The matchup between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and the BYU Cougars started with the Blue Raiders receiving the ball; and it would start off with a bang as Kenneth Gilstrap brought it back 50 yards to put MT at the BYU 40-yard line. The offense was able to get one first down but they stalled out and settled for a 42-yard FG by Cody Clark.
The Cougars would then trump MT with a huge return of their own as KR Adam Hine would take the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to give BYU the ball at the Blue Raider 5-yard line. The Cougars would lose a few yards, but that did not matter to QB Taysom Hill as he ran the ball for a 12-yard TD to give BYU a 7-3 lead.
A few drives later, the Blue Raiders would have the ball bounce their way, literally, as Cougar PR JD Falslev fumbled the punt to give MT good field position. QB Logan Kilgore took advantage after he connected with WR Marcus Henry for a 16-yard strike to give the Blue Raiders the 10-7 lead.
On BYU's next drive, Hill marched the Cougars down the field and where it looked as though another score was imminent until MT LB T.T. Barber made a big play, forcing Hill to fumble the ball at the 2-yard line, where it was picked up by Blue Raider DE Dearco Nolan. The Cougar loss, however, would be their gain as on the very next play RB Jordan Parker was tackled for a two-yard loss that resulted in a safety to cut the deficit to 10-9.
On the very next drive, Hill moved the Cougars right down the field, again, into scoring position, but once again, the Blue Raider defense came up big. This time it would be LB Stephen Roberts forcing RB Michael Alisa to fumble the rock, which was swiftly recovered by S Xavier Walker in the endzone for the touchback. The Blue Raider offense, however, could do nothing on the offensive side of the ball - a theme that became repetitive during this game.
After the Blue Raider punt, the Cougars showed just how explosive they can be when Hill turned the corner and exploded for a 50-yard TD run. The score would give the Cougars a 16-10 lead, their second lead of the night and one that would not be surrendered again.
Both offenses struggled to move the ball from there until late in the first half with less than two minutes go. BYU found their groove, but not behind the legs of Hill, but rather, behind his arm. The Cougars drove right down the field thanks to some accurate throws from Hill, and Alisa capped off the drive redeeming himself with a 2-yard TD run to close out the first half.
At the break, the Cougars held a 23-10 advantage.
The Cougars got the ball to start the second half and picked up right where they left off, wasting no time extending their lead. BYU used a nice mix of run and pass to march down field before Alisa pounded his way in for a 1-yard TD run, his second of the day. That score would give BYU a commanding 30-10 lead over the Blue Raiders.
The next score did not come till late in the quarter after yet another stalled drive by the Blue Raiders. P Josh Davis booted the ball 49 yards to Falslev, who found a seam and broke it open for a 71-yard return for a TD. The return would extend the Cougars lead to 37-10.
The MT defense showed some heart in the fourth quarter, starting with an interception by S Kevin Byard, who picked off Hill's throw and returned it10 yards to give the Blue Raiders excellent field position. However, that momentum would be short lived as on the very next play, Kilgore threw a pick of his own to Daniel Sorenson, resulting in a touchback.
The Cougar offense would not score the rest of the game, but their defense would hold firm against the struggling Blue Raider offense. In the end, BYU took the 37-10 victory over Middle Tennessee.
BYU led in total yards with 486, more than doubling MT's 212 yards. The Cougars led in passing yards by a 177-to-105 margin and also dominated in rushing yards by a 309-to-107 margin.
The Blue Raiders defense did a solid job in forcing turnovers, finishing the game with five total takeaways while only committing one of their own. Middle Tennessee led in TOP 33:48-to-26:12.
QB Logan Kilgore - 13/31 for 82 yards with one TD one INT.
RB Reggie Whatley - 10 carries for 40 yards.
WR Marcus Henry - three receptions for 28 yards and one TD.
LB T.T. Barber - 15 total tackles with one sack, two TFLs and one FF.
DB Kevin Byard - six total tackles with one INT.
DB Sammy Seamster - one tackle and two fumble recoveries.