For those of you who are first-time readers, welcome! Here is a link explaining my process of how I recap BYU games while paying respect to the rich historical tradition of the BYU Cougars I love.
-Luke Staley-Tyler Allgeier Rusher of the Game:
Miles Davis. Davis did not run like a freshman at all. Coach Sitake said between Davis, Katoa, and Brooks he just wanted to go mainly with the guy with the hot hand and that was Miles Davis. Davis had 13 carries for 131 yards running and 4 catches for 31 yards receiving. His biggest moment was on the Unga-Williams Run of the Game for 70 yards in the 4th quarter. Davis had his first rushing touchdown called back on a holding penalty and the Cougs settled for a field goal. This performance was also worthy of being the Zach Wilson Freshman of the Game. BYU has found another capable running back in young Miles Davis.
Another standout freshman for BYU has been Kody Epps. Epps had 4 catches for 13 yards including 1 touchdown. Kody Epps is a rising star for BYU and has 16 catches for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this season.
-Austin Collie Receiver of the Game: Keanu Hill.
While the Cougars had great receiver play despite being down Gunner Romney, the best of them was Keanu Hill. Hill had 5 catches for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. His total for the year is 14 catches for 283 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hill’s touchdown catches in the second half against Wyoming allowed BYU to squash any kind of Cowboy resurgence before it even started.
-LaVell Edwards Calls of the Game: Kilani Sitake’s recovery from the Oregon loss.
526 yards of total offense, 188 yards rushing, and 337 yards passing. This is the second time in the year the Cougars totaled over 500 yards. Sure the team had 11 penalties for 109 yards (something they can’t do again), but they also had over 8 yards per play! The defense bounced back too by holding Wyoming to just 3 first downs on 11 third down attempts. The offense also running the no-huddle was a stroke of genius. It allows BYU to wear down the opponent and stay in attack mode and not be reactionary to what is going on. While there is always room for improvement, there is much more to be happy with in this win.
-Jorgensen-Herrmann Sack of the Game: Tyler Batty and John Nelson each had a sack.
The Cougar defensive front was doing what the voice of the Cougars, play-by-play man Greg Wrubell described as hockey line changes. The Cougars were subbing four guys in and out at a time to keep themselves fresh and it worked very well in pressuring the quarterback and slowing down the run.
-Van Noy Hits of the Game: Hitting the Cowboys behind the line of scrimmage.
The BYU defense had 7 tackles for a loss to go along with those 2 sacks. They held Wyoming to less than 300 total yards of offense (124 rushing, 154 passing). The best stat to show how well this defense bounced back was the aforementioned 3rd down defense. Getting off the field 8 times in 11 opportunities is good for any defense at any level of football. It keeps you fresh and gives your offense more chances to move the ball while wearing out the opposing defense.
-Pitta TE Play of the Game: Isaac Rex and the flea flicker.
The flea flicker to Rex was a great call and it set up the first touchdown of the game for BYU. The offense settled in after that and was dominant against a disciplined and good Wyoming defense. It did wonders for the BYU offense and shook the Wyoming defense in one play.
-John Beck Player of the Game: Jaren Hall.
Jaren Hall was 26 of 32 for 337 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hall used all of his weapons passing to 8 different receivers and that was without Chase Roberts, Gunner Romney, and Dallin Holker. He get’s the ball to whoever gets open and despite injuries, he has a lot of weapons to attack with. Hall is having a good season through the first third of the year. He is 103 of 144 for 1,165 yards and 9 touchdowns.
3-1 isn’t bad, the only problem is that BYU’s big games left of Arkansas and Notre Dame, don’t look as good as anticipated and neither does the next opponent, Utah State. The best thing any team can do to make their postseason case is a win and that is true for BYU. Notre Dame, Arkansas, Liberty, Boise State; whoever is on the schedule will be treated like the most important opponent, and for BYU that is true. Rooting for the Baylor Bears to win the Big 12 and Oregon (ugh) the Pac-12 would be helpful for the Cougars’ rankings as well.
-Rise and Shout Again: The Battle for the Wagon Wheel.
Utah State is the defending Mountain West Champions, but they have dropped 3 in a row including FCS in-state opponent Weber State. That being said, the Aggies are always a tough out for BYU. The game is known for being hard-hitting and having players including current BYU starting quarterback Jaren hall, injured. Logan Bonner is a legitimately good quarterback despite USU’s record. In a Thursday night game, The Cougars have to focus on this one against a wounded and dangerous Utah State.
-Hearts of Lions: The worst part about football is injuries.
It’s why you’ve always seen players pray together before and after a game. For the injured and giving thanks when not being injured. Puka Nacua is a fantastic football player with elite speed and he took another nasty injury in the win over Wyoming. With no news as of this writing as to the nature or severity of the injury, all BYU fans can do is hope for the best and hope the team can maintain a semblance of good for the remainder of the season.
-Steve Young-Curtis Brown Dual Threat of the Game: Lopini Katoa.
I know Katoa didn’t have huge numbers in his dual-threat capabilities. He had 8 touches for 32 yards. Katoa’s biggest asset in being a dual threat and great player is his heart. One may think Katoa would want to transfer or be disgruntled about Chris Brooks transferring in, and Miles Davis making noise when it looked to have been Katoa’s job to be the main running back after all-time great Tyler Allgeier left for the NFL. That’s not the way it has shaken out but you wouldn’t know it by watching Lopini Katoa. He runs as hard as ever and gives his all for this team as much as he ever has and that deserves the gratitude and respect of BYU nation.
22-1 since 2019 in games that kick off after 6:00 PM.
There is something different about night games for BYU. During the main time of the Kilani Sitake Era, the Cougars own the night. This is a culture change that Coach Sitake has brought about, just like with the student section at LaVell Edwards Stadium being a threat and a problem to every visiting team. These are things that ten years ago just weren’t quite that way. Now they are and I think it’s part of the culture Coach Sitake has built at BYU.
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