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Live coverage: BYU football faces UCF in Boca Raton Bowl

The Cougars respond to a UCF touchdown with their fourth of the game, coming on a 68-yard drive.

It’s expected to be an offensive shootout in the Boca Raton Bowl, and for good reason: BYU and UCF bring two of the nation’s top offenses — and quarterbacks — into the contest.

Zach Wilson and the Cougars (10-1) will be trying to put the final stamp on an already memorable season. BYU is coming off a 28-14 victory over San Diego State a week and a half ago.

Dillon Gabriel and the Knights (6-3), meanwhile, are looking for their signature win in a 2020 season where UCF has largely been successful, while losing three games by a combined 12 points. The Knights most recently played on Nov. 27, when they beat South Florida 58-46.

What kind of fireworks can fans of both teams expect? Follow along with the action in our live coverage, with kickoff set for 5 p.m. MST. The game is being televised on ESPN.

7:11, second quarter BYU 28, UCF 7

The Cougars make it four touchdowns on five drives, as Isaac Rex catches a 27-yarder for his second score of the game. BYU goes 68 yards on seven plays — that included a third-and-15 conversion on a pass to Lopini Katoa — and the Cougars have 348 yards of total offense.

A freshman All-America candidate, Isaac Rex is now tied for No. 3 in the nation with 12 TD catches. He is tied for No. 1 among TE with Florida’s Kyle Pitts.

— BYU Game Notes (@BYUGameNotes) December 23, 2020
10:11, second quarter BYU 21, UCF 7

The Knights go on a must-needed scoring drive, capped by a 5-yard Greg McCrae touchdown run. UCF eats up 80 yards on the 15-play drive and converts three third-down attempts to make it a two-score game.

End of first quarter BYU 21, UCF 0

A few notes from the Cougars’ dominant first quarter:

  • BYU has 270 yards of total offense, to 85 for the Knights.
  • Zach Wilson has completed 11 of 14 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown, ran for 19 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 16-yard pass on a trick play.
  • UCF’s Dillon Gabriel, who’s No. 2 in the nation in passing yards per game, has completed 3 of 8 passes for 21 yards, though he had a wide receiver drop a sure touchdown halfway through the first quarter.
  • BYU is 2 of 3 on third down, while UCF is 1 of 4.
0:25, first quarter BYU 21, UCF 0

The Cougars add a third touchdown before the end of the first quarter, driving 76 yards on four plays — aided by a targeting penalty — and Zach Wilson scores for the second time on the ground with a 4-yard run.

2:07, first quarter BYU 14, UCF 0

Both teams get stops on fourth down, as the defenses have their moments. First, Zach Wilson is incomplete on a fourth-down pass in UCF territory. The Knights then drive to the BYU 24, but Greg McCrae is dropped for a 1-yard loss by Zac Dawe on a fourth-and-1, giving the ball back to the Cougars.

11:10, first quarter BYU 14, UCF 0

The Cougars score fast again, this time on a 36-yard pass to Isaac Rex on a trick play. Zach Wilson already has over 100 passing yards — he’s at 121 — while completing 5 of 6 passes. Gunner Romney (12 yards) and Neil Pau’a (19) also had catches on the drive, while Tyler Allgeier added a 5-yard run on the four-play, 72-yard drive after UCF went three-and-out on its first drive.

13:11, first quarter BYU 7, UCF 0

The Cougars strike quick, scoring on the opening drive when Zach Wilson runs 15 yards for a touchdown. Wilson completes 2 of 3 passes for 54 yards and Tyler Allgeier has 61 yards (18 rushing, 43 receiving) on the five-play, 87-yard drive.

Pre-game

Here are a few links to stories you may want to read prior to or during the game:

Deseret News BYU football beat writer Jay Drew shares a few personnel notes prior to kickoff:

Have confirmed that BYU center James Empey did not make the trip, will not play tonight vs. UCF. Fellow O lineman Clark Barrington also out, due to injury sustained against Coastal Carolina.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 22, 2020

BYU cornerback Chris Wilcox has opted out of the Boca Raton Bowl -- Wilcox has hired an agent and turned his attention to NFL draft, per Ben Criddle of 960 AM radio

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 22, 2020

A couple of BYU defenders, besides Wilcox, also weren't warming up, per Mitch Harper. LB Isaiah Kaufusi and CINCO George Udo weren't on the field.

— Jay Drew (@drewjay) December 22, 2020
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