PROVO, Utah (AP) — Zach Wilson threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 35 yards and another score to help No. 11 BYU rout Western Kentucky 41-10 on Saturday night.
BYU (7-0) is off to its best start since 2001 when the Cougars won their first 12 games in Gary Crowton’s debut season.
Tyler Allgeier ran for 95 yards and a touchdown for BYU.
Tyrell Pigrome threw for 106 yards and a touchdown for the Hilltoppers (2-5). Gaej Walker added 75 yards on the ground. Western Kentucky has not scored more than 14 points in each of its last four games.
BYU scored touchdowns on all five of its first-half drives. The Cougars repeatedly gashed Western Kentucky on one big play after another in the half.
Dax Milne’s diving one-hand catch for a 38-yard gain set up a 2-yard touchdown run from Allgeier that capped BYU’s opening drive. Then, Allgeier galloped 32 yards down the sideline to set up a 23-yard pass from Wilson to Milne one play later that made it 14-3.
Isaiah Kaufusi forced and recovered a fumble from Walker at the Western 39 in the waning seconds of the first quarter to set up BYU’s third touchdown on a 5-yard run from Wilson.
The ougars went up 28-3 midway through the second quarter when Lopini Katoa took a screen pass and raced 42 yards untouched. Wilson got BYU’s fifth touchdown with a 4-yard pass to Isaac Rex with 16 seconds left, extending the lead to 35-3.
Western Kentucky did not score its first touchdown until late in the third quarter. Dionte Ruffin intercepted a pass from Wilson and returned it 28 yards, setting up a 3-yard catch by Joshua Simon that made it 35-10.
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers ended up being the latest team to find no answer for stopping Wilson and the BYU offense. The Cougars rolled up 312 yards and 18 first downs in the first half alone, averaging 7.1 yards per play over that stretch.
BYU: The Cougars were ruthlessly efficient on offense throughout the first half and clamped down on defense to keep Western Kentucky from ever seriously threatening. They allowed the Hilltoppers to gain only 100 yards and six first downs before halftime.
Another blowout victory should be enough to move BYU into the Top 10 of the upcoming AP Top 25 Poll.
Western Kentucky visits Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
BYU visits no. 25 Boise State on Friday.