KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (ABC4 Sports) – In one of the more improbable comeback wins in recent history, BYU rallied in the final seconds to force overtime, then beat Tennessee in double overtime, 26-23.
Faced with a 3rd and 6 from its own 20 yard line with 20 seconds left, with no timeouts and the clock running, Zach Wilson found a wide open Micah Simon for a 64-yard completion to the Tennessee 16 yard line.
After Wilson spiked the ball with five seconds left, Oldroyd kicked a 33-yard field goal that barely slipped inside the right upright with one second left to tie the game at 16, forcing overtime.
“It’s one of those things where all your reads and all your decision-making and what kind of coverage they are in, it kind of all goes out the window,” said Wilson, who was sacked four times and pressured for most of the night. “It’s kind of like you know what, where can I extend the play?”
“I was on the same side as (Matt) Bushman, who is a really great tight end, so a lot of eyes and a lot of guys were looking at him,” Simon said. “I think they just kind of had a mis-lapse in coverage and I got behind the guys and Zach made a great pass.”
In the first overtime, Wilson hit Talon Shumway on a 14-yard touchdown strike, as BYU took a 23-16 lead.
But Tennessee tied the game a touchdown pass from Jarrett Guarantano to Jauan Jennings to send the game into double overtime.
After the Vols had to settle for a field goal on its possession, Ty’Son Williams scored his second touchdown of the game from five yards out, carrying a pack of defenders with him, to send the BYU sideline into a frenzy.
“I think we just had some plays go our way, caught some breaks and were able to come out victorious and had a couple more plays than they did,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I’m thankful that it took all three phases to make this work and just proud of our guys and how resilient they were in this game.”
Williams finished the game with 92 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.
After trailing 13-3 at the half, Kavika Fonua came up with an interception to set up Williams’ first touchdown run of the game from 16 yards out.
Wilson completed 19 of 29 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown.
Simon had 7 catches for 127 yards, none bigger than the 64-yard catch and run to set up Oldroyd’s field goal at the end of regulation.
Oldroyd also connected on field goals from 31 and 42 yards.
Tennessee had taken the early lead by capitalizing on a fourth-down gamble.
The Vols faced fourth-and-3 from the BYU 5-yard line when Pruitt passed up a chip-shot field goal. Guarantano threw a pass into traffic that was deflected by Fonua and landed in the arms of Jennings.
Tennessee stayed ahead and controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage for most of the night, though missed opportunities enabled BYU to hang around.
Ty Chandler led Tennessee in rushing with 154 yards on 26 carries. The Vols had 242 yards rushing.
Jennings caught two touchdown passes from Guarantano.
The Cougars finished with 339 total yards, while Tennessee (0-2) gained 418 yards.
BYU (1-1) next hosts USC on September 14th at LaVell Edwards Stadium.