PROVO — Youth served the BYU football team well during Saturday’s win over Hawaii, much like it has for the better part of the 2018 season. Over half the offensive starters were freshmen, with true freshman quarterback Zach Wilson helping provide a charge of new energy sorely needed following consecutive blowout losses to Washington and Utah State, respectively.
Those making starts on offense were freshmen offensive linemen James Empey, Brady Christensen and Keanu Saleapaga, along with receiver Gunner Romney, running back Lopini Katoa and Wilson.
Through seven games played this season, the Cougars have fielded 23 freshmen during games, with a lot of those 23 seeing significant roles. The group of 23 includes 11 true freshmen off of what most sources had ranked as BYU’s lowest recruiting class since the star system was implemented by recruiting services.
Wilson played the most prominent role of all freshmen, although freshman tight end Dallin Holker did his part in catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to give the Cougars a 28-3 lead heading into the half.
While the defense didn’t showcase as many freshmen, several defensive switches were notable, including sophomore Isaiah Kaufusi starting at one of the outside linebacker positions.
Coaches had to shake things up, due to the loss of Zayne Anderson for the season, along with allowing 80 points over the course of just two games, and those changes worked well, particularly in the first half. The Cougar defense held the Rainbow Warriors to just three points and 116 yards of total offense while proving particularly effective during third-down situations.
Perhaps the most welcome returner for the defense was starting safety Dayan Ghanwoloku, who contributed a fumble recovery and a pass defended in the end zone, among other standout plays. Ghanwoloku last played in BYU’s win over Wisconsin, while nursing an …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News