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Three Thoughts on BYU’s 35-31 Win Over USC

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Utah State

No.13 BYU finished off USC 35-31 Saturday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and finished the year 6-0 against the Pac-12 Conference. The very conference that rejected them for at least a decade suffered complete humiliation at the hands of BYU. Perhaps, the Pac-12 Conference should’ve added them. Then again, maybe their schools are scared BYU might win all of the conference titles. After all, BYU seems to be competing for a national championship in every sport right now. 

Jaren Hall finished the day 20-of-32 for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Allgeier carried the ball 21 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions with five. Keanu Hill racked up 72 yards on four receptions and scored a receiving ouchdown. Max Tooley and Ben Bywater notched 13 tackles each. 

 

It was a hard fought game, but BYU came out on top in the end thanks to some hard-nosed running by Jackson McChesney on the final drive. The Cougars finish the regular season 10-2 with a 7-1 record against Power Five schools. BYU now awaits the final College Football Playoff rankings to see if they will be selected for a New Year’s Six Bowl or if they will be playing in the Independence Bowl. Below are three thoughts on BYU’s victory over USC 

1. BYU should be in a New Year’s Six Bowl 

BYU finished 7-1 against Power Five Conference teams this year. They finished 6-0 against the Pac-12 and defeated a Utah team which won the Pac-12 South Championship. That same Utah team obliterated an Oregon team 38-7 which won the Pac-12 North. Here’s a big difference between BYU and Oregon. BYU won games at Pac-12 stadiums. Oregon lost on the road against a 3-7 Stanford team and a Utah team that lost to BYU. If a team from the Pac-12 is going to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl, BYU has earned that right too. 

 

2. USC looked like a team with an interim head coach 

Yes, USC made adjustments at halftime. That nearly scored them a victory. In fact, USC probably should have won this game. However, BYU continuously caught USC with illegal substitutions on the defense. When BYU ran the hurry-up offense, USC seemed like they were never prepared. At one point, USC was caught with 14 defensive players on the field. The Trojans were penalized eight times for 64 yards, which means they got hit with a lot of five-yard penalties. When you have as many illegal substitutions as USC did, it’s a coaching problem. The staff should have their players better organized.

3. Jackson McChesney is the hero 

USC took the lead in the fourth quarter. It seemed like the Trojans had all the momentum. Tyler Allgeier had taken some hits. Lopini Katoa didn’t play the entire second half. BYU seemed down on their luck. On BYU’s final drive, a freshman named Jackson McChesney came in and took over the ball game. Entering the night, McChesney played in four games this year and had 47 rushing yards on 11 carries and zero touchdowns. 

 

The weird thing about McChesney as a freshman is that he’s been at BYU for three years. He was redshirted in 2019, despite scoring two touchdowns in three games. 2020 provided him an extra year, thus he’s still considered a freshman. 

Regardless of classification, McChesney looked like a man on a mission. He came in and took over the game during the final drive. McChesney’s number was called for three straight runs. He played smash mouth football, lowering his pads into defenders and busting his way into the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown. McChesney took this game over and that is why BYU finished the season 10-2 with a 6-0 record against the Pac-12 

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