No. 15 BYU Holds Off Late Fourth Quarter Run From USF, Improve To 4-0

Sep 26, 2021, 12:23 AM
Baylor Romney - BYU Football - USF...
BYU football quarterback Baylor Romney leads the Cougars to a win over USF on September 25th, 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – The Cougars improve to 4-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in BYU football history.

Like last season’s fourth win, it was more challenging than expected. BYU defeated USF 35-27 in a game where Kalani Sitake’s squad was a 23-point favorite.

In 2020, BYU entered the fourth game of the year ranked No. 15 and barely won over a UTSA team by one possession after being favored by 34. Close calls happen. In both of these games, the outcome wasn’t much in doubt.

What was different this go around for BYU was the injuries. So many BYU players were injured either during the week in practice or in tonight’s game, headlined by quarterback Jaren Hall.

Hall was ruled out before the game. BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said Hall couldn’t practice “effectively” throughout the week, and he was impressed with what Baylor Romney did in practice.

Romney stepped in as quarterback one and came out on fire. The redshirt sophomore quarterback led BYU to a fast 14-0 lead before anyone could blink in the first quarter.

Romney connected with Masen Wake for a five-yard touchdown pass and then Tyler Allgeier found the endzone on a one-yard run.

Allgeier’s scoring didn’t stop there; he scored again with 4:20 remaining in the 1st quarter to put BYU up 21-0. At that moment, it felt like the rout was on.

Then USF scored two field goals before BYU bounced back with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Romney to Neil Pau’u.

BYU went into the half with a 28-6 lead and was in complete control. Then the game flipped as USF’s offense grinded out some long drives. BYU’s defense was hit hard by injuries, with Atunaisa Mahe and Tyler Batty both out before the game. Then in-game, Caden Haws took some plays off due to injury, along with Gabe Summers and Uriah Leiataua.

After three quarters, USF cut the deficit down to a two-possession game at 35-20. Then in the fourth quarter, USF put together a 19-play drive that culminated with a 4th & 1 on the BYU 1-yard line. USF scored a touchdown to make it a one-possession game.

The only problem for the Bulls is that they scored with only 5:41 remaining and no timeouts. USF head coach Jeff Scott had officials review a 3rd & 1 rush that he thought was ran into the endzone, the call stood and USF lost their final timeout.

BYU, led by Romney and Tyler Allgeier, was able to bleed the clock and put the final touches on the win. The Cougars improve to 4-0 on the 2021 season and lock up their 250th victory all-time at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Next up for BYU is a short week at Utah State in Logan in the Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel on Friday night.

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

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