BYU rallies to beat Tennessee 29-26 in OT

Sep 9, 2019, 5:28 AM
BYU quarterback, #1 Zach Wilson. Courtesy of BYU Photo....
BYU quarterback, #1 Zach Wilson. Courtesy of BYU Photo.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Finally given time to throw for one of the few times all night, Zach Wilson delivered a stunning pass and helped rescue BYU from near-certain defeat.

Wilson’s 64-yard completion to Micah Simon set up a game-tying field goal with one second left in regulation. BYU went on to beat Tennessee 29-26 in the second overtime session as Ty’Son Williams scored from 5 yards out with help from his offensive linemen.

“It’s one of those things where all your reads and all your decision-making and what kind of coverage they are in, it kind of all goes out the window,” said Wilson, who was sacked four times and pressured for most of the night. “It’s kind of like you know what, where can I extend the play?”

The remarkable rally enabled BYU to rebound from a 30-12 loss to No. 13 Utah and avoid its first 0-2 start since 1995 with Southern California and No. 14 Washington looming for the Cougars in the next two weeks.

“Oh, this is huge,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “We obviously looked at the schedule and we know games that we want to win and want to perform well. I don’t think our guys are proud of what they did last week, but we talk about getting over that feeling, and the best way to do it is play the next week and prepare for it.”

Instead, it’s Tennessee that is 0-2 for the first time since 1988, when the Volunteers lost their first six games. Tennessee has gone 6-16 over its last 22 games.

“I’ve been through worse here,” Tennessee offensive tackle Marcus Tatum said. “We’ve all been through worse here. We’ve seen worse, so it’s just look at the positive. We fought. We just need to continue to fight.”

Tennessee was trying to bounce back from a humiliating season-opening 38-30 loss to 26-point underdog Georgia State. For most of the night, it appeared the Vols would do just that.

They got 154 yards rushing from Ty Chandler and two touchdown catches from Jauan Jennings. They controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage pretty much the entire game.

Yet that ultimately wasn’t enough, thanks to that Wilson-to-Simon connection.

BYU was facing third-and-6 from its own 20 with less than 20 seconds left when Wilson threw deep to Simon, who got way behind cornerback Alontae Taylor and caught the pass just beyond midfield. Simon then raced into the red zone before Taylor brought him down.

“I was on the same side as (Matt) Bushman, who is a really great tight end, so a lot of eyes and a lot of guys were looking at him,” Simon said. “I think they just kind of had a mis-lapse in coverage and I got behind the guys and Zach made a great pass.”

After Wilson spiked the ball with five seconds left, Jake Oldroyd kicked his third field goal, a 33-yarder that barely slipped inside the right upright with a second remaining.

The Cougars got the ball first in overtime and scored on Wilson’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Talon Shumway. Tennessee tied it on Jarrett Guarantano’s 13-yard pass to Jennings.

Tennessee opened the second overtime session by settling for Brent Cimaglia’s fourth field goal, a 40-yarder that briefly gave the Vols a 26-23 lead.

Then Williams ended it once and for all.

The South Carolina graduate transfer appeared to be stopped just a few yards short of the end zone on second-and-3 from the 5, but he kept running until he crossed the goal line. His offensive linemen pushed him along those last couple of yards.

“I just got in there and just got dirty, just kept my feet moving and was able to get to the goal line and score a touchdown,” said Williams, who ran for 92 yards and two scores.


BYU: Wilson went 19 of 29 for 232 yards, but his offensive line must do a better job of protecting him. … The Cougars must play the first half of next week’s game without defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi, who was ejected for targeting.

Tennessee: A young team showed it still must learn how to win as it somehow failed to close this game out. Tennessee needs better production from Guarantano, whose interception early in the second half set up a BYU touchdown. Guarantano threw for 97 yards in the first quarter and just 79 yards the rest of the way.


Tennessee scored a touchdown off a deflected pass on its opening drive when it went for it on fourth-and-3 from the 5, but the Vols failed to capitalize on plenty of other scoring chances.

The Vols lost the ball on downs at the BYU 19 and at the BYU 30, and they also settled for four field goals.

Those missed opportunities eventually cost them the game.


“The bottom line is there’s a couple of errors we made in the game that you can’t do,” Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “You can’t do. You just don’t do. It’s tough to win against anybody when you make errors like that. It’s a tough pill for everybody to swallow. Everybody worked hard this week, responded the right way.”


BYU hosts Southern California on Saturday.

Tennessee hosts Football Championship Subdivision program Chattanooga on Saturday.


More AP college football: and


Follow Steve Megargee at

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

The main reason small businesses fail in America is that the business owner doesn't have access to ...
Simone Seikaly

Lack of access stands between Black-owned businesses and success

But lack of access to money isn't the only thing that hinders Black-owned business in Utah and across the nation.
18 hours ago
More Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills.  Nearly 1.5 million more U.S. households ...
Curt Gresseth

Cost of heating homes in Utah rising as thermometer sinks

The cost of heating a home in Utah is rising because demand has increased and the drought in the West has cut into production.
18 hours ago
Friday, February 3 at noon, don't miss a special hour with KSL's BYU Insider Mitch Harper....
Ike Yospe

BYU Big 12 Preview Special

Friday, February 3 at noon, don't miss a special hour with KSL's BYU Insider Mitch Harper.
18 hours ago
Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, l...

Teen arrested for firing shots in Taylorsville High parking lot

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection to the shots fired last week in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School.
18 hours ago
Mr. Murphy, a basset posing as a bee, leans in to get a sniff of 5-year-old Alex Schilling during t...
Elizabeth Weiler

Humane Society of Utah says shelters are full, adoptions are needed

The Humane Society of Utah says their shelters are filling up, especially with large breed dogs and puppies.
18 hours ago
amber alert...
Adam Small

Suspect in Layton Amber Alert charged

LAYTON, Utah– Prosecutors in Davis County have officially filed charges against a man suspected of kidnapping a 13-year-old boy, which prompted police to send out an Amber Alert in December. New charging documents allege Aaron Michael Zeman, 26, also known as Tadashi Kojima, had been communicating with the 13-year-old Layton boy as far back as […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
BYU rallies to beat Tennessee 29-26 in OT