BYU Tennessee Football

BYU running back Ty'Son Williams (5) celebrates an overtime win against Tennessee with fans in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

BYU football beat writer Jared Lloyd evaluates the performance of every position group and the coaches from Saturday’s BYU-Tennessee game at Neyland Stadium:


Zach Wilson was off for much of the game but made key plays down the stretch, getting the ball to Micah Simon when the game was on the line. He also hit Talon Shumway for a key TD in the first OT. The biggest thing might be how well he took care of the ball, with no turnovers.

Grade: B+

Running back

Ty’Son Williams came through big time late in the game, running hard and getting key yards as he finished with 92 rushing yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns. His final run was a rugby scrum but it was all the Cougars need to get the victory.

Grade: A

Offensive line

The Cougars were under a lot of pressure all night long but BYU’s offensive line kept battling. In the overtime period, the Cougars did their job and got two TDs including pushing Ty’Son Williams into the end zone for the game-winning score.

Grade: B+

Tight ends/receivers

Micah Simon made an enormous catch, Aleva Hifo had a big end-around run and Talon Shumway had a big score in overtime. This group would love to get more separation but in then end they did enough to win.

Grade: B+

Defensive line

The Cougars gave up a lot of yards but only allowed one TD in regulation and one in OT. BYU appeared to wear down the Tennessee blockers and that paid dividends in the final minutes.

Grade: B+


Zayne Anderson, Kavika Fonua and Isaiah Kaufusi all had key plays. They weren’t perfect but kept Tennessee from pulling away. This unit came up big when it had to.

Grade: B+


BYU had a couple of breakdowns but Austin Lee and Dayan Ghanwoloku made some vital tackles to keep the Cougars in the game. This group nearly had a couple more plays but did enough.

Grade: B+

Special teams

Jake “the Make” Oldroyd singlehandedly elevated this grade with his perfect field goal kicking, including making the game-tying kick to force overtime. He also averaged 50.2 yards on four punts.

Grade: A+


Kalani Sitake and his staff still have a lot of work to do but the message they preached of resiliency paid off in Saturday’s dramatic victory. The players relied on each other and never game up, and the coaches deserve credit for that.

Grade: A-

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

Jared is the BYU football reporter for the Daily Herald.

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