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BYU Fades Away In Gut-Check Loss Against South Florida

Photo: Courtesy of BYU Photo, Jaren Wilkey

TAMPA, Fla. – In a game that featured two teams in desperate need of a victory, it was USF, not BYU, that made the adjustments needed to come away with a win.

BYU entered the fourth quarter with a 23-14 lead and at the end of regulation the Bulls finished on top 27-23. The loss is BYU’s third consecutive setback of the season.

The big story line heading into the game was the first career start of redshirt freshman Jaren Hall. Hall showed well going 15-of-23 for 148 yards and a touchdown. Hall also ran for 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground showing that dual-threat ability that had coaches confident in his abilities heading into this game.

Then early in the fourth quarter with BYU holding a two-point lead, Hall took a hard hit that saw him hit his helmet hard on the Raymond James Stadium field. Hall then immediately went to the locker room to be evaluated by team doctors.

The next play BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd who had been automatic all afternoon missed a 39-yard field goal attempt. USF took over on their own 22 yard-line and moved down the field 78 yards to take a four-point 27-23 lead.

With Hall being evaluated by team doctors, redshirt freshman Baylor Romney stepped in at quarterback for the Cougars.

With 7:37 remaining in the game, Romney took over on BYU’s 30 yard line. BYU’s offense moved down 62 yards and was down to the USF 8. On 3rd & 5, the Cougars dialed up a jet sweep for Aleva Hifo that resulted in a loss of two yards. In 4th & 7, Romney found his younger brother, Gunner Romney for a gain of five yards resulting in a turnover on downs.

BYU’s defense then forced a three-and-out. USF punter Trent Schneider booted a 61-yard punt that put BYU on their own 26 yard line.

The Cougars moved down to the USF 12 yard line before Baylor Romney was sacked for a loss of eight yards setting up a 4th & 18 from the USF 20-yard line. Romney threw a pass into the endzone intended for Matt Bushman that was broken up.

Gut-Check

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said in the postgame press conference that this loss is a “gut-check loss” for his players.

Winless in Florida

BYU is now 0-8 all-time in games played in the state of Florida.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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