KGUN 9News


BYU edges Arizona 18-16 in season opener

Posted at 11:28 PM, Sep 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-04 02:28:57-04
Arizona failed to start the 2016 season the way they had hoped.  BYU pulled off a 18-16 nailbiting victory in the final two minutes of the game.  It was BYU head coach Kalani Sitake's first win with the Cougars.
It began as an emotional night.  Zach Hemmila, who passed away in his sleep in early August, was honored before the game by his family on the field.  Hemmila was also an honorary captain for the Wildcats, as Sani Fuimaono and Trey Griffey held his #65 jersey at the coin-toss.
Taysom Hill, a 26-year old senior quarterback, finished the night 21-of-29 for 202 yards and a touchdown.  Hill lead the Cougars on the game-winning drive with just 1:38 left on the clock.
Rich Rodriguez waited until game day to name a starting quarterback.  When Anu Solmon's number was called to lead the Wildcat offense, he came out timid and unable to do much against a physical, massive BYU defense.  Solomon was sacked four times and picked off twice.
Nick Wilson was Arizona's only hope, as the tailback delivered a 49 yard run for a late 4th quarter score.
The Cougars then marched down the field to give freshman kicker Jake Oldroyd a chance to win it all with a 33 yard game winning field goal.