BYU football: Youth continues to serve the Cougars well in Saturday’s win over Hawaii

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

BYU cross-country: BYU secures first and fourth at the Pre-National Invitational

The BYU men’s cross-country team, led by Rory Linkletter, finished in first place, while the women’s team took fourth place at the Pre-National Invitational on Saturday in Madison Wisconsin.

The No. 2 BYU men’s team scored 29 points for a first-place finish ahead of 34 other schools, including No. 4 Portland, No. 8 Syracuse and No. 10 Air Force. The No. 9 women’s team finished fourth with 175 points and a victory over No. 1 Colorado, No. 13 NC State and No. 18 Ole Miss.

The women competed in the 6K Cardinal race, followed by the men who ran in the 8K White race.

Leading up to Pre-Nationals, the men’s and women’s cross-country teams had three-straight first-place finishes this season at the Autumn Classic, Joe Piane Invitational and Steve T. Reeder Memorial.

“We had a nice day today. I’m proud of the guys. They were well prepared and executed the race to nearly perfection,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “It’s always fun to win a big race like Pre-Nationals as a team and also get the individual as well, so we’re happy with that. Rory had a very nice finish at the end to overtake.”

All-American Rory Linkletter (23:54.4) led the No. 2 BYU men’s team to victory in the White division with his back-to-back first-place finish at Pre-Nationals. The Cougars claimed three more spots in the top seven, including Conner Mantz (23:55.5) in fourth, Clayson Shumway (23:55.7) in fifth and Connor McMillan (23:56.9) in seventh. Clayton Young (24:03.7) followed in 12th place, with Jacob Heslington (24:10.8) in 20th and Zachry Jacklin (24:41.7) in 53rd.

Along with Linkletter’s finish, Eyestone was impressed by Mantz for leading the majority of the race and Shumway’s bolt in the last 50 meters to close the gap. Eyestone commented that there was only a nine-second gap between the men’s …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

After Hours: Jared Bednar

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

After Hours: Erik Johnson

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca