There’s just something about BYU and SMU football games.

After the Holiday Bowl thriller in 1980 as well as the overtime win in 1997, you knew Saturday’s game was likely going to be another nail biter beaten both teams.

And that’s exactly what fans got.

After SMU scored a touchdown to pull within a point (24-23) with eight seconds left in the game, the Mustangs opted to go for a two-point conversion to win the game.

After spreading the field out with five wide receivers and nobody left in the backfield, SMU opted for QB draw. But that didn’t fool the Cougars as Jakob Robinson was there as the sophomore tackled Tanner Mordecai before the goal live to give BU a 24-23 victory Saturday night in the New Mexico Bowl.

With the win, BYU improved to 8-5 this season, giving the Cougars 8+ wins in 8 games as an Independent. The Cougars are also now 4-0 all-time against SMU, including 2-0 in bowl games. Saturday’s game was also BYU’s last in the Independence Era at 99-56 (.639). The program will play as a member of the Big 12 next year.

Playing without a number of starters again due to injuries, it was BYU’s defense that shined the most as the unit held SMU to its second lowest scoring game game of the season.

Playing with out starting QB Jaren Hall for the first time this season, the defense knew it needed to step up and they did as linebacker Ben Bywater returned an interception for a touchdown to give BYU an 17-10 lead in the third quarter. The interception was Bywater’s third of the year — first pick six. It was also BYU’s third third pick-six of the year with Max Tooley getting the other two.

With Hall out, freshman QB Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters stepped in for his first career start. While he only attempted 12 passes on the night, the biggest highlight was his running ability as the freshman ran for a game-high 96 yards and a touchdown in the win.

The seven completions and 12 pass attempts were the lowest ever in a bowl game for the Cougars, but it was enough to get the victory. Also, Saturday was extra special for BYU fans as the basketball team defeated rival Utah at the Marriott Center earlier in the day.

Here’s how the media, players and fans reacted after the win:

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BYU Beats Utah — Here’s All The Reactions