Jamaal Williams breaks school record as BYU outlasts Toledo, 55-53, in offensive shootout

There’s a reason why they call it a game of inches and BYU (2-3) needed all of it Friday night against the previously unbeaten Toledo Rockets (3-1).

After back-to-back wins on Hail Mary’s against Nebraska and Boise State last year, this young season has already surpassed that for a majority of Cougar fans.

In a wild, back-and-forth game, the “Cardiac Cougars” kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to beat the Rockets, 55-53, for the come-from-behind victory.

The game had everything. No literally it did.

Both teams combined for 1,278 yards, 59 first downs and 14 touchdowns. But that wasn’t all. Former Texas head coach Mack Brown — who fired his defensive coordinator after his team gave up a school record 550 yards rushing in a 40-21 loss to BYU in 2013 — made a strange announcement when he said he needed to leave in the middle of the fourth quarter to catch a plane, apparently back to ESPN headquarters for a slew of college games Saturday.

Then to top it off, after Toledo scored what many thought was a game-tying touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the game, the Rockets decided to go for the win on a two-point conversion. After the center snapped the ball early, Rockets quarterback Logan Woodside quickly picked up the ball and before he was met by several BYU defenders, found Michael Roberts in the end zone to give the Rockets a 53-52 lead.

But like he’s done all year, Taysom Hill led the Cougars on another fourth quarter drive with the game on the line. The senior quarterback marched 71-yards on eight plays to setup Rhett Almond’s 19-yard field goal.

“I’m so proud of him and I’m glad he made the kick,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. “It was another nail-biter, but it’s good to get on the winning side this time.”

jamaal williams

Several records were set in a game news outlets are already calling the game of the year.

BYU running back Jamaal Williams set a a school-record with 286 yards rushing and five touchdowns Friday night. The senior broke the school record which was held by Eldon Fortie, who ran for 272 yards against George Washington nearly 54 years to the day.

Incredibly, Williams averaged 9.5 yards per carry and couldn’t be stopped.

Woodside passes for a school-record 505 yards and matched his career-high with five touchdowns passes for the Rockets.

There were eight lead changes — with all of them coming in the second half.

Cardiac Cougars: Through five games, BYU has lost three games by a combined seven points and now has won two games by a combined four points.

Special Guest: Mitt Romney — the 2012 Republican presidential nominee — performed the ceremonial lighting of the Y prior to Friday’s game. Romney is the former Governor of Massachusetts and served as President of the Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Next Opponents

BYU: The Cougars will travel to East Lansing, Michigan to take on the Michigan State Spartans (2-1). The game is scheduled for 1:00 and will be televised on either ABC or on ESPN2.

Toledo: Next up for the Rockets is a road game at Eastern Michigan (3-1).