Amherst, Mass. • If there was any doubt if Zach Wilson was back last week, after returning from an early-season thumb fracture, there isn’t now.
Wilson looked a bit rusty against Idaho State in his first game in six weeks. In his second game back, against UMass on Saturday, however, Wilson looked like a well-oiled machine, completing 17 of 20 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns.
“I think this week, it was good that we were able to come out fast and start strong,” Wilson said. “ ... It was good to get back in the flow — you definitely get more comfortable.”
After putting up 49 unanswered points in the first half, Joe Critchlow took over to finish up the game. He completed 4 of 7 passes in mop-up duty.
Jaren Hall traveled with the team, but didn't dress for the game. The redshirt freshman, who was injured during the Utah State game, has yet to clear concussion protocol. Baylor Romney was dressed and seen warming up with the team, but sat out his second-straight game after getting a little banged up while filling in.
“[Hall] has a role right now, and that’s just not being on the field,” coach Kalani Sitake said. “Joe I thought was OK. I have to watch the film, but he had some bad throws. That’s not all on him — that’s the offense all together.”
In truth, the Cougars might have been able to get away with even a bad passing afternoon. They rushed for 320 yards. It marked BYU’s first 300 rushing/300 passing performance since 2005, in a 62-41 win over Air Force.
Although Wilson led the charge that resulted in seven consecutive scoring drives, he credits the team for his stand-out performance against the Minutemen.
“Watching sometimes, you think it’s one guy making plays — individual efforts — but winning a game is really a team thing,” Wilson said. “Every single play that was made tonight had something to do with everybody. Everyone had a little piece of something.
“Even though at times it can seem like I was in a groove and I had things going, but the whole team was ready to go.”