Zach Wilson set a BYU record and tied the NCAA bowl mark with 18-for-18 passing, throwing for 317 yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars’ 49-18 victory over Western Michigan on Friday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Selected the game MVP, Wilson tied the NCAA bowl record for completion percentage set by Riley Skinner at 11 for 11 for Wake Forest in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl.
“I’ve been trying to let Zach loose for a long time now,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “I think an aggressive style of offense is what we need. This was really good for us to see that we could win a game when a team commits to stopping the run against us.”
Down 10-7 at halftime, BYU (7-6) scored 28 points in the third quarter. Wilson connected with Aleva Hifo for a 70-yard scoring strike, and Riley Burt had a 37-yard touchdown run in the quarter.
Western Michigan (7-6) rolled up 192 yards of offense in the first half, then managed only 41 yards on 18 plays in the decisive third quarter.
“I thought our defense did a great job of keeping us in it,” Western Michigan coach Tim Lester said. “Once they got a lead on us, they got after our secondary pretty good. We knew this game was going to be about which quarterback could get into a rhythm, we said that all week, and (Wilson) got comfortable.”