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Highlights, key plays and photos from BYU’s 30-27 upset win over No. 24 USC

Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Lorenzo Fauatea (55) sacks and strips the ball from USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.
Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Lorenzo Fauatea (55) sacks and strips the ball from USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO — For the second straight week, BYU took a Power Five opponent to overtime.

And for the second week in a row, the Cougars were victorious.

BYU defeated No. 24 USC 30-27 after Jake Oldroyd hit a 43-yard field goal on the Cougars’ possession in overtime, then Dayan Ghanwoloku intercepted a tipped pass on third down to end USC’s possession.

Here’s three key takeaways that defined this game:

Picking off the freshman early, and late

The Cougars overcame a USC touchdown on its first drive by intercepting Trojan freshman Kedon Slovis on back-to-back possessions in the first quarter.

The first came from linebacker Payton Wilgar, who made a diving pick on Slovis. After a 26-yard run by Ty’Son Williams to get inside the 5, BYU scored on a 1-yard Ghanwoloku run to tie the score.

On the next possession, BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi picked off Slovis and the Cougars quickly moved back inside the USC 20. This drive stalled, though, leading to a 23-yard Jake Oldroyd field goal and a 10-7 Cougars lead.

Slovis completed 24 of 34 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns, but had three interceptions, including Ghanwoloku’s game-winner that set of a Cougar celebration.

Wilson leads fourth-quarter scores, USC battles back

After both teams failed to score in the third quarter, USC regained the lead at 24-17 early in the fourth when Slovis found Michael Pittman Jr. in the back of the end zone for his second touchdown reception of the day.

Quarterback Zach Wilson rallied the Cougars, though. First, BYU drove downfield on the ensuing possession and cut the Trojans’ lead to 24-20 on an Oldroyd 32-yard field goal.

After BYU forced a USC punt, Wilson showed his magic on a touchdown drive. First, Wilson evaded a pair of USC pass rushers and scrambled back into the pocket before throwing deep to a wide-open Gunner Romney at the USC 17-yard line.

Two plays later, Wilson took the QB draw up the middle and escaped a handful of Trojan tackle attempts before finding the end zone for a 16-yard TD run.

Wilson finished the game with 280 passing yards and a first-half touchdown while also rushing for 10 yards and the fourth-quarter score.

BYU goes toe-to-toe with a national power

BYU, now 2-1 on the year, had its best game of the season on Saturday, holding its own against a USC team that had started 2-0. The Cougars nearly matched the Trojans in offensive yards — USC had a slight 452 to 430 edge — and BYU held USC to 6 of 16 on third down conversions while converting 7 of 16 on its own.

The Cougars also averaged 5.8 yards per play, to 5.7 for the Trojans.

Offensively, BYU was led by Wilson and 99 rushing yards from Williams, while 12 Cougars caught passes.

Kavika Fonua had 13 tackles to pace the BYU defense, with nine solo tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.

Scoring summary: BYU 30, No. 24 USC 27

First quarter

USC, Michael Pittman Jr. 8-yard pass from Kedon Slovis (10:39), Chase McGrath kick

BYU, Dayan Ghanwoloku 1-yard run (6:10), Jake Oldroyd kick

BYU, Jake Oldroyd 23-yard field goal (3:01)

Second quarter

USC, Chase McGrath 27-yard field goal (14:50)

BYU, Dax Milne 30-yard pass from Zach Wilson (10:19), Jake Oldroyd kick

USC, Vavae Malepeai 5-yard run (5:03), Chase McGrath kick

Fourth quarter

USC, Michael Pittman Jr. 30-yard pass from Kedon Slovis (10:45), Chase McGrath kick

BYU, Jake Oldroyd 32-yard field goal (8:13)

BYU, Zach Wilson 16-yard run (5:41), Jake Oldroyd kick

USC, Chase McGrath 52-yard field goal (1:43)

Overtime

BYU, Jake Oldroyd 43-yard field goal