BYU got the ball to start the second half and they got to work quickly. The Cougars kept the ball mostly on the ground with Simone Finau accounting for most of the yardage as he broke out for a 46-yard touchdown run on the 4th play of the drive. The Bronco defense didn’t look ready to play after halftime as they gave up the touchdown run and an 18-yard completion from Romney to tight end Matt Bushman to cover most of the Cougar touchdown drive.
The Broncos followed suit and hit the ground running as well with George Holani getting 5 carries for 37 yards on the 10 play drive. The Cougar defense was able to slow the offense and after failing to convert a 3rd and 6 play, the Broncos attempted a 38-yard field goal attempt to cut the BYU lead to one. Eric Sachse lined up his kick into the wind and missed, pulling the kick to the left.
The Cougars once again wasted little time digging the hole a little deeper for the Broncos, needing only 5 plays to get into the endzone once again. After a defensive pass interference call on the first play, Romney was able to hit Talon Shumway for 39-yards to get the ball into Boise State territory. The Boise State defense was able to stop the Cougars on a 3rd and 2 play and BYU went for it on 4th down, not only converting, but scoring a touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Romney to Matt Bushman.
The Bronco offense mirrored their second possession of the first quarter with Cord throwing his second interception of the game, giving BYU the ball on the Bronco 41-yard line. The Cougars used some trickery on their second play, calling the flea-flicker, which resulted in Matt Bushman again being open and well on his way to the endzone. Baylor Romney did not miss his chance and tossed the ball right to his hands resulting in a 39-yard touchdown.
Boise State 10, BYU 28
In a drive that started in the 3rd quarter, the Broncos were able to put a drive together. Taking 13 plays, Boise State pounded their way down the field. With six carries from Holani, one from Khalil Shakir and a couple of sharp passes from Chase Cord, Boise State scored on a 13-yard pass from Cord to Octavius Evans. Boise State followed that with a pass from Cord to Garrett Collingham for the 2-point conversion cutting the BYU lead to just 10 points.
For the first time in the second half, the Bronco defense stepped up and got a stop on the following BYU drive. After only gaining 13 yards, the Cougar offense was forced to punt the ball back to Boise State. With a 14-yard gain on the first play, it looked like the Broncos were poised for another solid drive. Unfortunately, the Boise State offense stalled out, with Chase Cord struggling with accuracy and almost throwing his third interception of the game. After being able to pin BYU inside their own 5-yard line Joel Velazquez shanked his punt, traveling only 21 yards before it went out of bounds.
The Bronco defense was able to stand strong again and forced a 3 and out on their next possession. BYU kicker/punter Jake Oldroyd and the coverage team pinned Boise State inside the one-yard line but had a flag for illegal formation that forced a rekick. Oldroyd’s following kick was not near as good as his first giving the Broncos the ball on the 21-yard line.
With less than 7 minutes left in the game and needing two scores, Boise State was forced to go primarily to the passing game. Cord was efficient driving down the field, going 5 for 6 passing and converting a big 3rd and 7 from the BYU 26-yard line with his feet to set up the touchdown. He was able to find Akilian Butler in the endzone for a 5-yard completion, closing BYU’s lead to just 3 points.
Needing another 3 and out, Boise State was able to come out and stopped the Cougars on a 3rd and 1 play that needed to be reviewed to correct the spot of the ball. BYU, however, was able to convert on the 4th and 1 to run the clock out on the game.
FINAL: Boise State 25, BYU 28
Moment of the Game:
The third quarter: BYU outplayed the Broncos in every aspect of the game. The one drive Boise State was able to put together, they were unable to turn into points after missing their field goal attempt.
Player of the Game:
BYU Quarterback Baylor Romney. Romney completed 57% of his passes for 221 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Going against Boise State’s defense is not an easy feat and the Cougars had to use some trick plays to get two of their scores, but Romney was able to play mistake-free in their upset.
There is a lot of negativity on social media after the game and some of it deserved, but most of it is not. The season is not over, Boise State fans aren’t settling, and there is still a lot to play for this season. The Broncos have been playing mistake-riddled football all season and most knew at some point it was going to come back to haunt them. Tonight was that game as Boise State was unable to produce big plays on offense and struggled to prevent big plays from BYU.
Bronco fans should be impressed by the fact that Boise State, with their back up quarterback and missing Mahone for the majority of the game, battled back and were within a field goal at the end of the game. The Broncos never quit, and that is an important trait that will give the Broncos the edge in their remaining schedule.
Up Next: Bye week.
The Broncos will return on the road at San Jose State on November 2nd, with kickoff at 9:30 PM on CBSSN.