Braden Taylor | Posted: 14 Sep 2019 | Updated: 7 Aug 2023

BYU upsets No. 24 USC 30-27 in overtime

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PROVO, Utah – Dayan Ghanwoloku’s interception in overtime sealed BYU football’s 30-27 win over No. 24 USC at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.

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In a game that was tied four different times and had four lead changes, both BYU (2-1) and USC (2-1) scored 10 points in the final 11 minutes of the game to force overtime at the end of regulation.

The Cougars started with the ball on offense to begin the overtime period. After a Trojan defender broke up a pass intended for Micah Simon in the end zone on third down, kicker Jake Oldroyd kicked a 43-yard field goal to give BYU the lead 30-27.

Facing a third down, USC quarterback Kedon Slovis threw a pass into coverage that was tipped into the air by linebacker Kavika Fonua and caught by a diving Ghanwoloku for the interception, BYU's third takeaway of the game to win it. 

Zach Wilson completed 20 of his 33 pass attempts for 280 yards and a touchdown as he connected with 12 different receivers on the day. The quarterback also added a 16-yard rushing touchdown, his first of the season. Gunner Romney led all pass-catchers with 54 receiving yards, followed by Simon with 48 yards.

Ty'Son Williams recorded a career-high 99 yards on the ground on 19 rushing attempts. Oldroyd made three of four field goal attempts with a long of 43 yards while also averaging 48.2 yards per punt and placing two inside the 20-yard line and one 56-yarder. 

Payton Wilgar, Isaiah Kaufusi and Ghanwoloku each recorded an interception. Fonua led the team with 13 total tackles, followed by Ghanwoloku and Wilgar with each posting nine stops apiece. Khyiris Tonga and Lorenzo Fauatea each recorded sacks.

First Quarter

USC opened up the game with an 86-yard drive that resulted in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Slovis to Michael Pittman Jr. to give the Trojans the lead 7-0 five minutes into the game.

Tonga sacked Slovis for a loss of six yards on the first play of the Trojan’s second drive. Two plays later, Wilgar made a diving interception to give the ball back to the BYU offense on the USC 28-yard line.

The Cougars began the drive with a fake reverse that resulted in a 26-yard run up the sideline inside the Trojan 2-yard line. Following a lead block with Tonga in as a fullback in a unique personnel package, defensive back Dayan Ghanwoloku tied the game 7-7 midway through the first period on a 1-yard rush for his second career offensive touchdown.

On the ensuing USC drive, Isaiah Kaufusi picked off a pass over the middle of the field and returned it 10 yards to the USC 10-yard line. On of a special play, quarterback Jaren Hall completed a pass to Zach Wilson for a 19-yard gain to the Trojan 8-yard line. The Cougars claimed the lead 10-7 on a 23-yard field goal from Oldroyd with three minutes left in the quarter.

  • Payton Wilgar grabbed his first career interception
  • Dayan Ghanwoloku’s scored his second career offensive touchdown, the fourth total
  • Jaren Hall’s recorded his first career completion and Zach Wilson’s first career reception, 19 yards

Second Quarter

USC made a 27-yard field goal at the start of the second period to even the score at 10-all.

Wilson completed passes to five different receivers as he led the BYU offense on a 78-yard drive that resulted in a 30-yard over-the-shoulder touchdown catch by Dax Milne to give the Cougars back the lead 17-10 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

The Trojans answered with a 74-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown rush by running back Vavae Malepeai to tie the game back up at 17-17.

Despite some opportunities, neither team could put points on the board the rest of the half. 

  • Dax Milne recorded his second career touchdown and a career-long 30-yard reception

Third Quarter

Neither offense could find their rhythm to start the second half with both teams punting the ball away twice. The Cougar offense began to move the chains with five minutes left in the quarter with Wilson finding Matt Bushman down the sideline for a 17-yard gain. Wilson threw for two more first downs completing a 15-yard pass to Romney and a 22-yard pass to Moroni Laulu-Pututau down to the USC 17-yard line. After an 8-yard catch by Aleva Hifo, the BYU failed to convert on fourth down turning the ball over inside the Trojan 10-yard line.

Fourth Quarter

USC's Pittman pulled down a 30-yard touchdown pass from Slovis in the corner of the end zone with 10:45 left in the game. The receiver’s second touchdown reception gave USC the lead 24-17.

Running the hurry-up offense, Wilson completed all three pass attempts for a combined 53 yards to the USC 22-yard line. After back-to-back rushes for 1-yard, Oldroyd closed the gap to 24-20 on a 32-yard field goal with 8:13 remaining.

After the defense forced a three-and-out, Wilson evaded two defenders and found Romney 35 yards down the field inside the red zone at the USC 17-yard line. Wilson rushed 16-yards up the middle on a designed quarterback run for a touchdown and the 27-24 lead.

The Trojans tied it up for the fourth time of the game with a 52-yard field goal from Chase McGrath evening the score at 27-all with 1:43 left on the clock. Both BYU and USC had one final possession in regulation with neither team scoring forcing overtime.

BYU will remain at home to host its third Pac-12 opponent of the season, Washington, on Saturday, Sept. 21, at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT and will be televised on an ESPN network (expected to be determined by Sept. 16) and can be heard on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM.

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