Senior running back Squally Canada scored three touchdowns, leading BYU to a 28-23 victory over Arizona on Saturday in the season opener for both teams in Tucson, Ariz.
The Cougars’ victory spoiled Kevin Sumlin’s debut as Arizona’s coach. Sumlin had gone 9-1 in season openers as a head coach. The result also snapped the Wildcats’ 17-game home win streak in season openers.
BYU was methodical and patient all night, finding a way to get through Arizona’s supposedly improved defense. The Cougars finished with 392 yards in total offense to the Wildcats’ 326.
Arizona made a late-game rally, scoring a touchdown with 3:20 left on a 1-yard rush by J.J. Taylor to make it 28-23. The Wildcats fell just short on the two-point conversion.
It was the last time Arizona touched the ball, as BYU ran out the clock.
Cougars senior quarterback Tanner Mangum outdueled Arizona junior quarterback Khalil Tate most of the night, passing for one touchdown and 209 yards. He completed 18 of 28 attempts.
Tate was limited throughout the game and was all but stuffed on the run, something that made him a major threat last season after averaging 128.3 rushing yards a game.
Tate amassed 197 yards on 17-of-34 passing. He ran for a touchdown and threw for one. It was the second most passes he’s thrown in his career (35). Tate gained 14 yards on eight carries.
BYU broke the game open in the third quarter as it scored three touchdowns, one on a 24-yard scoring pass from Mangum to tight end Matt Bushman, a Tucson native, to make it 14-10.
On the Cougars’ next possession, Canada scored on a 1-yard run to make it 21-10.
After Tate and the Wildcats failed to move the ball on their next drive, BYU drove 36 yards for Canada’s final touchdown of the night.
BYU took a 28-10 lead into the fourth quarter.
Tate inched Arizona closer on a 2-yard run early into the fourth quarter to make it 28-17.
—Field Level Media