5 Moments That Led to BYU Taking Down Tennessee
The game seemed to be going Tennessee's way, but a few moments by the Cougars kept them in the game.
Sports are weird. Normally in life when something is going a certain way it gives predictable results. Looking at the BYU vs Tennessee game, the statistics would tell you that Tennessee won in a convincing way. Look at some of the stats below.
Yards: Tennessee +81
Time of Possession: Tennessee +7:59
Punts: Tennessee +3
Touchdown Passes: Tennessee +1
First Downs: Tennessee +1
Home Team: Tennessee
The only major statistical advantage that BYU had was turnovers at +1. All of these stats would suggest that BYU lost the game, and yet here we are still celebrating one of, if not the most exciting win in the Sitake era.
Ultimately it came down to making the big play at the right time, something that they seemed to struggle to do at all against Utah. Here are the five biggest moments that led to BYU winning the game, in no particular order.
1. Kavika Fonua Interception
Up until the Fonua interception the Cougars had not done anything to get momentum in their direction. Sure they had a few nice stops here and there but the momentum was always with the Volunteers. The interception put the Cougars deep into Tennessee territory where they were finally able to move and score a touchdown. It also gave the Cougars a much needed confidence boost to the defense that had struggled to really cause any havoc this season.
2. BYU Defense on 4th Down
Tennessee is going to be dying over this when they watch film but there were two times when the Volunteers could have kicked a field goal and extended their lead but they decided to go for it instead. The first one was at the 19 yard line and the second came at the 30, both well within the kickers range. Granted, we don't know what would have happened, but at least at the surface, it appears that BYU doubling down and getting two huge stops on 4th and short was huge in helping them win.
3. Pass Break up in the End Zone
I believe this was by Austin Lee, I don't actually have game footage to go back and watch but in the second quarter Tennessee appeared to be starting to open up the game. Somehow a receiver found an opening in the middle of the field and Guarantano appeared to throw the perfect pass for an easy score. Somehow Austin Lee (again I'm not 100% but I believe it was) was able to get to the receiver just in time to make the ball seperate the ball from the receiver and keep the game within striking distance.
4. Devin Kaufusi Targeting
You would think that a targeting call would hurt a team, especially when the player who got called for it is one of the best defenders on the team. That wasn't the case though. Prior to the targeting call the Vols were moving the ball down the field and nothing was slowing them down. If they scored a touchdown the game would have been 23-10 with just over ten minutes remaining in the game. Despite moving the ball 60+ yards with no problem, the Cougar defense began to buckle down and for the remainder of the game, the Vols were unable to do much in the running game.
5. The Catch that Should have NEVER Happened
4th and 18 is the only crazier late game competition that I look at and think, how the heck did that happen? Honestly, the clock was running and BYU was at their own 20 yard line. How did Micah Simon get so open and have field in front of him to run 64 yards? I'm not going to complain about it, and Simon was actually really smart to make the cuts he did and not just run out of bounds or try to force a few more yards because it could have resulted in a fumble or more lost time.
JAKE OLDROYD. That is all.