BYU COUGARS

Romney Brothers Among Observations From BYU Win Over South Florida

Sep 25, 2021, 11:36 PM | Updated: 11:37 pm
Gunner Romney scores TD against South Florida...
Gunner Romney scores TD against South Florida (courtesy of BYU Photo)
(courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The #15 BYU Cougars held on late to defeat the visiting South Florida bulls 35-27.

For the first time program history, the Cougars have won their first four games in back-to-back seasons.

Baylor Romney got the start in place for the injured Jaren Hall. It was his first start in nearly two years. He last started a game at quarterback in 2019 against the Liberty Flames.

He was outstanding for BYU as he led the Cougar offense to their strongest outing of the season in points scored with 35 and total yards gained with 443.

More on Romney below in my three observations from the 250th win for BYU football in Lavell Edwards stadium.

1. First quarter scoring

The BYU offense has been getting off to slow starts this season. They only managed 10 points through their first three games.

The quality of opponents was significantly better than what they saw in 2020, however, offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick hasn’t been happy with how his team has been starting football games.

The Cougars want to be explosive, and against the Bulls they were dynamite right out of the gate.

Baylor Romney’s first completion of the game was a 49 yard bomb to brother Gunner Romney.

On the ensuing drive, Romney found Puka Nacua for 32 yards.

You wouldn’t know that BYU was 100th in passing offense prior to this game.

They finished with 21 points and Romney threw for 122 yards in the first quarter alone.

That’s exactly the kind of start you want to see against lesser competition. The Cougars need performances like this to prove to the nation that they’re a top team in the county.

2. Lack of pressure on Timmy McClain

South Florida scored more points on BYU than the three PAC-12 south teams BYU faced to start the season.

Some of that is due to injury.

BYU was without the services of Keenan Pili, Tyler Batty, Atuanisa Mahe, and Keenan Ellis. All four of them were starters in the opener against Arizona.

True freshman quarterback Timmy McClain consistently got out of the pocket to make plays with his feet.

It felt like the majority of his 17 completions came when he broke containment.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter in this game, but the Cougars will need to fix the pass rush before heading into the middle of their schedule with a road trip to Baylor looming.

The final Bulls drive was 19 plays. That type of defense won’t be good enough against stiffer opponents.

3. The deep ball returns

Midway through the third quarter, Baylor Romney unloaded another long pass to his brother.

It was easily the best long passing touchdown of the year. A perfectly thrown football landed in the arms of Gunner Romney as he continued his stride into the end zone.

The touchdown to Neil Pau’u against Arizona was nice, but the pass wasn’t as crisp as this touchdown.

BYU connected on three passes of over 30 yards in this game.

Depth at nearly every position on offensive is clearly evident.

Shoutout to Gunner for battling through an MCL sprain in the opener. He’s been fantastic since coming back unexpectedly against Utah in week two.

He hauled in five receptions for 119 yards.

A win is a win, but you would have hoped the final score would have been different.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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