the Wisconsin Badgers outperformed the BYU Cougars in most areas. Wisconsin had the edge in:
  • Total yards, 
  • Passing yards, 
  • Rushing yards,
  • 3rd/4th Down conversions, and
  • Time of possession.
BYU had the edge where it mattered most: points, 24-21.

A 1-0 lead in turnovers certainly helped BYU pull off the program's biggest win this decade. Although the Cougars capitalized with a touchdown following Zane Anderson's third quarter interception, it was a 46-yard run by Squally Canada with 12:20 to play in the fourth quarter that helped BYU avoid a repeat performace of the Cal game a week ago.

Squally Canada swung the momentum back in BYU's favor with this long run (Steve Griffin, Deseret News).

Like a week ago, it was a close game at halftime. The Cougars and Badgers were tied, 14-14, after two quarters.

Like a week ago, BYU had the better first half. It was clear that the offensive coaches worked on the fly-sweep to get the BYU guys to run it better. It was also clear that offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and his staff had found weaknesses in the Badgers defense, and they knew how to attack them.

Several effective fly-sweeps opened up the middle rushing lanes, and Canada bust loose for a 44-yard run. Four plays later, he tied the game at seven on a three-yard run.

The first of two long runs by Squally Canada (Steve Griffin).

After the BYU defense forced a quick punt, BYU took its first lead after a 10-play, 89-yard drive. The drive ended with a perfectly timed and executed trick play. Tanner Mangum threw a backwards pass to wide receiver Aleva Hifo who hit Moroni Laulu-Pututau with a perfect pass for a 31-yard touchdown.

Wisconsin was able to tie the game at 14 just before halftime.

Like a week ago, the BYU offense was largely ineffective for much of the second half. The only Cougar points in the third quarter came following a turnover. Otherwise, it was three and out for BYU in the third quarter.

When Wisconsin tied the game at 21 with less than 13 minutes to play, it felt like the game was slipping away from BYU. Kalani Sitake and co. were being out coached again as Power 5 coaches made better halftime adjustments.

On the first play of BYU's ensuing drive, Canada changed all that with his second run of the game over 40 yards. The Cougars even overcame a holding penalty on the next play when Mangum completed an 11-yard pass to Gunner Romney. That got BYU back into field goal range.

The Cougars took the lead for good, 24-21, on Skyler Southam's 45-yard field goal with 9:58 to play.

Sione Takitaki (16) led a Cougar defense that kept Wisconsin's offense in check (Steve Griffin, Deseret News).

Wisconsin and BYU traded punts, and Wisconsin found itself 92 yards away from a game-winning touchdown with 3:45 to play. That caused the Badger coaches to play for a field goal and force overtime. As Wisconsin lined up for a 42-yard field goal, Sitake used two of BYU's three remaining timeouts to ice the Badger's excellent placekicker. With 1:17 to play, the kick sailed wide.

The win ended Wisconsin's 41-game win streak in home non-conference games. That was the longest in the nation and dated back to 2003.

Squally Canada, 11 carries, 118 yards, 2 TD
Zayne Anderson, 11 tackles, 1 Int (12 yards), 1 PBU
Sione Takitaki, 13 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL

PLAY OF THE GAME: Aleva Hifo 31-yard TD pass to Moroni Laulu-Pututau.

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