KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Ty’Son Williams scored a 5-yard touchdown run in the second overtime after BYU made a stunning drive for a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds of regulation as the Cougars edged Tennessee 29-26 on Saturday.
BYU (1-1) rallied from a 13-3 halftime deficit and forced overtime when Zach Wilson’s 64-yard completion to Micah Simon set up Jake Oldroyd’s third field goal of the night – a 33-yarder with one second left.
The Cougars got the ball first in overtime and scored on Zach Wilson’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Talon Shumway. Tennessee tied it when Jarrett Guarantano found Jauan Jennings across the middle for a 13-yard completion.
Tennessee opened the second overtime session by settling for Brent Cimaglia’s fourth field goal of the night, a 40-yarder that gave the Vols a 26-23 lead.
BYU then sealed the win on Williams’ bruising touchdown run. The South Carolina graduate transfer appeared to be stopped just a few yards short of the end zone, but he kept running and finally got across the goal line with some help from his linemen.
Williams ended the night with 92 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Wilson was 19 of 29 for 232 yards.
Tennessee’s Ty Chandler rushed for 154 yards on 26 carries, while Jauan Jennings had four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. That still wasn’t enough for the Volunteers, who fell to 0-2 for the first time since dropping their first six games in 1988.
For most of the night, it appeared Tennessee would win in regulation.
BYU was facing third-and-6 from its own 20 with less than 20 seconds left when Wilson threw deep to Simon, who caught the pass just beyond midfield and raced into the red zone before Alontae Taylor finally brought him down.
After Wilson spiked the ball with five seconds left, Oldroyd kicked a 33-yard field goal that barely slipped inside the right upright.
Tennessee had taken the early lead by capitalizing on a fourth-down gamble, enabling the Vols to score a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time in Jeremy Pruitt’s 14-game coaching tenure.
The Vols faced fourth-and-3 from the BYU 5-yard line when Pruitt passed up a chip-shot field goal. Jarrett Guarantano threw a pass into traffic that was deflected by BYU linebacker Kavika Fonua and landed in the arms of Jennings.
Tennessee stayed ahead and controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage for most of the night, though missed opportunities enabled BYU to hang around.
BYU: Wilson showed late in regulation what he’s capable of doing when he has time to throw, but the offensive line must do a better job of protecting him. Wilson was sacked four times and was pressured all night. BYU’s inability to give Wilson time to throw was particularly concerning because Tennessee’s defensive line struggled last week and had no returning starters. … The Cougars must play the first half of next week’s game against Southern California without defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi, who was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee: A young team showed it still must learn how to win as it somehow failed to close out a game it had controlled for most of the night. Tennessee also needs better production from Guarantano, whose interception early in the second half set up a BYU touchdown that helped the Cougars get back into the game.
BYU hosts Southern California on Saturday.
Tennessee hosts Football Championship Subdivision program Chattanooga on Saturday.