Highlights, key plays, and photos from BYU’s 24-23 victory in the New Mexico Bowl

Editor’s note: The Deseret News features live coverage of Saturday’s game between BYU and SMU. Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final score: BYU 24, SMU 23

The fourth quarter


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


What a drive from SMU.

And then, what a play from Jacob Robinson.

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

SMU decided to get two points and win, and after a few timeouts in the chess game, Mordecai attempted to score on the QB tie, but Robinson caught up with the quarterback and pulled him off the goal line to preserve BYU’s lead. BYU24, SMU23.


BYU’s defense came up with big stops, as SMU attempted a 4th-and-2 conversion at the BYU 24. Alden Tofa was pressured on Tanner Mordecia, though, and caught a 15-yard sack when Mordecai fell while backpedaling.

The sack gives BYU the ball again with a solid field setting and time is running out on this ball.


The game had one possession returned, however, after Tyler LaVine scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. BYU 24, SMU 17.

That was a great response from the Mustangs, who used a balanced combination of running and passing to move the ball 75 yards in 11 plays.

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

Third quarter


Chris Brooks capped off the impressive drive with a 22-yard touchdown run on third and short, and the Cougars made it 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.

This 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.

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

It was a great shift in momentum, after Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters made 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 kicked 31 yards to tie the game. BYU 10, SMU 10.

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

Chase Roberts was unable to catch a low pass in the end zone on third-and-four before the field goal, though, which would have given BYU the lead.

First Quarter


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

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


Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters’ first drive showed some promise, driving BYU’s freshman quarterback into the red zone and capping the drive with a 1-yard TD run on fourth down and goal. BYU7, SMU3.

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

Can he start showing his arm tonight, too? The 11-play drive featured only one pass, although the Cougars’ quick game was choppy.


SMU marched 57 yards on 11 plays and added the first points of the game on a 35-yard field goal. SMU3, BYU0.

Staff notes

Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters will start at quarterback for BYU, while Puka Nacua will likely exit the game. Here are the details:

Junior high

Here are some stories to get ready for BYU’s Bow vs. SMU game:

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