Highlights, key plays and photos from BYU’s win in the New Mexico Bowl

Editor’s note: The Deseret News is providing live coverage from Saturday’s bowl game between BYU and SMU. Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final score: BYU 24, SMU 23

Fourth quarter


SMU’s onside kick attempt goes out of bounds, and the Cougars will hold on for the bowl win.


What a drive from SMU.

And then, what a play from Jakob Robinson.

Tanner Mordecai hit Jordan Kerley for a 12-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left, making it a one-point game. That capped an 88-yard drive that took 14 plays and 2:53 off the clock.

SMU decided to go for two points and the win, and after a few chess-match timeouts, Mordecai tried to score on a QB draw, but Robinson met the quarterback and dropped him short of the goal line to preserve BYU’s lead. BYU 24, SMU 23.


The BYU defense came up with a huge stop, as SMU tried to convert a fourth and 2 at the BYU 24. Alden Tofa got pressure on Tanner Mordecia, though, and picked up a 15-yard sack when Mordecai fell down while backpedaling.

The sack gives BYU the ball back with solid field position and time running low in this one.

12:39 p.m

It’s back to a one-possession game, after Tyler Lavine scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. BYU 24, SMU 17.

That was a nice response from the Mustangs, who used a balanced mix of run and pass to move the ball 75 yards in 11 plays.

SMU extended the drive with a 35-yard pass on third down where Kelvontay Dixon made the leaping grab down the sideline to get the Mustangs into BYU territory.

Third quarter


Chris Brooks capped an impressive all-run drive with a 22-yard touchdown on third and short, and the Cougars are up two scores. BYU 24, SMU 10.

BYU went 82 yards in nine plays, keeping the ball on the ground, while Brooks had six carries for 55 yards on the drive.

That gives the Cougars 196 rushing yards on the game.


BYU’s Ben Bywater jumped a screen pass and took an interception back 76 yards for a touchdown, giving the Cougars their biggest lead of the game. BYU 17, SMU 10.

That’s Bywater’s first pick-six in his BYU career is also the first in New Mexico Bowl history.

It was a big turn of momentum, after Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters threw an interception on BYU’s previous possession.

Second quarter


Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters led another scoring drive, this time for a field goal as Jake Oldroyd hit a 31-yarder to tie the game. BYU 10, SMU 10.

The Cougars moved the ball 66 yards in 14 plays, with the most electric play of the drive when Maiava-Peters made several shifty moves and picked up 12 yards on the ground on a third and 12 situation to keep the drive alive.

Chase Roberts couldn’t catch a pass a low pass in the end zone on third and 4 the play before the field goal, though, which would have given BYU the lead.

First quarter

2:16 a.m

SMU is back in front after moving 75 yards on 12 plays and scoring on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Mordecai to Roderick Daniels Jr. SMU 10, BYU 7.

SMU converted three third-down attempts on the drive, including the touchdown pass.


The first drive for Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters showed some promise, as the freshman quarterback led BYU into the red zone and capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run on fourth and goal. BYU 7, SMU 3.

Maiava-Peters showed his athleticism, running for 40 yards on the drive.

Can he start showcasing his arm tonight as well? The 11-play drive featured only one pass, although the Cougars’ rush game was churning.


SMU marched 57 yards in 11 plays and added the game’s first points on a 35-yard field goal. SMU 3, BYU 0.

Personal notes

Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters will start at quarterback for BYU, while Puka Nacua is likely out for the game. Here’s the details:

Pregame prep

Here are a few stories to get ready for BYU’s bowl game against SMU:

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