LAS VEGAS (AP) — Squally Canada had a career-best 213 yards rushing and one of BYU’s season-high three rushing touchdowns to help the Cougars beat UNLV 31-21 on Friday night.
Canada, who had never topped the 100-yard plateau coming in, had a career-high 25 carries. Joe Critchlow, a freshman making his first career start, was 14-of-22 passing for 160 yards and one touchdown for BYU (3-8).
UNLV (4-6), pinned deep in its own territory, went 78 yards on 15 plays over seven-plus minutes before BYU’s Zayne Anderson intercepted a pass in a the end zone. Austin Kafentzis had a 20-yard run before Critchlow hit Micah Simon for a 30-yard gain and Aleva Hifo for a 19-yarder to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Brayden El-Bakri to open the scoring with 9:06 left in the first half.
Lexington Thomas capped a nine-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run to tie it nearly five minutes later, but Critchlow completed 5 of 7 passes for 50 yards — including an 11-yard scoring strike to Hifo — and had a 2-yard run on fourth-and-1 as BYU made it 14-7 with 27 seconds left in the half.
Canada ripped off a 54-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half and, after two 6-yard runs by Kafentzis, made it 21-7 with a 2-yard touchdown run. After UNLV’s Johnny Stanton hit Brandon Presley for an 18-yard TD late in the third, Canada had four carries for 58 yards to set up Kafentzis’ 11-yard scoring run to make it 28-14 going into the fourth.
Stanton was 20-of-33 passing for 325 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for UNLV.