Provo • It was throwback day at BYU on Saturday, and to get in the spirit of things on the field, the Cougars and Washington Huskies turned back the clock. All the way to 2018.
The No. 22 Huskies routed the Cougars 45-19 at LaVell Edwards Stadium, much the way they did a year ago in a 35-7 pummeling of BYU in Seattle.
The drubbing spoiled BYU's throwback festivities, with the Cougars, the field and the scoreboard all sporting a retro 1960-70s look.
The game was a “tough loss” for BYU coach Kalani Sitake.
“We were hoping that we could come in here and show a different type of game, but it seemed like way too many mistakes on all three phases for us to really have a chance,” Sitake said. “Against a great team like that, it doesn't work out that way. As much as we were trying to gain momentum, it seemed like Washington had an answer or we did things that didn't really help ourselves.”
There were a few moments where it seemed BYU's spark was about to heat up, only to simmer down to an ember shortly after.
On their second drive, started by a 48-yard kick return from Lopini Katoa, the Cougars struggled to get a first down and traded a couple penalties with Washington. But then Zach Wilson connected with Matt Bushman on a 23-yard pass.
The momentum was shut down shortly after when Wilson was sacked and fumbled, which was recovered and returned by Washington's Brandon Wellington for the Huskies third touchdown.
Then there was the start of the second half.
Down 24-12, Wilson completed an 8-yard pass to Dax Milne, only for it to be fumbled on the tackle and recovered by Washington. The Huskies converted in three plays.
NO. 22 WASHINGTON 45, BYU 19
• The Huskies rout the Cougars again after beating them 35-7 last year in Seattle.
• Georgia transfer quarterback Jacob Eason is sensational for Washington, completing 24-of-28 passes for 290 yards and 3 TDs.
• The Huskies took a quick 21-3 lead; a pair of critical BYU turnovers kept the Cougars from ever seriously threatening.
Defensive back Dayan Ghanwoloku said it was a case of missed assignments, which he wasn't proud of.
“If everyone’s not on the same page, our scheme — it doesn’t work that way,” Ghanwoloku said. “It’s disappointing seeing little things and having them pick us apart like that. It was just disappointing to see because we were ready for this game.”
However, the Cougars did take away one positive aspect of the game that wasn’t recorded in any stats: they stayed together. There was never a moment they felt deflated.
“We never got down on ourselves,” Ghanwoloku said. “Our offense, our defense — we were all solid. And special team-wise, we were all focused in.”
Georgia transfer Jacob Eason was sensational for Washington, slicing the Cougars up for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns on 24-of-28 passing.
The Huskies jumped to a 21-3 lead over BYU in the first quarter and never looked back, improving to 3-1 for the season and setting up next week's Pac-12 showdown with USC at Husky Stadium.
Sitake believed that part of the Huskies’ success was due to their ability to throw some surprises at the Cougars.
“They had some different formations and did some things that we hadn't seen in previous games,” Sitake said about Washington. “They did whatever they wanted to do and we didn't do enough to stop them. We had to make them feel uncomfortable and we didn't do that.”
BYU dropped to 2-2 after consecutive victories over Tennessee and the Trojans, capping the toughest part of their 2019 schedule. The Cougars visit Toledo next week.
At the end of the day, Sitake took ownership of the loss. He's looking forward to the next game already, but knows they didn't execute well enough Saturday.
“It’s my fault,” Sitake said. “It’s my fault as a coach — I’ve got to get these guys ready. Whatever I’ve got to do to get them ready so we have high execution level next week and play our style of football. I’m looking forward to getting that done next week.”