Live coverage: BYU hosts Troy in Cougars’ home opener sans fans

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SALT LAKE CITY — It took until nearly the end of September, but BYU football is finally hosting its home opener.

There won’t be any fans in the stands at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night — the cities of Provo and Orem were recently moved to a moderate risk COVID-19 designation — as the Cougars host Troy of the Sun Belt Conference.

The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. MDT and will be televised on ESPN.

It’s BYU’s first game since Labor Day 19 days ago, when the Cougars thrashed Navy 55-3 in Annapolis, Md. Troy, meanwhile, cruised past Middle Tennessee State 47-14 last weekend on the road.

Follow along with all of tonight’s action in our live coverage below.

Live coverage

11:03, second quarter

BYU 14, Troy 0

BYU doubles its lead, after Zach Wilson comes up with a trio of big plays. First, the quarterback ran for 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 at the Troy 44, then he hit a diving Gunner Romney for a deep pass down to the Trojans’ 1. On the next play, Wilson carried the ball in for the 1-yard score.

The Cougars now have touchdowns on two of their three drives and have 172 yards of total offense to 70 for Troy.

1:26, first quarter

BYU 7, Troy 0

It took nearly a quarter, but BYU strikes first, scoring on a Masen Wake dive up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down.

That caps an eight-play, 64-yard drive as the Cougars score on their second drive of the game.

BYU has scored a TD in every quarter (5) this season following that score with 1:26 remaining in the first #BYUFootball

— BYU Game Notes (@BYUGameNotes) September 27, 2020

Here’s a look at a Khyiris Tonga sack on Troy’s drive before the Cougars’ score:

8:34, first quarter

Troy 0, BYU 0

Zach Wilson took a big sack and BYU’s first possession of the game reaches midfield before stalling. They’re still scoreless in Provo, though Lopini Katoa had a pair of nice runs on the drive and already has 22 rushing yards.

12:06, first quarter

Troy 0, BYU 0

BYU’s defense has two stops before the Cougars has even touched the field. After the BYU defense got a stop on the first drive of the game, the Cougars’ Dax Milne dropped the ensuing punt and Troy recovered at the BYU 22. The Cougar defense stood tall, stopping the Trojans short of converting a fourth-and-1 at the BYU 13.

Pre-game

Deseret News BYU football beat writer Jay Drew provides an update on a few Cougar positions:

Three BYU quarterbacks warming up right now: Zach Wilson, Baylor Romney, Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters. Jaren Hall (hip) is not warming up, best I can tell.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) September 27, 2020

BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi is out there warming up — looks like he will play.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) September 27, 2020

Highly touted freshman receiver Kody Epps, wearing the No. 0 (still trying to get used to that) is warming up, should play after not making the trip to Navy three weeks ago due to minor injury.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) September 27, 2020

I count 10 dressed BYU offensive linemen warming up now. Backup left guard Kieffer Longson not among them.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) September 27, 2020

According to the pregame introductions, BYU’s starting cornerbacks tonight will be senior Chris Wilcox and freshman Micah Harper. Starters at Navy were Keenan Ellis and Troy Warner. Warner back at safety, with Zayne Anderson.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) September 27, 2020

BYU coach Kalani Sitake on KSL radio pregame show: “Obviously, it is not the entire group… We have always bragged about our depth this year, and now we gotta test it.”

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) September 27, 2020

The Deseret News’ Jeff Call shared an image of what the stadium looks like without fans today, prior to kickoff:

With no fans allowed, the Cougars did a Virtual Cougar Walk instead:

Yes, BYU is wearing the Love One Another T-shirts again. Remember them from the Navy game? Here’s the details.

Need a football fix before the game? BYU football’s main account shared video of the team warming up:

It also provided a scenic view of tonight’s atmosphere:

OK, it’s “loosely” BYU related, but former Cougar wide receiver Mitch Mathews — he of Nebraska game fame — shared an awesome moonwalk video a couple hours before kick.

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