Three Takeaways From BYU’s Double Overtime Win Over Tennessee

Sep 8, 2019, 6:28 AM
Photo: Courtesy of Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo...
Photo: Courtesy of Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In a game that was a must-win for both BYU and Tennessee, the Cougars came away on the winning end with a double-overtime victory that nobody saw coming near the end of regulation.

Let’s take a look back at last night’s BYU win with three takeaways from the game.

1. Ty’Son Williams emerging as a leader of the BYU offense

After BYU’s first fall camp scrimmage last month, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said that graduate transfer running back Ty’Son Williams was establishing himself as a leader. That leadership was on display as the former South Carolina back went back into SEC territory to come away with his third victory in his collegiate career over the Volunteers.

Williams scored the game-winning touchdown in double overtime and willed his way to the score. On the evening, Williams had 17 carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Throughout the game when it looked like Williams had nothing in front of him against Tennessee’s front seven, he was still able to carve out three yards on a regular basis.

The transfer portal was the reason Williams ended up at BYU and it’s been a perfect landing spot for him.

2. A critical win for Kalani Sitake

As Kalani Sitake coaches to earn a contract extension, Saturday night’s win against Tennessee was important to him getting a new deal after this season. Sitake is the perfect head coach for the BYU football program but he has to show progress this season and navigate a difficult schedule with returning back to a bowl game.

Getting a win over Tennessee puts BYU in a great spot to not only win at least six games this season but outdo last year’s seven-win mark.

3. Defensive personnel changes worked

BYU shuffled around some of their top defensive players for Saturday night’s game against Tennessee. Zayne Anderson was moved back to safety, Chaz Ah You filled in at flash linebacker, JJ Nwigwe saw significant time in the interior and edge of the defensive line, and Malik Moore was switched from safety to cornerback and earned the start along Ghanwoloku in replace of D’Angelo Mandell.

There was a lot of shuffling with the personnel early in the first half, but in the fourth quarter BYU’s personnel rotations slowed down and they relied on their top players to make plays.

Linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi was unblockable in the fourth quarter making plays from sideline to sideline and the Cougar defensive line was starting to push Tennessee back late in the fourth.

The BYU defense faced adversity with how many rushing yards they gave up, but the number of points allowed was respectable.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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