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BYU upsets No. 24 USC with game-winning interception in overtime

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BYU scored their second straight win against a team from a power conference, and this time they did it on their home field. BYU (2-1) needed overtime to score their first victory against No. 21 USC (2-1) in program history. It came in dramatic fashion with Dayan Ghanwoloku picking off a pass by Kedon Slovis in overtime to seal a 30-27 win. An official video replay review had to confirm the call on the field after fans had already started to strom the field.

 

USC took a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter thanks in part to bad personnel management by BYU’s special teams. On 4th and 1 form the BYU 32-yard line, the Trojans appeared set to attempt a 50-yard field goal, but BYU head coach Kalani Sitake was forced to burn BYU’s second timeout of the half because they had 12 players on the field. After getting some extra time to think things over, USC head coach Clay Helton opted to let his offense go back on the field and Markese Stepp rewarded him for that decision with a two-yard gain to move the chains. Then, on the very next play, Kedon Slovis took to the air to find Michael Pittman Jr. for a 30-yard touchdown. The ruling of a touchdown was discussed by officials to determine if Pittman should have been flagged for illegally touching the football after stepping out of bounds, and a review upheld the decision on the field.

After cutting the lead to four with a field goal, the BYU defense come up with a controversial stop on 3rd & 8 (officials ruled Pittman had caught a pass out of bounds, although video review showed there was a chance he may have had a foot inbounds), BYU took over around midfield. A big 35-yard pass from Zach Wilson to Gunner Romney picked up 35 yards right away, and two plays later Wilson took the ball himself straight up the middle of the Trojans defense.

But USC responded with a 52-yard field goal off the leg of Chase McGrath, a career-best, to tie the game at 27-27 on the ensuing possession.

USC is now 2-1 all-time against BYU. The two teams played in 2003 and 2004, with the Trojans winning by scores of 35-18 and 42-10, respectively.

USC will jump back into Pac-12 play next week with BYU’s rival, and preseason Pac-12 media favorite, Utah. The Trojans will get the Utes at home in an early pivotal matchup in the Pac-12 with the winner taking the early lead in the Pac-12 South Division standings. Utah was getting a final tuneup at home against Idaho State in Week 3. Utah also opened the season with a victory against BYU.

BYU will welcome another Pac-12 contender to Provo next week when the Washington huskies make the trip to LaVell Edwards Stadium. Washington head coach Chris Petersen is 2-1 all-time against the Cougars, including a 1-1- mark at Boise State.

BYU and No. 24 USC tied at halftime in Provo

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One half is in the books in LaVell Edwards Stadium with BYU looking for a second straight victory against a power conference opponent. The Cougars are engaged in a 17-17 tie with No. 24 USC at halftime and look to continue bringing pressure on USC’s freshman quarterback to create an advantage.

A week after getting his first career start for USC and leading the Trojans to a victory over Stanford, Kedon Slovis made sure USC got off on the right foot in Provo. Slovis opened the game with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. to cap the game’s opening possession and give visiting USC a quick lead. The two players hooked up for a nine-yard gain on the first play of the game as well. The USC defense forced a punt on their first trip to the field, but Slovis was picked off by BYU’s Payton Wilgar on the third play of the series, and the Cougars were in business with terrific field position. They capitalized with a Dayan Ghanwoloku touchdown run on the goal line shortly after a big run by Ty’Son Williams got the quick drive started.

Slovis was intercepted again on the ensuing possession, once again giving BYU a great starting spot from the USC 27-yard line, but the Trojans defense held firm and limited BYU to a go-ahead field goal. USC answered with a field goal on the next possession, and then the team traded touchdown drives.

Zach Wilson completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dax Milne to give BYU a 17-10 lead, but the Trojans tied things up with a five-yard run by Vave Malepeai to cap an 11-play drive.

It’s anyone’s game going to the second half. USC is looking to improve to 3-0 a year after winning just five games.

BYU, Boise State announce 10 future games

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When it comes to scheduling news, these two schools ascribe to the notion of go big or go home.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Boise State and BYU both announced that the two football programs have added a whopping 10 games to their football series.  The new agreement will begin with an Oct. 25, 2025, game at Boise’s Albertson Stadium and continue through 2034 in BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Cougars will host games in even-number years of the series, the Broncos odd-number years.

The second game of the 10-game series will be played on Nov. 7, 2026.  The remaining eight games will be played in September, the specific dates of which weren’t provided.

This new series is in addition to the current one that began in 2012 and runs every year through the 2023 season, including 2019.

The football programs have met nine times previously, with the first coming in 2003.  The Broncos hold a 7-2 edge in those matchups, with the Cougars’ lone wins (2013, 2015) coming in Provo.

Washington WR Quinten Pounds in midst of serving three-game suspension

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An injury cost Quinten Pounds the last half of the 2018 season.  An injury cost the wide receiver playing time in Washington’s opener as well.

Moving forward, it’ll be a punitive measure that will further sideline the fifth-year senior.

Monday, Chris Petersen confirmed that Pounds did not play in the Week 2 upset loss to Cal because of a suspension.  Furthermore, the head coach revealed, the receiver will miss the next two games as well because of the suspension.

The only reason given was an unspecified violation of team rules.

Because of the suspension, Pounds will miss games against Hawaii and BYU.  He’ll be eligible to return for the Sept. 28 home game against USC.

Prior to his injury last season, Pounds had caught eight passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.  For his career, he’s caught 24 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns.

Tennessee drops to 0-2 for first time since 1988 after double OT loss to BYU

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For the second straight week, the Tennessee faithful are going home from Neyland Stadium after watching their team lose at home to an underdog. BYU (1-1) stunned Tennessee (0-2) with a late fourth quarter rally and a double overtime victory. The BYU 29-26 win came with a solid push on the line of scrimmage to push Tyson Williams across the goal line.

 

With under a minute to play, BYU was stuck in a 3rd and long. That’s when Zach Wilson found a streaking Micah Simon for a 64-yard gain to move the Cougars into scoring position out of seemingly nowhere. The big play led to a game-tying field goal by Jake Oldroyd to tie the game at 16-16 with one second remaining.

BYU struck first in overtime with the offense seizing the moment. Wilson went to the air to Talon Shumway from 14 yards out to give BYU its first lead of the game. But the BYU defense was unable to hold off the Vols for the win in the first overtime. Jarrett Guarantano found his go-to receiver, Jauan Jennings, for a 13-yard strike to force a second overtime. BYU’s defense stood up in the second overtime to hold Tennessee to a 40-yard field goal by Brent Cimaglia.

The Vols and Cougars each struggled to move the sticks on third down as the defenses ruled the night. While the passing production was fairly even between Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano and BYU’s Wilson, the difference in the game was found on the ground. Tennessee rushed for over 200 yards as a team while BYU had trouble getting much room on the ground. It was a suggestion that Tennessee had the edge on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football, an area they couldn’t create such an advantage last week against Georgia State. But that advantage was nullified once the Cougars made the big pass play at the end of the fourth quarter, as BYU was able to hold their own in the overtimes.

The last time Tennessee started a season 0-2 was 1988, when the Vols dropped games at Georgia and home against Duke before going 5-6 for the year. The last time the Vols dropped two games at home to begin the season was 1980, with home losses against Georgia and USC by a combined total of four points.

BYU will look to make it two in a row next week when they host USC next Saturday. The Trojans, with a backup quarterback, will be coming off a home game against a physical Stanford team.

Tennessee will play one more non-conference game before jumping into SEC play. Next week, the Vols host Chattanooga, an FCS opponent, before they get ready for a trip to Gainesville to play rival Florida. The odds Tennessee enters SEC play 0-3 are very slim, but at this point, nothing should be guaranteed.