BYU rallies to beat Tennessee in double overtime
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Running back Ty’Son Williams scored the game-winning touchdown in double overtime as the BYU football team came from behind to beat Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 92,475.
The Cougars (1-1) trailed the entire game before tying the game with one second remaining in regulation and led the Volunteers (0-2) for the first time in overtime.
"I think we just had some plays go our way, caught some breaks and were able to come out victorious and had a couple more plays than they did," head coach Kalani Sitake said. "I’m thankful that it took all three phases to make this work and just proud of our guys and how resilient they were in this game."
Trailing 16-13 with less than 20 seconds on the clock facing a third-and-six, quarterback Zach Wilson found an open Micah Simon behind the Vols defense for a 64-yard reception down to the Tennessee 16-yard line, setting up a 33-yard field goal by Jake Oldroyd to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Starting with the ball in overtime, a 10-yard pass to Aleva Hifo gave BYU a first down on the Tennessee 14-yard line. Wilson fired a strike to Talon Shumway over the middle as he fell into the end zone to put BYU up 23-16.
The Volunteers answered back with a 13-yard passing touchdown of their own tying the game up again at 23-23, pushing the game into a second overtime.
Tennessee started the second overtime with the ball and after gaining just two yards in three plays, the Vols opted for a 40-yard field goal to make the score 26-23.
The Cougars did not waste any time moving down the field once they got the ball. Hifo ran the ball 13 yards on a reverse to the 12-yard line to give BYU a first down. Williams picked up a seven-yard run and then another short gain for the graduate transfer looked to be shy of the goal line until the BYU offensive line moved the pile into the end zone for the game-winning score.
Williams ended the night as BYU’s leading rusher with 17 attempts for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Simon also contributed with a career-high seven catches for 127 yards including a career long catch of 64-yards to help BYU tie the game at the end of the game. Wilson finished the game going 19 for 29 with 232 yards and one touchdown.
Kavika Fonua led the defense in tackles with a career high of 10 as well as a tackle for loss and and interception. Oldroyd went a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals, including a 33-yarder that tied up the game at the end of regulation.
First Half Review
The Vols quarterback Jarrett Guarantano threw into a crowded end zone on fourth down when Fonua deflected the ball but Tennessee’s Jauan Jennings caught the re-directed pass and put the Vols up 7-0 with 4:53 left in the first quarter.
BYU answered back with, a double reverse pass back to Wilson which resulted in a 27-yard pass Matt Bushman down field to give BYU great field position. However, the Cougars were unable to get into the end zone but got their first points of the game as Oldroyd connected on a 31-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.Second Quarter Review
A nine play, 29-yard drive moved the Vols down the field and they tacked on a 51-yard field goal with 5:05 left in the half to increase their lead to 10-3. Tennessee closed out the second quarter with another field goal, this time a 39-yarder to bring the score to 13-3 at halftime.
Second Half Review
Only three plays into the second half, an interception from Fonua gave BYU momentum, returning it 20-yards into Tennessee territory. Three plays later, Williams ran 16-yards into the end zone to cut the score to 13-10 with 12:47 left in the quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, the Volunteers were unable to make it into the end zone kicking a 22-yard field goal pushing Tennessee’s lead to 16-10. But, BYU answered back with a field goal of their own as Oldroyd put another one through the uprights to bring the score to 16-13 with 7:18 left in the game.
The Cougars got the ball back with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter. A 64-yard pass to Simon with less than 20 seconds left gave BYU a chance to tie up the game. A 33-yard field goal tied the game up at 16-16 sending the game into overtime.
- Kavika Fonua recorded his first career interception, returning it 20-yards
- Ty’Son Williams 16-yard rushing touchdown was his second of the season
- Micah Simon career-long 64-yard reception
Both teams threw touchdown passes in the first overtime tying the score up again at 23-23. In the second overtime, Tennessee kicked a 40-yard field goal going up 26-23 but BYU’s Williams and the offensive line pushed into the end zone for a touchdown and the Cougars took the win 29-26.
BYU returns to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14 for a game against USC. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on an ESPN Network (expected to be determined Sept. 8) and can be heard on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM.