BYU-Tennessee photo for Extra Points

BYU wide receiver Talon Shumway celebrates after scoring a touchdown in overtime at Neyland Stadium against Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.

Daily Herald columnist Darnell Dickson looks at some of the key moments and players from BYU’s amazing 29-26 double overtime win at Tennessee.

The Key Play

So, so many in a wild double overtime game. But the obvious one is the 64-yard pass from Zach Wilson to Micah Simon to set up the game-tying field goal in regulation. We talk all the time about little mistakes can cost you a lot, and a blown coverage in the secondary by Tennessee cost the Vols the game. With Wilson’s struggles so far this year, it was good to see him make some plays at the end of the game.

The Sneaky Key Play

Kavika Fanua’s interception to start the second half set up a short BYU touchdown drive to cut the Tennessee lead to 13-10. Without it, I’m not sure the Cougars win this one. The offense was having trouble moving the ball and that defensive play turned some momentum to the BYU sideline.

The Difference Maker

Senior receiver Micah Simon has all the talent in the world but never seemed to be able to consistently make plays. Against Tennessee he caught seven passes for 127 yards and of course, the 64-yard reception to set up the game-tying field goal. He’s had trouble holding onto the ball in the past but he caught everything thrown his way on Saturday. He also had a key block on Ty’Son Williams’ touchdown run in the third quarter.

The Unsung Hero

Loved the game turned in by Kavika Fanua. He led BYU with 10 tackles and his interception was a critical moment in the second half. After all he’s been through with injuries and position changes, it’s nice to see him make a difference in a big game for the Cougars.

The Top Unit Award

I’m giving it to the whole defense. Yeah, they gave up a lot of yards but they came through with some big stops in the end to give the offense a chance to make some plays and win the game. I know there are a lot of complaints about the defense, but they manage points pretty well. If the offense ever gets dangerous, watch out.

Numbers Don’t Lie

BYU had zero turnovers. That’s significant on the road against an SEC team.

Random Observations

10,000 BYU fans (maybe) in Tennessee. A lot of blue in Neyland Stadium, regardless. … Maybe defensive lineman Zac Dawe should try out for the BYU baseball team, demonstrated a fine arm throwing Jarrett Guaratano’s shoe. Honestly, who throws a shoe? … With an 0-2 start, Tennessee will be hard pressed to qualify for a bowl game with so many good teams still on the schedule. … The BYU defense manages points OK, even while spending so much time on the field because the offense can’t complete any drives. … The Tennessee defensive backs went to same cover school as Utah, which is hold and grab receivers because refs just won’t call it every play. … Well, at least BYU is a good as Georgia State, right? … Zac Wilson’s mom was seen on the ESPN broadcast appearing to say a prayer near the end of regulation. I mean, why not?

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Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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