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With the D1A Playoff bracket being released earlier in the week, Saturday's regular season match-up between BYU and Colorado State was transformed into the first round of the postseason. With both clubs earning at-large bids to the playoffs, BYU routed Colorado State, 93-3, with a 15-try explosion in Provo, Utah. With the victory, BYU has advanced to the D1A Quarterfinals and will play Indiana in Bloomington on April 22nd.
BYU returned to the D1A Playoffs for the first time since 2012 when the Cougars won their second National Championship over Arkansas State. BYU has been competing in the Varsity Cup for the last four years where it brought home three titles.
For its opening round match versus Colorado State, BYU head coach David Smyth was proud of his team’s effort. “Our set piece really worked well. We were good in the scrums and lineouts. Defensively, we took away a lot of space from them and then when we had the ball, we were able to get it wide. We were able to get into space ourselves and score some points.”
Score some points BYU did as the Cougars blitzed the Rams for seven tries in the first half before CSU connected on a penalty to end the period, 43-3. David George, Kevin Schofield, and Calvin Whiting each scored a pair of tries in the half and Tosh Wilcox dotted down another.
The try parade continued in the second half as Connor Parry (2), George (3), Zach Webber, Chase Matua, Braden Pape (2), and Justin Weaver crossed the whitewash. The Cougar defense shut out CSU in the second half for the 93-3 win.
With Indiana on the horizon in the quarterfinals, the Hoosiers are an unknown to BYU. “For us in the Varsity Cup, we haven’t come across them too much,” Smyth said. “We have some studying this week to see what they are like and what style of rugby they play.”
Indiana will present a significant challenge for BYU, but Smyth will have his boys ready for the contest. “We got to be very good in our set pieces and be really physical at the breakdown [in order to advance to the next round.]”