BYU is tough, they have a good defense with quality guys who can hold their own verse Power 5 teams.
They can face the biggest of guys and still rack up tackles. But, the ultimate challege is strength verse speed, why can’t BYU keep up?
Wisconsin had strength, and BYU was able to go head-to-head with that. They have strong, smart guys who crave to bring down the best. But, teams like Washington, and yes, even McNeese State, have speed. Which is something BYU struggles with on the defensive side of the ball. How can the Cougars change to succeed give some of these facts?
Fundamentally, the coaching is there. The problem here doesn’t rely on coaching. This team is so wishy-washy it’s hard to even pin-point one area that needs to be worked on. Because in reality–its all of them.
Tanner Mangum actually came to play vs Washington, he wasn’t the reason they lost. But, verse Utah State, he obviously played a role. The Cougars struggled to just complete a catch. In the middle of the game, it looked like the guys gave up.
But, what really stands out in games is BYU’s run game on the games its lost, or lack there of. During the Utah State University game specifically, BYU had 39 yards rushing to Utah States 223 yards. With that, the Cougars put up a 11% third down conversion percentage compared to the Aggies 41%.
Taking a look at the games BYU has lost, BYU is averaging about 55 yards during the whole game to the opponents 192 yards.
On the games BYU has won they average about 178 yards per game. Comparing the Cougs to the game’s they’ve won to the games they’ve lost, they’re avergage over 120 yards more on games they win. With that the passing game opens up for defenses to have to respect the run.
So, needs to improve? Our passing. Who can do that? Mangum. The longest pass of the year was thrown by a wide reciever (31 yards), not even BYU’s Quarter Back. The recievers need to have confidence that their QB will be able to get the ball to them. They need to trust that he can think in order to make the smartest decision to get the ball down field. But, Tanner hansn’t really showed his ability to pass the ball. ***further than 10 yards***
Is there lack of confidence with the Cougars receivers? Think of Tom Brady. The Patriots don’t have an allstar offense. But, they do have an allstar QB. And they trust their leader to get the ball where it needs to be. Is this something that BYU is lacking? Or is it time to bring in back-up QB Zach Wilson? Head Coach Kalani Sitake said its something, like all other positions, that they evaluate after the Utah State game.
“There’s a lot of things that we have to evaluate. Every position, scheme. all that stuff and see where things broke down. Utah State played a great game. They’re a great team.”
Could the loss to USU be the final straw to bring Wilson in? At this point he needs to be getting some time in there. The remainder of this schedule has big opponents like Boise State and Utah, which is two of the teams BYU plays on the first half of next years schedule. This could be a point to start weighing your options at trying out Wilson to see if he could improve this season, as well as prepare him for the next.