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Highlights, key plays and photos from No. 13 BYU’s 35-31 win over USC

Brigham Young tight end Masen Wake (13) is tackled by Southern California cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart, bottom left, and defensive lineman Stanley Ta’ufo’ou (47).
Brigham Young tight end Masen Wake (13) is tackled by Southern California cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart, bottom left, and defensive lineman Stanley Ta’ufo’ou (47) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.
Ashley Landis, Associated Press

The Deseret News is providing live coverage from tonight’s game between No. 13 BYU and USC. Follow along for updates throughout the night.

4th quarter

BYU 35, USC 31

The Cougars’ 10th victory of the season was perhaps their most hard-fought, as BYU rallied to beat USC at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Jackson McChesney’s 7-yard touchdown run proved to be the game-winner, as the Cougars improved to 5-0 against Pac-12 teams this season.

The defense, though, made the big stop, forcing a turnover on downs deep inside BYU territory with under a minute to go.

Now, No. 13 BYU waits to find out its postseason fate.

0:38 — BYU came up with a fourth-down stop at the Cougar 10, and the visitors will earn the hard-fought win. USC had driven well into scoring position but Kaleb Hayes tackled Gary Bryant Jr. one yard short of a first down.

3:57 — BYU got itself the go-ahead touchdown, thanks to the efforts of two lesser-used players. Jackson McChesney, who had 11 carries on the year prior to Saturday, scored on a 7-yard run to give the Cougars a four-point edge at 35-31 with just under four minutes to play.

McChesney came on in relief of a banged up Tyler Allgeier, who fumbled earlier in the drive but tight end Dallin Holker picked up the fumble and gained another 22 yards on the play to get BYU deep into USC territory.

11:03 — USC is back in front, going 91 yards in 12 plays to score on a 10-yard touchdown catch for Gary Bryant Jr. The Trojans then added a two-point conversion on a pass from Jaxson Dart to Lake McRee to make it a three-point USC lead.

That’s 18 straight points for the Trojans after BYU opened the second half with a touchdown.

Dart completed 5 of 5 passes for 69 yards on the drive.

3rd quarter

BYU 28, USC 23

The Cougars are holding on to the lead, but USC is building momentum after scoring the last 10 points of the game. BYU punted on back-to-back possessions to end the third quarter — even after reaching the USC 27 on one possession — and now the Trojans could retake the lead.

3:45 — The Trojans cut into the BYU lead again, this time on Parker Lewis’ third field goal of the night, a 37-yarder. After USC forced a Cougar punt, Vavae Malepeai ripped off a 35-yard run to get USC into scoring territory.

7:12 — USC responded well again to a BYU touchdown, this time marching 75 yards on 14 plays to score on a fourth-and-goal 2-yard run from Vavae Malepeai to make it a one-score game.

The Trojans twice converted a fourth down inside the BYU 5 on the drive, while Darwin Barlow picked up 40 rushing yards on the possession.

11:37 — BYU marched downfield to score another touchdown on the first drive of the second half, though at first it looked like Jaren Hall threw another interception. USC was called for roughing the passer on the play, though, and BYU retained possession.

The Cougars pushed their lead to 15 when Hall launched a 41-yard pass to Keanu Hill for the touchdown, capping a six-play, 75-yard drive.

2nd quarter

BYU 21, USC 13

A costly mistake prevented BYU from taking a more solid lead into halftime, despite the Cougars outgaining the hometown Trojans 279 yards of total offense to 178 in the first half.

Jaren Hall’s interception just before halftime, just the fourth he’s thrown all season, turned into points on the other end. BYU, conversely, hasn’t forced a turnover yet in this game.

0:00 — USC made BYU pay for a late first-half turnover, as the Trojans’ Parker Lewis made a 33-yard field goal as the first half expired.

The Cougars appeared poised to add to their 21-10 lead before an errant Jaren Hall pass was intercepted with just over a minute to go until halftime, and USC responded by driving 54 yards to get into field goal range.

5:45 — The Cougars responded well to the Trojans’ first touchdown by scoring one of their own, this time a 5-yard Tyler Allgeier touchdown run up the middle. It’s Allgeier’s second touchdown of the quarter.

BYU marched 83 yards down the field in six plays, sparked by a 36-yard pass to Masen Wake. There was a scary moment for the Cougars, though, as tight end Isaac Rex was taken off the field on a cart after twisting his ankle trying to make a catch in the end zone.

8:06 — Former Utah prep quarterback standout Jaxson Dart led the Trojans on a touchdown drive to make it a four-score game, and the freshman Dart capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Trojans moved the ball 72 yards in nine plays for their first touchdown of the night.

11:34 — The Cougars have a 14-3 lead, thanks to a 9-yard touchdown run by Tyler Allgeier on fourth-and-1. BYU originally kicked a field goal on the drive, but USC was called for offsides on the kick, and the Cougars decided to go for it after the penalty.

Allgeier then broke through the middle untouched for the score on a 93-yard scoring drive that featured another fourth-down conversion for BYU.

1st quarter

BYU 7, USC 3

The Cougars have 136 yards of total offense to only 49 for USC through one quarter. If BYU can start turning some of this momentum on offense into sustainable drives, the Cougars could take advantage of the dominance they’ve had so far in moving the ball. For now, they’ll have to settle on holding onto a slim lead.

7:24 — BYU’s first possession of the game found the end zone, as Puka Nacua caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jaren Hall to give the Cougars the lead. BYU drove 75 yards in eight plays to score, and converted a fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive.

11:20 — USC took the opening drive for a score, after the Trojans’ Gary Bryant Jr. returned the opening kickoff 62 yards into BYU territory. USC marched 25 yards before the drive ended with a Parker Lewis 26-yard field goal.

Pregame prep

Here are a few stories to get you ready for the game: