LAS VEGAS — Zach Wilson watched his alma mater start a brand new chapter with out him.
His successor bought off to an excellent begin.
Quarterback Jaren Corridor collected 243 yards and two touchdowns as BYU defeated Arizona 24-16 at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday night time within the season opener for each groups.
Corridor, the redshirt sophomore from Spanish Fork, Utah, made his third profession begin and first within the post-Wilson period. Wilson, drafted No. 2 total by the New York Jets on this 12 months’s NFL Draft, was in Las Vegas to see the Cougars play in an NFL stadium.
“Zach being right here, supporting the fellows he performed with for 3 years, means loads to us to have him and brings confidence to everyone for what he’s executed previously,” Corridor mentioned. “It was good to have him.”
Corridor began the sport 1-of-5 passing for 10 yards, however completed 18 of 28 for 198 yards and two landing passes for the Cougars, who’ve gained 12 of their final 13 video games.
After a scoreless first quarter, BYU’s sign caller lit a spark. Corridor caught a 9-yard cross from receiver Neil Pau’u to place the Cougars into the purple zone. Tyler Allgeier bumped into the tip zone from 15 yards out on the subsequent play to offer BYU a 6-0 lead with 9:17 left within the second quarter.
“I believe it was only a clear soccer recreation total for the offense,” Corridor mentioned. “I assumed we executed properly. Simply type of took the performs in entrance of us after they got here, the alternatives the protection gave us.”
That drive sparked BYU’s offense within the second quarter. On the Cougars’ subsequent drive following a missed 31-yard area objective from Arizona, Corridor discovered Pau’u in single protection down the center for a 67-yard landing. A two-point conversion made it 14-0 with 2:06 left within the first half.
Pau’u caught eight passes for 126 yards and each of Corridor’s landing passes. The second got here three performs after Corridor spun within the pocket, discovered a lane and ran 39 yards down the left sideline to the Arizona 17-yard line.
“I assumed he made some performs,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake mentioned. “He broke an extended one for that scramble, created some area for himself. I favored the composure, the poise he had. He’s a terrific chief for us.”
Arizona trailed 21-3 at that time with 7:28 left within the third quarter.
Taking part in of their first nonconference recreation in 721 days, the Wildcats misplaced their thirteenth consecutive recreation courting again to 2019. It was additionally the debut for Wildcats coach Jedd Fisch, the previous quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots. Fisch changed Kevin Sumlin, who went 0-5 in 2020.
“Disappointing that we didn’t end that recreation off,” Fisch mentioned. “Hats off to BYU. They battled. They got here out robust, got here out bodily. It was an excellent recreation proper off the bat, all over.”
Gunner Cruz was 34-for-45 passing for 336 yards with a landing and an interception because the Arizona starter. Cruz cut up time with Will Plummer, who amassed solely 9 yards passing on three makes an attempt earlier than Cruz completed the sport.
“We got here out and needed to win the sport, and I believe we had a terrific recreation plan getting in,” Cruz mentioned. “Some issues didn’t go our method.”