PROVO, Utah (AP) — Baylor Romney threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start to help BYU upset No. 14 Boise State 28-25 on Saturday night and snap a three-game losing streak.
The Cougars turned to Romney, their third-string quarterback, with Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall both sidelined with injuries. He threw two scoring passes to Matt Bushman and helped deliver a second home win for BYU (3-4) over a Top 25 opponent this season.
Chase Cord, Boise State’s No. 2 quarterback, got the call with Hank Bachmeier out because of an injury. He struggled in his first career start, throwing for 185 yards, two touchdowns, and a pair of interceptions.
Boise State (6-1) was dealt a serious blow to its New Year’s Six bowl hopes with the team’s first loss to BYU since 2015.
The Broncos trimmed an 18-point deficit to three late in the fourth quarter. Cord hit Octavius Evans with a 13-yard TD pass and then Akilian Butler with a 5-yard TD pass to make it 28-25 with 3:17 remaining.
The Cougars were able to run out the clock after Austin Kafentzis picked up a yard on 4th-and-inches from the BYU 34 with 2:17 left.
BYU took its first lead at 14-10 early in the third quarter when Sione Finau took an option pitch and raced 46 yards untouched for the score. Then the Cougars dug into the bag of tricks to pull away.
Romney hit Bushman with a pair of touchdown passes to extend BYU’s lead to 28-10 late in the quarter. On the first one, he faked a QB sneak on 4th down, popped out, and hit Bushman down the middle for 27 yards. Then, following an interception by Jackson Kaufusi, Romney hit a wide-open Bushman down the sideline after a flea flicker for a 39-yard score.
The Cougars racked up 196 yards on just 11 plays in the third quarter.
Neither team could get much done on offense before halftime. Boise State and BYU each scored on their opening drive, then combined for six straight 3-and-outs during the second quarter. The Broncos finally broke that lengthy string of punts on their final drive before halftime, scoring on a 38-yard field goal from Eric Sachse to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room.
Boise State: With Bachmeier out, the Broncos did not possess their usual explosiveness on offense. Cord threw a pair of costly interceptions and Boise State could not get enough done in the running game when it mattered against one of the nation’s worst run defenses.
BYU: Down to their third-string quarterback, the Cougars struggled for a time to move the ball after a promising start. They generated three total yards on 13 plays in the second quarter before coming alive with three consecutive third quarter scoring drives.
Boise State will likely take a steep tumble in the polls after suffering its first loss of the season to BYU on the road.
Boise State visits San Jose State on Saturday.
BYU visits Utah State in the Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel on Saturday.