BYU’s bowl chances take a hit after being blown out by Iowa State

The Cougars’ search for a sixth victory continues — with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State up next.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jake Retzlaff (12) has his face mask grabbed by Iowa State Cyclones defensive end Joey Petersen (52) during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Provo, Utah.

Provo • On paper, it looked like BYU’s best chance to get bowl eligible.

On the field, it was a nightmare.

Iowa State racked up more than 400 yards of offense and dominated the Cougars, 45-13, at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night. BYU is now 5-5 and will finish out its season against No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 17 Oklahoma.

Needing one more win to get to a bowl game, BYU fell flat in arguably its worst performance of the season.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Parker Kingston (82) is grabbed by Iowa State Cyclones defensive back Ben Nikkel (18) during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Provo, Utah.

The game started with a fumble on the opening kickoff followed by an interception by quarterback Jake Retzlaff on the first play from scrimmage. The early miscues gave the Cyclones an early 10-0 lead and set the tone for what would come.

Outside of a brief scoring drive in the first quarter, paced by three scrambles by Retzlaff and a pitch to running back Aidan Robbins, BYU never threatened to stay in the game.

The Cougars had just six passing yards by halftime and four yards total in the second quarter. Retzlaff finished the night 10 for 28, good for 104 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed 17 times for 64 yards.

Robbins had 58 yards on 10 carries. Freshman running back LJ Martin had 56 yards on eight carries.

Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht threw for 203 yards and two scores. The Cyclones, meanwhile, had three different running backs find the end zone. The third one, a 13-yard touchdown run by Abu Sama, gave the Cyclones a commanding 31-7 lead right before the half.

Sama finished the night with two scores and 110 yards on just eight carries.


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