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BYU Football: Top 10 Wins as an Independent

Ranking the ten best wins since BYU went independent in 2011.

After years in the WAC and Mountain Went, BYU went independent in football in 2011. Since 2011, BYU has played 63 different teams, and they have played 41 games against power five opponents. Today, let's count down BYU's top 10 wins as an independent. 

Before we get started, it's important to note that these rankings are subjective. These rankings blend the importance of the game at that time, the quality of the opponent, and how exciting the game was. Without further ado, let's get started with the honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

  • 2011 vs Utah State
  • 2013 @ Houston
  • 2014 @ Cal
  • 2014 vs Virginia
  • 2016 @ Michigan State
  • 2016 vs Mississippi State
  • 2018 @ Arizona
  • 2019 vs Boise State
  • 2020 @ Houston

10. 2020 at Boise State

BYU-51 Boise State-17 | Albertsons Stadium

BYU, who was ranked #9 in the AP poll, traveled to #21 Boise State. The Cougars dominated Boise State on the blue turf - it was their first win against Boise State at Albertsons Stadium in program history. BYU dismantled the Broncos on both sides of the ball. Zach Wilson was 22/28 for 360 yards and 3 touchdowns.

9. 2016 at Arizona

BYU-18 Arizona-16 | University of Phoenix Stadium

Jake Oldroyrd vs Arizona.jfif

BYU's first game under new head coach Kalani Sitake. True freshman walk-on Jake Oldroyd hit the game-winning field goal as time expired. Jamaal Williams ran for 162 yards on 29 carries.

8. 2011 at Ole Miss

BYU-14 Ole Miss-13 | Vaught-Hemingway Stadium

BYU's first game as an independent was against Ole Miss in SEC country. BYU scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull off the dramatic comeback victory. With just over five minutes remaining, BYU trailed 13-7. Kyle Van Noy came off the edge on 3rd & long, sacked the quarterback, forced a fumble, and recovered the fumble for the go-ahead touchdown.

7. 2019 at Tennessee

BYU-29 Tennessee-26 | Neyland Stadium

Micah Simon vs Tennessee

Before Zach Wilson completed the 64 yard pass to Micah Simon that put BYU in field goal range, BYU's win probability was 0.4% according to ESPN. Jake Oldroyd sent the game to overtime with a field goal, and BYU willed themselves to victory in double overtime.

6. 2019 vs USC

BYU-30 USC-27 | Lavell Edwards Stadium

Micah Simon vs USC

Coming off a double overtime victory at Tennessee, BYU traveled home to host #24 USC. The Trojans were 2-0 and coming off a blowout victory over Stanford. For the second time in as many weeks, BYU beat a storied program in overtime. An interception by Dayan Ghanwoloku sealed the victory in overtime. 

5. 2013 vs Texas

BYU-40 Texas-21 | Lavell Edwards Stadium

Nationally ranked #15 Texas traveled to Provo to take on the Cougars in Lavell Edwards Stadium. Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams ran all over the Longhorns en route to a 40-21 victory. Hill and Williams combined for 441 yards rushing against Texas, and BYU finished with 550 rushing yards as a team. The game was later deemed "The Game that Changed Texas Football" by the Bleacher Report.

4. 2014 at Texas

BYU-41 Texas-7 | Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium

What's better than a dominant victory over Texas? Two dominant victories over Texas in consecutive seasons. Taysom Hill dominated the Longhorns again, and the hype surrounding 2-0 BYU started to build. This game is famous for Hill's hurdle over a Texas defender on his way to a touchdown.

3. 2018 at Wisconsin

BYU-24 Wisconsin-21 | Camp Randall Stadium

Aleva Hifo vs Wisconsin

BYU was coming off a horrendous 2017 season, and #6 Wisconsin was viewed as a contender for the College Football Playoff. BYU traveled to Camp Randall Stadium and took down the Badgers and star running back Jonathan Taylor. BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki led the BYU defense with 12 total tackles.

2. 2015 vs Boise State

BYU-35 Boise State-24 | Lavell Edwards Stadium

For the second consecutive week, BYU won with a last minute hail mary. Freshman Tanner Mangum found Mitchell Juergens in the endzone for the go-ahead score. Kai Nacua would seal the victory with a pick-six.

1. 2015 at Nebraska

BYU-33 Nebraska-28 | Memorial Stadium

BYU beat Nebraska with a hail mary on the final play of the game to kick off the 2015 season. Star Taysom Hill suffered a season-ending injury, and freshman Tanner Mangum came in for the injured Hill. Tanner Mangum connected with Mitch Matthews for the "Mangum Miracle at Memorial."

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