PROVO — While BYU will be without running back Michael Alisa for six to eight weeks due to a broken arm, the Cougars are encouraged about their ground attack.
In last week's 47-0 victory over Hawaii, BYU rushed for 396 yards, led by running back Jamaal Williams' 155 yards and two touchdowns.
"He runs the ball really good," said offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. "Sometimes when you hand it off to people and they make people miss, they make you look good as a coach. There's no secret. He's pretty good. He's humble and he works hard. He's not begging for playing time. He goes to work every single day. He was a heavily recruited kid out of high school. He has every reason in the world to come in with his nose up. He's a team guy. Our players respect him and battle for him."
Meanwhile, quarterback Taysom Hill rushed for 144 yards, including a 68-yard TD, and Paul Lasike, a former Cougar rugby player who has spent considerable time this season on the scout team, gained 40 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns.
"Paul has been really impressive," said coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Our defensive players have had a hard time tackling him for four weeks now. We were hopeful to integrate him a little bit more. So everyone moves up one notch. He's been with the offense all week."
Offensive lineman Braden Brown loved seeing his teammates picking up big yardage on the ground.
"That was a fun game. We needed that game up front as an offensive line," he said. "Our runners ran hard. Taysom ran hard. We gave them the blocks they needed to break some big runs. That helped the morale of the offense. As a team, it's going to help us moving forward."19 comments on this story
PUNTING POWER: BYU senior Riley Stephenson is No. 3 nationally in punting with an average of 47.57 per attempt.
Stephenson booted a 61-yarder against Hawaii, and he has had 13 punts that have landed inside the 20-yard line. Thirteen of his punts have gone at least 50 yards.
THE SERIES: BYU leads the all-time series with Utah State, 44-34-3, dating back to 1922.
FIRST-HALF TEAM: Utah State has outscored its opponents 51-0 in the first quarter this year and 85-16 in the first half. Last week, UNLV became the first team to score a first-half touchdown against the Aggies.