Another week, another overtime thriller for BYU. Keep this up and they'll be donned the Cardiac Cougars for the rest of the season. Still, a win is a win, and BYU's 30-27 overtime win over No. 24 USC moves them to 2-1 in an early part of the schedule that figures to be the most difficult of the season.
The Cougars have gotten to this point through tough defense and some special plays by quarterback Zach Wilson. The "Mormon Manziel," as he's affectionately called, came up big late against the Trojans defense with 280 yards passing and two total touchdowns, including this 16-yard run for a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter:
Wilson has legit pocket presence and patience with his ability to extend plays with his feet. He's also a lethal downfield passer as coverage breaks down. He gives BYU a chance to win just about every game.
And BYU might win just about every game. The Washington home game in Week 4 will be huge, but the schedule eases up significantly after that. Yes, most teams operate on a week-by-week basis, but after getting through its first three games at 2-1, the worst may be behind the Cougars. No one would bat an eye if BYU was 0-3 after facing No. 11 Utah, Tennessee and No. 24 USC in consecutive weeks. And with No. 23 Washington coming up next, going 0-for in the better part of September would have been entirely possible. Instead, the Cougars have managed to stay in tight games and pull out late wins. That's sometimes the difference between five wins and eight or nine.
Conversely, the show USC put on against Stanford lost its shine quickly. (Couple USC's loss on Saturday with Stanford getting worked by No. 17 UCF 45-24. The Cardinal really don't look good at the moment.) Quarterback Kedon Slovis looked like a freshman with three interceptions, including the game-deciding one in overtime, while the Trojans run game was hit-or-miss. The frustrating thing about Clay Helton's teams over the past year is that you never know what you're going to get out of them in a given week. Week 4's home game against Utah will be a major test for the Trojans to get right ... again.