No. 15 BYU victorious 35-27 over USF to move to 4-0
PROVO, Utah — No. 15 BYU football outlasted USF 35-27, marking the Cougars’ 250th victory at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night.
In his first start of the season, quarterback Baylor Romney finished 20 of 25 for 305 yards and three touchdowns.
BYU had two wideouts go for 100-yards receiving on the night. Gunner Romney had five receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown while Puka Nacua recorded four catches for 102 yards. Running back Tyler Allgeier also added two touchdowns on 15 carries for 81 yards.
Linebacker Ben Bywater led the Cougars defensively with eight tackles, including three solo tackles. Defensive linemen Pepe Tanuvasa and Caden Haws both had seven total tackles with three solo tackles each. Tanuvasa also added a tackle for loss.
BYU received the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in four plays to take a 7-0 lead 2:55 into the game. The drive featured Tyler Allgeier runs of 12 and 14, a 49-yard completion from Baylor Romney to Gunner Romney and a five-yard touchdown pass from Baylor Romney to fullback Masen Wake.
After forcing a USF three-and-out thanks to tackles-for-loss by Gabe Summers and Payton Wilgar, the Cougars got into the red zone on their first play from scrimmage as Baylor Romney completed a 55-yard pass to Puka Nacua. Allgeier punched it in on 4th and goal from inside the one, giving BYU a 14-0 lead at the 9:16 mark of the quarter.
On the Bulls’ ensuing possession, quarterback Timmy McClain fumbled on 4th down, turning it over at the USF 34. Baylor Romney scrambled for seven yards to convert on 3rd down and then rushed for another 13 yards on the next play. Allgeier ran it in for another one-yard touchdown, the second 4th and goal score in as many possessions, for a 21-0 lead with 4:20 remaining in the first.
The Bulls drove to midfield in seven plays before the end of the first quarter. Starting the second quarter, they were aided by a defensive holding penalty on 4th down, setting them up at the BYU 13. The Cougar defense held strong, forcing two incompletions after a one-yard rush. USF settled for a 30-yard field goal, making it 21-3 with 12:41 to go in the second.
Baylor Romney had two completions for first downs to Neil Pau’u on the next drive, but the Cougars were forced to punt, their first empty possession of the game.
The Bulls would hit another field goal on their next drive, this time a 42-yarder after a 12 play, 62-yard drive to bring the score to 21-6 at the 4:57 mark of the quarter.
The Cougars answered, driving 75 yards in seven plays, highlighted by a 25-yard screen pass from Baylor Romney to Lopini Katoa and a nine-yard touchdown pass to Pau’u, giving BYU a 28-6 lead with 1:06 remaining in the half.
USF opened the second half with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that spanned 7:35 of the quarter. Going for it on 4th and goal from the 3-yard line, the Bulls scored their first touchdown on a reverse to cut into the BYU lead at 28-13.
Baylor Romney and the Cougars quickly scored 1:45 later on the second long Romney-to-Romney pass of the night, this one a 47-yarder for a touchdown that put BYU ahead 35-13 with 5:40 to go in the third.
The Bulls rattled off a second touchdown drive on their ensuing possession, going 54 yards in six plays to make it 35-20 on Jaren Magham’s two-yard touchdown run with 3:03 remaining in the quarter.
Completions of 13, 27 and 14 from Baylor Romney to Pau’u, Nacua and Issac Rex took the Cougars down to the USF 5-yard line before the end of the third quarter.
After two incomplete passes in the end zone, BYU settled for a 22-yard field goal but it was blocked, giving USF the ball back with 14:46 remaining in the game.
The next Bulls’ drive went 19 plays, 94 yards and spanned 9:05. Again going for it on 4th and goal, Mangham rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 35-27, BYU, with 5:41 left.
With USF out of timeouts, the Cougars ran out the clock on seven rushes and one pass, picking up two first downs before the clock hit zero to seal their 35-27 victory.
BYU will remain in-state and travel up to Logan next week for a matchup with Utah State on Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.