The Week 1 finale of the 2020 college football season turned into a rout on Monday night as BYU racked up 580 yards en route to a 55-3 win over home-standing Navy in Annapolis, Maryland. Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier had 132 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns, while backfield mate Lopini Katoa had 80 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, three catches for 32 yards and one score in an offensive showcase.
Allgeier scored from 34 yards out to open the scoring on the first drive of the game, and Katoa followed up on the next drive with a 39-yard scamper on the next possession. Katoa caught a 15-yard pass from quarterback Zach Wilson on the next drive to stretch the lead to 21-0. After a 22-yard field goal from Jake Oldroyd midway through the second quarter, Katoa plunged in from 1 yard out with eight seconds left in the first half to push the lead to 31 points.
The hits just kept on coming in the second half. Wilson hit Gunner Romney for a 45-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to push the lead to 38-0, and Allgeier then scampered 17 yards for a score to extend the lead to 45-0 with 7:10 to go in the third frame.
The BYU offensive line dominated at the line of scrimmage and Wilson was an efficient 13-of-18 passing for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a game in which — let’s be honest — he didn’t have to throw much in order to move the chains.
Navy’s offense, meanwhile, was stymied by a Cougars defense that allowed just 149 total yards and 119 rushing yards. That’s quite the statement against a Navy rushing attack that is typically a force in that triple-option scheme.
Let’s break down the three biggest takeaways from Monday night’s season opener between BYU and Navy.
1. BYU’s offense is no joke: The world saw Allgeier and Katoa run circles around Navy’s defense tonight. But behind the rushing clinic, Zach Wilson put together a solid performance and wide receiver Gunner Romney had four catches for 134 yards and one touchdown. Does that matter? Absolutely. It indicates that BYU has more in its offensive arsenal than it led on on Monday night. It’s fair to assume that it went into cruise control so fast that it is saving plenty of the playbook for the road trip to Army in two weeks. Offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes pressed all of the right buttons in the first game of his third season in charge of the Cougars offense. If he can keep it up … get your popcorn ready.
2. This was a statement: BYU only has eight games this year after COVID-19 upended the 2020 college football season. After tonight, it isn’t going to get the spotlight at all throughout the course of the season. Unless …look, I’m not saying that BYU is going to make the College Football Playoff. That would be an overreaction of epic proportions. But, in a year in which the door is as wide open as it ever will be for mid-and lower-level independent teams and Group of Five teams, why not BYU? Seriously. The offensive line is full of grown adults who are road graders out there, the running game is in great hands and the defense, led by a stout linebacker corps, is fully capable of playing as disciplined as any team in America. If there is going to be a non-Power Five team in the CFP, BYU has the chance to be it. Or, at the very least, be in the conversation in December prior to Selection Sunday.
3. Maybe Navy should have gone full contact: Midshipman coach Ken Niumatalolo took ownership of the fact that they didn’t have full contact practices in fall camp in order to limit exposure to COVID-19 and keep his team healthy for the opener. That backfired in a huge way. The Midshipmen not only missed tackles, they looked downright allergic to tackling throughout the evening. That’s quite a shock for a Navy team that, under Niumatalolo’s watch, has been one of the smartest and well-coached teams in the country. Team’s typically improve the most from Game 1 to Game 2, and Navy has a week off before traveling to Tulane on Sept. 19. With two weeks to prepare, maybe they’ll have the time to hit each other at least once during the week in preparation for the Green Wave.
CBS Sports was with you live throughout the BYU-Navy game with live updates and highlights below.