Highlights, Takeaways And Reactions In BYU’s 31-24 Victory Over Liberty

BYU fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Cougars (5-4) held on for a 31-24 victory over Liberty (6-4) Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Despite going up by two touchdowns in the second half on two different occasions, Liberty wouldn’t go away as the Flames answered right back with scores to make it a one possession game.

After stopping the Cougars on a fake field goal on 4th-and-two with under two minutes to go, the Flames couldn’t convert on 4th-and-21 as Antonio Gandy-Golden dropped the ball with 30 seconds left in the game in BYU territory.

Making his second career start, BYU quarterback Baylor Romney completed 23-of-33 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars to victory. With the win, the Cougars recorded its first three-game winning streak since winning six in a row during the 2016-17 season.

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Freshman running back Sione Finau rushed for 69 yards on 10 carries and Lopini Katoa added 49 yards on the ground as the Cougars racked up 165 yards rushing for an average of 4.6 yards per carry.

Despite racking up 471 yards of total offense, penalties and turnovers killed a number of drives for BYU — which kept Liberty in the game. It didn’t help that BYU’s three-man rush gave Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert all the time in the world to throw as the senior completed 27-of-45 passes for 303 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Calvert’s performance was arguably the best of the season against BYU — which has gone up against some of the top quarterback’s in the country.

BYU’s bend-but-don’t break defense had another dismal showing as the team gave up 431 yards of total offense and did not force any turnovers. The Cougars have now given up more than 950 yards of total offense in back-to-back weeks.

The game should hopefully serve as a wake up call for the Cougars as they are still looking at becoming bowl eligible at 5-4. BYU came in as a 17-point favorite against the Flames, but didn’t look like it for much of the game.

Known for several trick plays in each game, BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes did not disappoint as the Cougars got several big plays, including a 44-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Micah Simon to tight end Matt Bushman.

With his pass last week against Utah State, Simon joked in his post game comments that “he might be the starting quarterback next week” with his passer rating at 504.4. The 6-foot-1 senior also added seven catches for 91 yards and a score in the win.

Here’s how fans, players and coaches reacted after the game:

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