BYU Boise State

BYU tight end Matt Bushman (89) runs after a catch during the first half of a football game against Boise State at LaVell Edwards Stadium, in Provo, on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

Daily Herald columnist Darnell Dickson looks at some of the key moments and players from BYU’s 28-25 upset of No. 14 Boise State on Saturday.

The Key Play

BYU opting to go for it on fourth-and-short with two minutes left in the game on its own side of the field was … a bold move. Shouldn’t you punt in that situation and give your defense a chance to make a stop? The Cougar D was a little gassed, true, but man, if you don't get that first down, you are in big trouble. You can debate it all you want, but it worked. What I want to know is how the original mark gave the Cougars a first down short of the 35 when the drive started at the 25. And I also want to know how in the world the officials overturned that call. How could they possibly get enough video evidence to determine where the ball was in that huge pile?

The Sneaky Key Play

The fourth-down-and-short call in the third quarter that resulted in a play-action 27-yard touchdown pass to Matt Bushman was a thing of beauty. Considering how BYU has struggled to score points this season, it was an aggressive call that really paid off.

The Difference Maker

Bushman finished with five catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. I’ve been calling for more opportunities for BYU’s tight end for a long time and the coaches came through.

The Unsung Hero

The Cougars are reaching deep into their depth at running back but freshman Sione Finau shows a lot of promise. He runs a lot bigger than his size (5-foot-11, 185 pounds on the roster) and kind of reminds of that dude that ended up playing linebacker at Utah, Francis Bernard. Maybe it’s because BYU dusted off the trap play and Finau showed great vision and burst on his touchdown run. He finished with 11 carries for 89 yards.

The Top Unit Award

How BYU ended up with so much depth at quarterback is kind of a mystery, but kudos to freshman walk-on Baylor Romney on his first career start. He helps pull off the upset of a ranked team with a calm, cool performance. Boise State doesn’t pressure as much as South Florida did last week but they still tried to make him uncomfortable and he handled it. Romney finished 15 of 26 for 221 yards, two touchdowns, and zero turnovers.

Numbers Don’t Lie

BYU hadn’t scored more than 27 points in regulation all season. The Cougars had 28 at the end of the third quarter against Boise State.

Random Observations

Kudos to the fans who stayed to the bitter end on a cold and wet night at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Although a lot of people bailed at halftime. … That No. 14 ranking for Boise State seemed awfully high to me considering who they had played this season. … Nice to see the RPO plays set aside for a game. Very aggressive play calling on offense and some nice adjustments to take advantage of Romney’s skills. … Pressure on defense was a nice change, too. You don’t always get home, but the quarterback starts thinking about you a lot more. … Once Jake Oldroyd said he didn’t like the nickname “Jake the Make,” he started missing field goals. … Heard rumors this week about Aaron Roderick calling plays on offense and Kalani handling defensive calls. True or not, seems to be working better. … Boise State is now 1-3 in its past four trips to LES. … Kind of a half-hearted rush the field by BYU fans after the game. I mean, Boise State was ranked higher than USC. Do you realize it’s been a month and four days since BYU beat the No. 24 Trojans? ... Enjoy your bye week. Everything is better after a win.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

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