#21 BYU took down #9 Baylor in a thrilling 2OT game Saturday night in Provo. The game was one of the most anticipated ones leading into the day, and it led up to the hype. We round up some of the national pundits’ reactions below.
Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated ranked BYU 5 in his top 10 rankings.
“The Cougars overcame receiver absences and kicker debacles to beat the Bears in a game that was well-played until it frayed at the edges late. Quarterback Jaren Hall threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and the BYU defense kept Baylor out of the end zone in the second overtime to solidify the victory. (It helped that the Bears went Uber-conservative in the latter stages of regulation and the overtimes.) If BYU can win in Eugene, the potential path to 6-0 and hosting Arkansas in mid-October is manageable.”
ESPN’s David Hale called Jaren Hall one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks in college football.
“Point 1: Jaren Hall might be the most underappreciated QB in college football. Against Baylor’s barbaric defense, and without his top two receivers, Hall still delivered an electric performance, completing 23-of-39 for 269 yards, then rushing for 28 more — including some huge scrambles down the stretch — while also catching a TD pass. Over his past six games, Hall has accounted for nearly 2,000 yards of offense with 17 touchdowns and just three picks. Oh, and BYU is 6-0 in those games.”
Stewart Mandel of The Athletic gave his thoughts on BYU in his “Final Thoughts” column.
“12. Give it to BYU – the Cougars are not waiting to get to the Big 12 to play like they already belong. A year ago, they went 6-1 against Power 5 opponents, the only loss coming to eventual Big 12 champ Baylor. On Saturday night, they avenged that one, outlasting the Bears 26-20 in overtime. BYU was without its top two receivers, so up stepped redshirt freshman Chase Roberts with eight catches for 122 yards and a TD. Kalani Sitake has built a heck of a program that is now 28-6 since the midpoint of the 2019 season.”
Pete Mundo of Heartland College Sports talked about how BYU will have one of the best home fields in the Big 12.
“I admit I’m usually not up as late as I was on Saturday watching BYU football. I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, so I need my beauty sleep as much as the next person. Once the Big 12 games end, I’m typically done. But now that BYU is joining the Big 12, I’m going to do my best to begin watching more Cougars football, and Saturday was a good start with Baylor in town for a future Big 12 match up. Baylor lost the game in a double-overtime thriller, but Provo proved itself in a big way.
Between the elevation in Provo, Utah, lengthy travel and the raucous fans, this is not going to be an easy road trip for any Big 12 football team. At the same time, it’s an outstanding atmosphere that plays incredibly well on television.
I can’t wait to be watching more Big 12 games from Provo starting in 2023. As a fan, it will be great. As an opposing coach or team, not so much.”