Boise State Football

Final: BYU 28, Boise State 25; Chase Cord starts at QB as Broncos get first loss

BYU brought in defensive back Austin Kafentzis for a fourth-and-inches play from the Boise State 34-yard line with 2:17 left in the game.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior got more than enough, pushing forward for 2 yards and a first down. BYU was then able to run out the clock on a 28-25 upset win over No. 14 Boise State on Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

It is the first loss of the season for the Broncos (6-1), and a huge hit to their New Year’s Six bowl hopes.

The Cougars (3-4) were down to third-string quarterback Baylor Romney after injuries to Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall. But Romney was unfazed, throwing for 221 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start as a freshman.

“It finally all came together,” Romney said in a postgame interview on ESPN. “We knew what we were capable of as a team all year. And just for it all to come together against Boise State was something incredible today.”

Chase Cord got the start for Boise State at quarterback in place of Hank Bachmeier, who was out with a hip pointer he sustained last week against Hawaii. Cord threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns, but also tossed a pair of interceptions.

After Boise State led 10-7 at halftime, BYU scored 21 points in the third quarter for a 28-10 lead. Boise State trimmed the 18-point deficit to three in the fourth quarter with Cord throwing touchdown passes to Octavius Evans and Akilian Butler. Butler’s 5-yard TD reception with 3:17 left made it 28-25.

“You can’t count these guys out,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake told ESPN. “These guys are fighters, and especially when their backs are against the wall.”

Check out the scoring, tweets about the game and our news and notes below:

[Related: Trick plays doom Broncos; season-long flaws prove costly; Cord inconsistent in first start; Holani steps up; Instant Analysis: Broncos outclassed in all phases]


First quarter

BSU — CT Thomas 12 run (Eric Sachse kick), 10:28. Key plays: Quarterback Chase Cord, making his first college start, hit tight end John Bates for 20 yards on third-and-4 and 13 yards on third-and-5. The touchdown came on an end-around. Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards, 4:32. Boise State 7, BYU 0

BYU — Lopini Katoa 4 run (Jake Oldroyd kick), 3:34. Key plays: Quarterback Baylor Romney, also making his first start, converted third-and-7, third-and-5 and third-and-12 with completions of 22, 9 and 13 yards. Talon Shumway made the two longer catches. Drive: 16 plays, 78 yards, 6:49. Boise State 7, BYU 7

Second quarter

BSU — Sachse 38 field goal, :28. Key plays: Running back George Holani gained a total of 15 yards on three straight carries, Cord converted third-and-1 on a sneak and Cord scrambled for 14 yards on second-and-8. On third-and-7, third-string quarterback Jaylon Henderson fired into traffic but BYU was unable to make the interception. Drive: 11 plays, 42 yards, 3:41. Boise State 10, BYU 7

Third quarter

BYU — Sione Finau 46 run (Oldroyd kick), 13:03. Key plays: Romney hit Matt Bushman for an 18-yard gain. On the TD, Romney ran an option before making a quick, wide pitch to Finau. Excellent blocking did the rest. Drive: 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:57. BYU 14, Boise State 10

BYU — Bushman 27 pass from Romney (Oldroyd kick), 4:49. Key plays: Shumway beat cornerback Avery Williams for a 39-yard catch. On fourth-and-1, Romney faked a fumbled snap and Bushman ran right past fooled safety Tyreque Jones for the easy TD. Drive: 5 plays, 80 yards, 2:57. BYU 21, Boise State 10

BYU — Bushman 39 pass from Romney (Oldroyd kick), 3:10. Key plays: BYU got excellent field position from an interception. The TD came on a reverse flea flicker. Drive: 2 plays, 41 yards, :42. BYU 28, Boise State 10

Fourth quarter

BSU — Octavius Evans 13 pass from Cord (Garrett Collingham pass from Cord), 12:42. Key plays: Holani rushed six times for 33 yards, and Evans made a difficult catch against two defenders on a fade for the TD. Drive: 14 plays, 81 yards, 5:29. BYU 28, Boise State 18

BSU — Akilian Butler 5 pass from Cord (Sachse kick), 3:17. Key plays: Evans made a 32-yard catch while falling down and Cord converted third-and-7 with an 11-yard scramble. Drive: 9 plays, 79 yards, 3:24. BYU 28, Boise State 25


Cord replaces Bachmeier at QB

Boise State started sophomore Chase Cord at quarterback Saturday night against BYU.

True freshman Hank Bachmeier, who started the first six games, sustained a hip pointer last week against Hawaii and missed the rest of the game. Cord, who was the backup for part of last season, tossed three touchdown passes against the Rainbow Warriors.

Cord is 20-for-35 for 295 yards and six touchdowns without an interception this season (184.51 rating). He competed with Bachmeier for the starting job in fall camp while continuing to work his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in practice in October 2018.

Bachmeier was in uniform and wasn’t technically out, but he wasn’t throwing during warmups.

Mahone, Nawahine leave

Boise State running back Robert Mahone and safety Kekoa Nawahine, both starters, left the game in the first half with injuries. Mahone, who appeared to sustain a leg injury, was on the sideline in street clothes before the first half ended.

Something’s crooked

Boise State kicker Eric Sachse made a 38-yard field goal late in the first half in the rain and wind — and with crooked goalposts. The goalpost in the south end zone appeared to be leaning heavily to the right. The goalpost was adjusted before the game and could have been knocked out of alignment by the wind.

The goalpost was fixed at halftime.

Sachse missed a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter after a high snap. He also was kicking into the wind. It was his first miss inside 42 yards this season. He was 9-for-9 previously.

BYU goes with third-string QB

BYU backup quarterback Jaren Hall wasn’t available to play Saturday after spending time in concussion protocol during the week, coach Kalani Sitake told Cougars radio voice Greg Wrubell. That left the start to freshman Baylor Romney, who replaced Hall during last week’s loss to South Florida. Starter Zach Wilson already was out with a hand injury.

Quick hits

Boise State wore orange pants, white jerseys and blue helmets. ... Boise State added a new flag for the team entrance — white with a pink ribbon representing breast cancer awareness. It will be carried by WR Akilian Butler, whose mom died of breast cancer in the spring. The flag is in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. ... Nose tackle Sonatane Lui carried the Hammer. ... Junior offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland was Boise State’s single-game captain. ... BYU won the coin toss and deferred. ... Wide receiver CT Thomas’ rushing touchdown in the first quarter marked the eighth Bronco to rush for a TD this season, the most since 2013. ...


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Ron Counts is the Boise State beat writer for the Idaho Statesman. He’s a Virginia native and spent that past three years covering University of Virginia.