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Bulldozing: Behind big game from Tyler Allgeier BYU football grinds out win at Wash. State

By Jared Lloyd - | Oct 23, 2021
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BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier runs the ball to pick up the final first down during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier runs the ball for a touchdown during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall waves to fans after the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU defenders make a tackle during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates scoring a touchdown during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU junior safety Malik Moore runs with the ball after making an interception during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU freshman defensive back Jakob Robinson breaks up a pass during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU defenders line up for a play during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU fans support their team during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU junior running back Lopini Katoa celebrates scoring a touchdown during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier runs the ball during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU football players take the field before the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier runs the ball during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore running back Masen Wake hurdles a defender during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier runs the ball during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall runs the ball during the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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BYU head coach Kalani Sitake waves to fans after the 21-19 BYU win over Washington State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)

A bulldozer and a bobble.

Those were the two key elements in Saturday’s football battle as the BYU Cougars edged the Washington State Cougars, 21-19, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

For BYU, no one came up bigger than sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier.

He bounced back from a couple of tough games in a big way, powering to 191 yards on 32 carries with two touchdowns.

“I’m a little banged up but I should be good,” Allgeier said after the game. “As a team, we knew we had to step it up. It shows what a team is like when you are going through adversity and come out with a win like we did today. It shows a lot about our team.”

When the visitors needed him most, he came up with the key play.

With BYU clinging to a two-point lead and needing one more first down to run out the clock, it faced a third-and-8 from the WSU 39-yard line.

“We knew they were out of timeouts,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “We have a great punter in Ryan Rehkow, who is good in the sky game. A field goal would’ve beat us and if we didn’t get it they would’ve had about a minute to do some things. I probably would’ve gone for it on fourth down.”

Allgeier said the goal was clear.

“Get the first down,” Allgeier said. “I believed that we could do it because we’d done it in other games, just running out the clock.”

BYU sophomore offensive lineman Clark Barrington said the line loved the call.

“I was happy (the ball was going to Allgeier),” Barrington said. “If the ball is in his hands, we’re in luck. He’s a good dude.”

As Allgeier bulldozed his way around the left side for a 10-yard gain to secure the win, he said hearing the roar from the sizable BYU fan contingent was a cool moment.

“It was just joy,” Allgeier said. “The Washington State fans were pretty loud but with our BYU fans cheering after that, it was pretty special. Shout out to Cougar Nation for coming out.”

Although the third-down run by Allgeier was the final piece in the puzzle for BYU to come out with the win, the game likely would’ve been very different if not for a crucial bobble in the third quarter.

BYU led 14-7 after scoring a touchdown on a 4-yard run by Allgeier on the first drive of the third quarter, but Washington State rallied with a big drive of its own.

The home team moved down the field and WSU senior running back Max Borghi scored from 1-yard out to give his team a chance to tie.

On the ensuing extra point, however, the snap got away from holder Nick Haberer and his desperation pass fell incomplete, putting Washington State behind by a point.

BYU added a 2-yard TD from Allgeier to make the score 21-13 but WSU again answered with a 1-yard run by Borghi with 4:14 left in the game.

Because of the missed extra point, however, WSU had to go for two points to tie the score.

“They did a motion, handed the ball off and then hand a guy come around and handed it off again going the other way,” BYU junior safety Malik Moore said. “Luckily our defense was just anchored and we got it.”

He said that two-point conversion attempt was a gut-check moment.

“It makes your heart kind of stop a little bit,” Moore said. “If I’m on my man, and then I see the ball is coming to my side, I’m like, wait. You’re confused, so then you look the other way and you see the dude start running. You’re like, please and you start praying and stuff in your head. It’s especially nerve-wracking.”

The visitors got the stop, kept the lead and ended up putting the game away.

“I’m just really thankful we got the win,” Sitake said. “It was a close game. I really enjoyed the setting and had fun with the game. A lot of credit to Washington State. I know they’re going through some adversity and some change, and I thought those guys showed up ready to play and were really motivated. It came down to the end and we just made one more play than they did.”

Washington State got on the board first, taking advantage of a perfect draw playcall when BYU brought a blitz. Borghi broke a tackle and walked into the end zone to put the home team up 7-0.

The BYU offense responded with a good drive of its own, going 75 yards in nine plays almost entirely on the ground.

Allgeier had a big 30-yard run, which set up a three-yard sweep by running back Lopini Katoa that got into the end zone to tie the game.

After the offenses started so strongly, the defenses controlled much of the rest of the first half.

Washington State appeared to have another drive going when sophomore quarterback Jayden de Laura went for the end zone and BYU junior safety Malik Moore swooped over to make the interception.

The visitors also had a couple of scoring opportunities in the first half but junior kicker Jake Oldroyd hooked a 45-yard field goal attempt and a misdirection play on a fourth-and-2 from the WSU 27-yard line was a disaster from the start and lost six yards.

That resulted in the two teams going into halftime tied at 7-7, setting up the big plays in the second half.

With the win, BYU (6-2) became bowl eligible and — for the first time in program history — won its fourth game against a Power Five opponent in a single season.

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