For a game scheduled just a few days ago, No. 13 BYU and No. 18 Coastal Carolina may have played the game of the week as college football‘s unique 2020 season comes to a close in December. It was a game that will be remembered for literally coming down to the final yard.
Kept off the field for most of the evening, BYU’s top-five scoring offense was given one final opportunity to win the game down 22-17 with 55 seconds remaining. Starting inside their own 20-yard line, the Cougars’ first play was called back for holding, meaning quarterback Zach Wilson and Co. had to go 91 yards in under a minute to win the game.
Wilson, a likely first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, delivered on the moment. In five plays, BYU had crossed midfield to the Chanticleers’ 31-yard line. After hitting Dax Milne for a 13-yard gain, Wilson had BYU in a very manageable situation 18 yards away from the end zone with four seconds remaining. That was enough to set up a tough but reasonable final throw. Wilson connected with Milne again, but he was stopped at the 1-yard line as time expired. Coastal Carolina would hold on to its 22-17 lead to keep its undefeated season going.
Check out the play below. BYU came agonizingly close to one of the most thrilling finishes of the year.
BYU’s offense opened up when needed, but Coastal Carolina did a good job in general of getting pressure on Wilson while preventing the Cougars’ big wide receivers from getting consistent separation. With the Chanticleers owning the time of possession by nearly 38 to 22 minutes, Jamey Chadwell’s team also did a nice job of game planning to keep BYU’s offense on the sideline.
The mantra for BYU as it’s navigated the season has been “any team, any time, any place.” While the loss will greatly hurt its chances of making a New Year’s Six bowl, these are the types of games college football can use more of late in the season. The terrific ending didn’t hurt, either.