Rockets Bring Down BYU in Dramatic Fashion, 28-21

September 28, 2019 | Athletics, Events, News, Alumni
By Paul Helgren

Senior safety Kahlil Robinson set up the game-winning touchdown with an interception with less than one minute remaining to give Toledo a wild 28-21 victory over BYU Saturday afternoon in the Glass Bowl.

With the score tied, 21-21, Toledo was driving for the go-ahead touchdown when BYU recovered a fumble with 1:09 left in the game. However, on the very next play, Robinson picked off BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at the Cougar 42-yard line and returned it to the two. Junior running back Shakif Seymour scored on the next play, giving Toledo its first lead since a 3-0 edge in the first quarter.

The Rockets celebrated their victory over the BYU Cougars.

BYU had one last chance to tie, but on the game’s final play, backup quarterback Jaren Hall’s pass attempt deep in Toledo territory fell incomplete.

Trailing 7-3 at halftime, Toledo tied the game at 14-14 late in the third quarter on an 18-yard TD reception by Seymour and a two-point conversion.

BYU took a 21-14 lead moments later, but the Rockets tied it up on a Bryant Koback one-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, setting up the game’s dramatic finish.

Seymour finished with a season-high 96 yards rushing to go with his two scores. Koback chipped in with 88 yards as the Rockets ran for 242 yards as a team. Senior quarterback Mitchell Guadagni had another strong outing, completing 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards and one TD. He also rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries.

Junior running back Shakif Seymour ran for two touchdowns and a career-high 96 yards in Toledo’s win.

Toledo’s defense came through with numerous big plays. In addition to Robinson’s interception, the Rockets broke up nine passes and had two sacks.

Neither team was able to score in the opening 15 minutes. BYU had the best chance, but the Rockets stopped the Cougars on fourth-and-four from the Toledo 34-yard line on an incomplete pass.

In the second quarter, Toledo opened the scoring on a 45-yard field goal by Evan Davis with 11:02 left in the half. BYU tried to answer on the ensuing possession, but Jake Oldroyd’s 39-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright. However, on the Cougars’ next possession, Emmanuel Esukpa scored from 32 yards out on a third-and-seven play to give BYU a 7-3 lead at the 4:09 mark. The Cougars later missed another field goal, this time from 42 yards, with less than one minute in the half.

In the third quarter, BYU struck quickly, connecting on a 75-yard bomb from Zach Wilson to Aleva Hifo on the third play of the quarter, putting the Cougars up, 14-3. Toledo then moved the ball down to the BYU nine-yard line, but had to settle for a 26-yard Davis field goal.

Toledo’s defense came up big during the game.

On their next possession, Guadagni drove the Rockets to the 18-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-three situation. He then hit Seymour for a short pass that he took into the end zone. Candle opted to go for two points on the conversion, and Guadagni came through with a pass to Reggie Gilliam to tie the score, 14-14. Toledo’s defense then forced a BYU punt, but the Cougars recovered the muffed fair catch attempt on the UToledo 23-yard line. Three plays later, Wilson hit Hifo for a three-yard TD pass to give the Cougars a 21-14 edge.

Koback capped a nine-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard score on the third play of fourth quarter to tie the score 21-21.

Toledo’s defense stopped BYU on fourth-and-six with less than five minutes to play, giving the Rockets a chance to seal the win. Toledo drove to the BYU 32-yard line when Koback fumbled following a 12-yard gain, turning the ball over to the Cougars. However, on the very next play, Robinson picked off a pass from Zach Wilson at the BYU 42-yard line and returned it to the two-yard line. Seymour scored on the next play, giving Toledo its first lead since the first quarter.

BYU had one last chance to tie the game, but on the game’s last play, backup the Cougars’ pass attempt deep in Toledo territory fell incomplete.

The Rockets are home again next week as they host Western Michigan in their annual Homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the Glass Bowl.

Tickets are half-off for UToledo employees; UToledo students are admitted free with ID. Go to the Toledo Football Central website, stop by the UToledo Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

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