CONWAY, S.C. (ABC4 Sports) – BYU’s undefeated dream season came up one yard short.
Zach Wilson completed a pass to Dax Milne on the final play of the game against #18 Coastal Carolina, but Milne was stopped at the one-yard line as time expired, as BYU lost its first game of the season, 22-17.
The Chanticleers ended the Cougars hopes at a New Year’s Six Bowl Game, as CJ Marable ran through the BYU defense for 128 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 11:35 left in the fourth quarter.
“They’re undefeated for a reason,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “They’re a good team, and put themselves in position to win. I don’t want to take anything away from them. They made plays and they outplayed us and got the win.”
“They just made more plays than us and we weren’t as crisp as we were in the past,” said BYU running back Tyler Allgeier. “Kudos to Coastal Carolina, they brought a good game offensively and defensively.”
The Cougars, ranked 13th in the College Football Playoff poll, were a mid-week fill-in, traveling more than 2,200 miles to the South Carolina coast and eagerly stepping in after No. 25 Liberty had to back out of the game Thursday due to COVID-19 concerns.
Coastal Carolina opened the scoring, capping a 17-play, 94-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run by Marable to put BYU in a 6-0 hole.
Allgeier then rumbled 42 yards at the beginning of the second quarter to give the Cougars a 7-6 lead. Allgeier ended up with 106 yards on 13 carries.
After Coastal Carolina took a 13-7 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Reese White, Wilson hooked up with Milne on a 41-yard catch and carry, as Milne tight-roped the sideline for a 14-13 lead.
Wilson took a shot at the end of the half after throwing an interception, as Jeffrey Gunter slammed Wilson to the ground, but no penalty was called.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter to set up the dramatic finish.
The Cougars were pinned back on its own 9-yard line with 36 seconds left, but Wilson drove the Cougars downfield to the Coastal Carolina 18-yard line, and were in position to win the game.
Wilson completed 19 of 30 passes for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 55 yards on 10 carries. Milne had six catches for 106 yards to lead BYU receivers, while Neil Pau’u added four receptions for 76 yards.
BYU outgained the Chanticleers in total yards 405 to 366, but Coastal Carolina dominated on the ground, rushing for 281 yards.
“It just didn’t look like our normal offense,” Sitake said. “As a team, we need to play complimentary football in all three phases, and they just made more plays tonight. Obviously they made one more and we were a few inches short of winning the game.”
Coastal Carolina’s offense kept Zach Wilson off the field, dominating time of possession, 38 minutes to 22. BYU ran just 58 total plays, ten plays less than their season average.
“We left it out there,” said linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi, fighting through tears. “People are going to say all sorts of things, but at the end of the day we just came up short. But I’m really proud of this team.”
The game was played in front of some 5,000 fans at Brooks Stadium.
BYU (9-1) will end the regular season December 12th at home against San Diego State.