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Isaiah Kaufusi and the BYU defense celebrate BYU’s first interception against Boise State. (Hannah Miner)

“I think the greatest feeling for me on the football field is getting an interception,” linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi said after a winning game against Boise State University in which he and his brother Jackson Kaufusi both picked off Boise State quarterback Chase Cord.

BYU has had a good season so far for interceptions and is currently ranked at No. 5 among FBS teams for passes intercepted.

To celebrate BYU’s No. 5 ranking, here is a list of what we believe are the Cougars’ top five interceptions of the season so far.

Zach Wilson gets hoisted into the air as the offense runs off the field after a touchdown against No. 24 USC. (Hannah Miner)

5. Isaiah Kaufusi against USC

Halfway through the first quarter of the game, the Trojans were ahead by one touchdown and BYU had just punted the ball. Kedon Slovis threw the ball five yards and right into Isaiah Kaufusi’s hands. Kaufusi went down on the USC 28-yard line, putting the Cougars in position to score their first touchdown of the game just four plays later.

4. Kavika Fonua against USU

The score was tied 7-7 with 11:59 left in the first half. The Aggies had the ball on the USU 25-yard line, when Kavika Fonua picked off Jordan Love at the USU 32 and returned it 16 yards to the USU 16-yard line. Jaren Hall followed up with a 16-yard touchdown run that gave the Cougars a lead that they would hold onto for the rest of the game. Love was picked off a second time in the same quarter of the game by Payton Wilgar, and BYU ended up walking away with a victory of 42-14.

3. Jackson Kaufusi against Boise State

BYU led 21-10 with 3:52 left in the third quarter of the game. The Cougars had just scored a touchdown and after a 65-yard kickoff from Skyler Southam, Boise had started its drive. The drive was cut to a mere 48 seconds when Chase Cord was picked off by Jackson Kaufusi, who returned the ball 13 yards to the BSU 41. This set BYU up to score yet another touchdown 42 seconds later, which bumped its lead up to 28-10.

Talon Shumway records a reception during BYU’s overtime win over Tennessee in Knoxville. (BYU Photo)

2. Kavika Fonua against Tennessee

Starting off the second half, Tennessee was winning 13-3 and the Cougars were looking to come back. The Volunteers started the half with the ball, and on a third and four, they found themselves on their own 31-yard line. Jarrett Guarantano seemed to throw the ball directly to Fonua, who reacted quickly and returned the ball 11 yards to the Tennessee 20. This interception set the Cougars up for a touchdown and changed the momentum of the game, leading to a BYU victory in double overtime.

Anna Bryner
Fans rush the field on Sept. 14 after officials uphold the interception ruling and declare a BYU victory against USC. (Anna Bryner)

1. Dayan Ghanwoloku against USC

The game was in overtime. BYU had lost the coin toss and had the first attempt at a drive. Failing to move in for a touchdown, the team had settled for a 43-yard field goal from Oldroyd, taking a 30-27 lead — then it was USC’s turn. The Trojans were moving forward when a Kedon Slovis pass intended for wide receiver Drake London was instead snatched out of the air by Dayan Ghanwoloku, which ended the USC overtime drive and the game, giving the Cougars a walk-off victory

“It was crazy. We knew they were trying to get some quick throws,” Ghanwoloku said. “They made a play and I saw the ball pop open.”

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