Williams rushes to the top of the record books as BYU tops Mississippi State in 2OT

BYU topped Mississippi State 28-21 in 2OT on homecoming night.

Provo, UT – The Cardiac Cougars eked out another last minute win Friday night – their third of the season – topping Mississippi State 28-21 in 2OT on homecoming night.

Jamaal Williams entered the game as the focus of the Cougars as he pursued the all-time rushing record with 63-yards standing in his way.

Williams broke the record in OT, finishing the game with 76 yards. Williams fought tooth and nail for every inch that he earned against the stout Mississippi State defense.

Williams doesn’t believe this is an individual record, even though he is the one that will be listed in the record books.”

“I’m grateful to get it. I have to give credit to all my linemen, tight ends, everyone who blocked for me in my career of rushing,” said Williams. “Honestly, I wish I could put them before my name because you can’t do it without the line; you can’t do it without everybody and their effort.”

QB Taysom Hill led the Cougars with three touchdown passes for 165 yards and also punched in a score on the ground while tallying 53 yards with his legs.

The Cougar defense remained stalwart throughout the game. With a bend-don’t-break mentality, they allowed long drives to Mississippi State but were able to prevent scores by forcing timely turnovers. BYU finished the game with a pair of interceptions from safety’s Kai Nacua and Micah Hannemann.

“On defense, we did our thing. Everyone did their assignments and did the best they could and fought to the end,” said Nacua. “It was a big [win] for the program and for all of us on the team.”

With 1:27 left on the game clock, Mississippi State had the ball in their hands with an opportunity to march down the field for the win, the Cougars were able to force a three-and-out and overtime.

The Bulldogs had the first opportunity in overtime executing a 4-play 25-yard scoring drive to pull ahead 21-14 capped off by a QB keeper by Nick Fitzgerald who stretched his body through the air to cross the plane of the end zone.

BYU answered back with a 7-play 25-yard drive, capped off with a QB sneak by Taysom Hill from the 1-yard line. The Cougars had the first opportunity in 2OT and scored on the first play on a pass to TE Tanner Balderree who scampered to the end zone for the score.

With the game on the line and the ball in their hands, Mississippi State was forced into third and one early on, but converted for new life. The Cougar defense began the fresh set of downs with a sack for a loss of 5-yards, putting the Bulldogs at 2nd and 15.

The Cougar defense remained strong, forcing Mississippi State into 4th and 9 in a do-or-die situation. Pressuring QB Nick Fitzgerald to roll to his right, Fitzgerald launched a pass into the end zone which was broken up by Fred Warner to seal the homecoming win.

“I saw the ball come out and Fred made a play and the game was over,” said Kai Nacua. “I was exhausted and was ready to get off the field and go home.”

The Cougars will have a quick turn around as they will face Boise State on the smurf turf, next Thursday at 8:15 pm.

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