BYU Football flew across the Pacific Ocean to take on the Rainbow Warriors of the University of Hawaii. Both teams were looking for just their fourth win of the season — BYU got it, beating UH, 30-20. Not many will be sad to see this 4-9 season go, but the Cougars were able to give fans a pretty fun (if not a little too nerve-wracking [Cardiac Cougs]) last game to watch.
The score was 13-7 at the break, after a missed field goal by Rhett Almond in the final seconds. The main storylines throughout the first 30 minutes were Squally Canada and the use of Austin Kafentzis. Canada went back to the locker room with a few minutes left before the half and did not return, but up until then he racked up an impressive 113 yards and two TDs (one of them coming on BYU’s first drive). CBSSN reported that Canada was taking a balance test in the tunnel after halftime, so concussion could be a solid guess at the injury. At least we don’t have to worry about him missing a bowl game (*laughs and then cries*).
Kafentzis seemed to see almost as much action in a half as he has the whole season -- Ty Detmer used the wildcat formation liberally and Kafentzis even took a few direct snaps, attempting his first (incomplete) pass to Brayden El-Bakri. Kafentzis had 35 rushing yards in the first half.
The Rainbow Warriors’ seven first half points came off of a Joe Critchlow (who was 10/17 for 101 yards in the first half) fumble. Hawaii’s Hawa Solomon Matautia recovered that and ran it 42 yards for a touchdown. The other turnover of the half was in favor of the Cougars, with junior DL Merrill Taliauli capitalizing on a fumble forced by Corbin Kaufusi. This led to the missed FG by Almond that took us to halftime. Almond would not see any more playing time the rest of the game, Andrew Mikkelsen playing in his stead.
BYU scored one more time in the third quarter after an eight play, 64-yard drive (making it 20-7). Neil Pau’u got into the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Critchlow. It was nothing doing for Hawaii offensively in the third — though they did force Michael Shelton to fumble a punt return to end the quarter, and recovered that at BYU’s 19.
Hawaii made the most of that turnover and the short field, starting the fourth quarter by scoring a TD to make it 20-13. It was a fifteen yard pass from Dru Brown to Ammon Barker, but Zayne Anderson blocked the PAT.
After Mikkelsen made a 35-yard field goal, BYU’s defense came up big with a stop on 4th & 2 when Hawaii got the ball back and was driving. BYU was back on offense with about four minutes left to play and Riley Burt quickly made it a two-possession game on an 11-yard touchdown.
Hawaii got right back in it after a TD pass from Dru Brown to Kumoku Noa. The Rainbow Warriors attempted an onside kick that was recovered by BYU’s Rickey Shumway. Koy Detmer, Jr. took the last snaps for the Cougars.
Critchlow ended the night 14/23 for 166 yards. Kafentzis rushed for 98 yards (just shy of that century mark). Bushman ended up having a nice game, leading BYU receivers with two receptions for 52 yards. Many fans were itching to see Burt all season. He chalked up 75 yards on 13 carries, averaging a solid 5.8 yards per carry. Canada remained the leading rushing after just the one half of play.
And with that, it’s officially the off season. Stick with Vanquish the Foe to see what gets shaken up after a very disappointing season for BYU Football. What are your predictions on coaching staff, player transfers, or anything else? Leave them in the comments below.
IN MEMORIAM: Here lies the BYU 2017 BYU Football season. In its death we find peace and sweet relief from the eternal anguish witnessed on the gridiron. We salute those who fought valiantly and suffered loss of hair or heart function. Until next year. pic.twitter.com/EBfgsgewIK— All Blue Everything (@BYUAllBlue) November 26, 2017