PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Baylor Romney started as quarterback and his brother Gunner helped him finish South Florida.
Baylor, starting in place of injured Jaren Hall, threw for a career-high 305 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No.15 BYU to a 35-27 victory over South Florida on Saturday night.
Tyler Allgeier ran 81 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cougars claim their sixth straight victory since last season. Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua each finished with over 100 receiving yards, accumulating 221 yards and one touchdown on nine catches.
BYU (4-0) delivered a dominant offensive performance, totaling 443 yards averaging 8.9 yards per game.
“We’re about to kick off the passing game, so I’m excited,” said Nacua, who finished with a career-high 102 yards on receptions on four catches. “It’s been our goal since week one to come out strong and tonight we were able to just put it back together. Today was super fun, it was a really good time to throw the ball a bit and play some games in the air.
Timmy McClain threw for 186 yards and ran for 55 yards to lead South Florida. Jaren Mangham added 86 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Bulls (1-3) scored on three consecutive clock strokes in the second half before ultimately failing.
Baylor Romney started as a quarterback in place of Hall, who suffered a rib injury in BYU’s last goal against Arizona State a week earlier. With him in charge, the Cougars crushed the Bulls from the start.
“We thought Jaren would be ready to go, but our medical team’s advice was to keep him out,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “We felt good that Baylor started this game.”
On his first assist of the game, Baylor Romney punched down his brother, Gunner, with a 49-yard strike that set up BYU’s first touchdown. He followed with a 55-yard dart to Puka Nacua who set another score in the Cougars’ second practice.
BYU took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter after scoring on each of its first three discs. Allgeier recorded back-to-back touchdowns in this stretch, scoring twice on 1-yard runs for fourth base.
“I think if you score that many points early on you’re going to be in a good position,” Sitake said. “I liked the three phases to start with. But the second half just puts a sort of black cloud over it. “
South Florida had a series of long scoring drives in the last three quarters to make a comeback. The Bulls had four scoring records lasting over five minutes.
“I can’t wait to go back and watch this tape,” Scott said. “Timmy played a few games with his feet. I think there were third and fourth critical tries against a very good defense.
The Bulls finally scored their first touchdown on Xavier Weaver’s 3-yard run at fourth on a loss midway through the third quarter. The USF came down the field in each of their next two drives and scored back-to-back touchdowns on short courses from Mangham to cut the deficit to 35-27 with 5:41 remaining. Mangham’s second touchdown, a one-yard run on a fourth down, capped a 19-game, 94-yard run that burned nine minutes on the clock.
“We were just focused on the quality football, and in the second half we really struggled to do that,” BYU linebacker Pepe Tanuvasa said. “On the positive side, we haven’t really played a full game of our best defense, so I’m really excited for next week to show that. “
BYU (4-0) will then play Utah State (3-1) on Friday night at Maverik Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.