How BYU quickly disposed of Navy for a 55-3 victory
BYU scored early and often against Navy and never looked back.
The Cougars defeated the Midshipmen 55-3 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland on Monday night. It was Navy's worst loss of the Ken Niumatalolo era and the worst home loss in program history, according to ESPN.
Two rushing touchdowns less than eight minutes in gave BYU a 14-0 lead. It would only grow from there.
A 17-point second quarter effectively put the game out of reach. The Cougars finished the first half with 304 yards of total offense — 193 of them, and three touchdowns, coming on the ground. Navy had just 48 yards at the break and trailed 31-0 after the first 30 minutes of play.
BYU also scored 17 points in the third quarter before Navy finally got on the board. A Bijan Nichols 48-yard field goal ensured that the Midshipmen wouldn't be shut out at home.
BYU tailbacks Tyler Allgeier (14 carries, 132 yards) and Lopini Katoa (10 carries, 80 yards) each ran for two touchdowns, while quarterback Zach Wilson threw for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The Cougars had seven touchdowns on the night. Navy managed just seven first downs.
BYU 55, Navy 3 | FINAL
The Cougars led wire-to-wire, and had the game put away by halftime with a 31-0 lead. Navy avoided getting shut out thanks to a field goal late in the third quarter. But the Midshipmen had no answer for BYU's offense on Monday night. Here are the final statistics for each team.
BYU 48 | Navy 3 END 3Q
BYU 38, Army 0 | 13:05 3Q
Made it look too easy 😅 pic.twitter.com/E8enK8xC1Z— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 8, 2020
BYU 31, Navy 0 | HALF
The Cougars found the end zone once again eight seconds before halftime. Lopini Katoa took a handoff up the middle, stayed on his feet and broke the plane at the goal line for a touchdown. It was Katoa's second rushing touchdown of the game, and his third overall score of the night.
BYU sophomore Tyler Allgeier (110 yards, TD) is averaging 11 yards a carry and the Cougars' offense is outgaining Navy 304-48 offensive yards through the first 30 minutes.
Here are each team's statistics as BYU holds a commanding 31-0 lead over Navy at halftime. BYU will receive the ball to begin the second half.
BYU 24, Navy 0 | 5:00 2Q
BYU 21, Navy 0 | 13:31 2Q
BYU 14, Navy 0 | END 1Q
BYU 14, Navy 0 | 7:16 1Q
BYU 7, Navy 0 | 10:07 1Q
COUGARS STRIKE FIRST ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/njFw0wDfsu— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 8, 2020
BYU 0, Navy 0 | 15:00 1Q
The final game of Week 1 is underway in Annapolis, Maryland, as Navy plays host to BYU.
Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo told ESPN's Allison Williams before the game that tonight will be the first live action his players have seen all year. No tackling has been allowed during practice. Williams also reported that Navy conducted testing twice per week.
What to know about BYU vs. Navy before kickoff
BYU and Navy close out Week 1 of the 2020 college football season at 8 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN. Here's what you need to know before kickoff:
- This will be the third meeting all time between these two programs, and the first since 1989 when BYU won 31-10. The series is tied 1-1.
- No fans will be allowed inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in accordance with a Secretary's Order from the Maryland Department of Health.
- Navy is coming off an 11-2 season in 2019 and received six votes in this year's preseason AP poll. BYU went 7-6 last year.
- The Midshipmen led all FBS schools in rushing yards per game in 2019 with an average of 360.5.
- They'll be without their leading rusher Malcolm Perry, who ran for 2,017 yards last season. The quarterback was taken in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins.
- However, fullbacks Jamale Carothers and Nelson Smith are returning and combined for 1,205 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019.
- The Cougars will counter with junior quarterback Zach Wilson, who started nine games last season while throwing for 2,382 yards and 11 touchdowns with a 62.4 completion percentage.
- With tight end Matt Bushman suffering a season ending injury, Wilson will have to look elsewhere in a receiving core that's now lost its top four yardage leaders from 2019.
- Junior Gunner Romney could fill that void, as the receiver finished with 31 receptions for 377 yards and two touchdowns last year.
Here's a preview of Navy
Navy (11-2 in 2019)
Coach: Ken Niumatalolo (98-60, 13th season)
2020 fall schedule: BYU (Sept. 7); at Tulane (Sept. 19); Temple (Sept. 26); at Air Force (Oct. 3); at East Carolina (Oct. 17); Houston (Oct. 24); at SMU (Oct. 31); Tulsa (Nov. 7); Memphis (Nov. 14); at South Florida (Nov. 21); vs. Army in Philadelphia (Dec. 12)
Navy had a major bounce back in 2019, winning 11 games after going 3-10 in 2018. But one of the driving forces of the turnaround, quarterback Malcolm Perry, is gone with Dalen Morris or Perry Olsen set to step in and lead Navy's triple-option system.
Regardless of which signal-caller takes the field Monday night, be prepared for the Midshipmen to run the ball early and often while attempting to control the clock. What made the Midshipmen successful at this last year was that they were a difficult team to get off of the field. Navy ranked eighth in time of possession and top 5 in red zone offense and fourth down conversion rate.
Slowing them down won't be that much easier as fullbacks Nelson Smith and Jamale Carothers return to lead a ground game that finished first in 2019 among all FBS teams with 360.5 rushing yards per game. The duo combined for more than 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns a year ago.
Preseason All-American linebacker Diego Fagot will anchor the defense for one of college football's most well-disciplined teams. Fagot recorded 100 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks for a Midshipmen team that was flagged the fourth-fewest times last season.
Here's a preview of BYU
BYU (7-6 in 2019)
Coach: Kalani Sitake (27-25, fifth season)
2020 fall schedule: at Navy (Sept. 7); at Army (Sept. 19); Troy (Sept. 26); UTSA (Oct. 10); at Houston (Oct. 16); Texas State (Oct. 24); Western Kentucky (Oct. 31); North Alabama (Nov. 21)
BYU opens its season Monday on the road after posting back to back 7-6 seasons. This will be one of three times the Cougars are scheduled to play away from Provo in 2020 as part of an eight-game schedule. After a three-man quarterback competition in the offseason, Zach Wilson will start the year atop the depth chart after starting nine games a year ago. Wilson threw for over 2,300 yards and 11 touchdowns while battling an injury to his throwing hand.
It'll be up to an offensive line that boasts 115 combined starts to keep the pocket clean for Wilson and create running room for Lopini Katoa and Sione Finau. BYU didn't have a true starter last season, but Katoa and Finau both figure to contribute to the ground game in different ways. Finau had a team-best 359 yards on 59 carries while Katoa led the Cougars in carries (85) and rushing touchdowns (4).
Tight end Matt Bushman is the only one of BYU's top four receiving yardage leaders to return, which might lead to an increase in touches for the 6-foot-5 senior. Junior wideout Gunner Romney could be due for a bigger role after making 13 appearances with only one start.
The Cougars are an experienced group defensively, returning six players who made at least seven starts last season. Look to linebackers Kavika Fanua, Isaiah Kaufusi and Payton Wilgar anchor the unit.
📺 How to watch BYU vs. Navy
Week 1 of the 2020 college football season concludes with BYU and Navy face off under the lights in Annapolis, Maryland, on Monday, Sept. 7. This will be the teams' third meeting ever and first since 1989. There will be no fans at the game in accordance with a Secretary's Order from the Maryland Department of Health.
Here's to watch the game:
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Date: Monday, Sept. 7
Place: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.