No. 19 BYU took down in-state rival Utah State Thursday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium as the Cougars came-from-behind for a 38-26 victory.

With the win, BYU improved to 4-1 on the season and most importantly, kept the Wagon Wheel for another year as the Cougars won their third consecutive game in the series against the Aggies.

Despite being 24-point favorites, playing on ESPN in primetime and with more than a dozen NFL scouts in attendance, the Cougars didn’t live up to expectations as the team played sluggish and uninspiring for much of the game. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that fans could relax as Christopher Brooks ran for an 18-yard touchdown to give BYU a 38-20 lead with just over 8 minutes left in the game.

This is the same Utah State team that lost to FCS Weber State 35-7 at home two weeks ago. As noted in my preview, I expected Utah State would keep the game close in the first half as this game was the program’s Super Bowl. And that’s exactly what happened as the game was tied at 17 at the half. However, what I didn’t expect was a close game in the second half as the Cougars failed to put the Aggies away.

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The Cougars had plenty of chances to turn the game into a blowout in the second half, however, with several missed field goals, a missed fourth down conversion among many other things, and the Cougars held on for a 12-point win.

Jake Oldroyd continued to struggle as the junior went 1-for-3 on his kicks, and has now missed five of his last six field goal attempts — will all five misses being under 40 yards.

On the positive side, Jaren Hall continued his stellar play as he threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Hall had another mistake-free game as the 6-foot-1 dual threat quarterback did not throw an interception, extending his streak to 144 passes without an interception — the sixth longest streak in BYU history.

On defense, the Cougars gave up 392 yards of total offense, however, when the team needed stops, the defense came through in the bend but don’t break defense. BYU forced three turnovers — a season high — including a pick-six from linebacker Max Tooley. It was Tooley’s second pick-six this year, making him the sixth player in program history (Todd Shell, Kai Nacua, Lloyd Brink, Frank Linford, Dan Hansen.) to have multiple pick sixes in a season.

With the victory, the Cougars can now turn their attention to Notre Dame as the programs will face off next Saturday at Allegiant Stadium — home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.

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

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