No. 23 BYU beats No. 19 Arizona State, improves to 3-0
PROVO, Utah — No. 23 BYU football beat No. 19 Arizona State 27-17 at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night, marking consecutive wins over ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks during the regular season for the first time in school history.
Quarterback Jaren Hall went 15 of 27 for 214 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed seven times for 38 yards but left with an injury late in the fourth quarter.
Hall was replaced by Baylor Romney whose only pass went for a three-yard touchdown to tight end Isaac Rex to put the Cougars up two scores. Wide receiver Gunner Romney led all receivers with 95 yards and one touchdown. Rex also added two touchdowns.
BYU’s defense was led by linebacker Max Tooley who recorded 10 tackles, four solo, 0.5 tackles for loss, and an interception. Defensive back Malik Moore recorded the Cougars’ second interception of the night to go along with his four tackles.
BYU (3-0) defeated its third consecutive team from a Power 5 conference for the first time in a single season and second time ever (1983 and 1984 seasons).
On the opening kickoff, Talmage Gunther forced a fumble that was recovered by Hayden Livingston, setting up BYU at the Arizona State 12-yard line. The Cougars scored on a one-yard Tyler Allgeier rush three plays later, giving them a 7-0 lead just 37 seconds in.
The Sun Devils answered with a six play, 75-yard drive, tying it up at the 11:10 mark on a one-yard Rachaad White touchdown.
Two empty BYU possessions sandwiched one empty Arizona State possession, with Ryan Rehkow booming an 83-yard punt for a touchback to set up the Sun Devils heading into the second quarter. The punt was the longest punt in the modern era in school history.
Arizona State drove down to the BYU 21-yard line before a bobbled pass was intercepted by Tooley. The Cougars capitalized, marching 83 yards in six plays, highlighted by a 31-yard pass to tight end Dallin Holker, 20-yarder to Neil Pau’u and 34-yard flea flicker to Gunner Romney for a touchdown at the 8:54 mark.
BYU forced a three-and-out and again drove the field, this time going 74 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 15-yard pass from Jaren Hall to Isaac Rex to go up 21-7 with 4:40 remaining.
After Moore intercepted a Jayden Daniels pass at the BYU 32, the Cougars got down to the Sun Devil 29 before Hall threw an interception in the end zone with 16 seconds left in the half.
The Cougars got a first down on their opening play, but went three-and-out from there and punted back to the Sun Devils, who went 80 yards in nine plays, scoring on a Daniyel Ngata 10-yard rush with 9:42 remaining and cutting the BYU lead to 21-14.
After another Cougar three-and-out, Arizona State drove down to the BYU 14, but three penalties forced it to settle for a field goal, making it 21-17, BYU with 3:40 remaining in the third.
On its next drive, BYU converted on third-down with a 17-yard strike to Romney. A 28-yard scamper by Hall had the Cougars set up at the Sun Devil 26 before Arizona State intercepted Hall’s throw as he was being sacked. The Sun Devils returned the pick 60 yards before Allgeier chased him down, punched the ball out and quarterback Jaren Hall recovered it again for BYU as it regained possession at its own 15.
After getting the ball back, Hall completed a pass to tight end Masen Wake, who hurdled an Arizona State defender for a seven yard gain as the cannon singled at the end of the third.
BYU picked up three first downs to start the fourth quarter, but Hall was sacked outside of field goal range and it was forced to punt.
The Cougar defense locked down and with the help of four false start penalties that had the Sun Devils at their own three and six yard line, forced an Arizona State punt, giving BYU the ball back at its 23 with a six-point lead and 6:37 remaining in the game.
Allgeier opened the drive with a 17-yard rush, setting the tone on a 12-play, 73-yarder that featured runs on all but one play. Hall ran for a gain of 13 down to the Sun Devil four but was injured on the play, bringing in Baylor Romney.
After two handoffs to Allgeier for one yard, the Cougars scored on a play-action pass from Romney to Rex, his second on the night for the tight end, to take a 27-17 lead with 1:19 left in the game.
Arizona State gained 48 yards in five plays, but Jakob Robinson tackled the Sun Devils’ White at the BYU 27 as the clock hit zero and BYU improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Cougars will host South Florida in a third-straight home game on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 8:15 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.