The Cougars wrapped up their home schedule with a bang, or several bangs, from the George Q. Cannon, winning in decisive fashion over the Vandals of Idaho. With the Win, BYU finished the year 5-1 at home and also secured their postseason home, formally accepting their bid to the Poinsettia Bowl.
I picked the Cougars to win 52-3, but I'll admit I usually overlook the impact of garbage-time reps--which accounts for the extra ten points scored by Idaho. Close enough for me. Here's a look back at what I had hoped to see from our BYU Cougars.
Keys to the game
Win the turnover battle. The Cougars won the turnover battle 5-2, gathering 3 fumbles and 2 interceptions. One of those fumbles was returned for a touchdown by Spencer Hadley, fulfilling my wish to see a defensive score.
James Lark. I definitely got my wish for some good James Lark playing time. Lark finished the day 6/11 for 49 yards and a touchdown pass to Cody Raymond. He also rushed for 11 yards.
Secondary Cast. Having a 42-7 halftime lead is the perfect recipe for this, and that meant we got to see plenty of unfamiliar faces. This kind of playing time will not only provide dividends for next season's new starters, but also may help the Cougars this season if they incur any further injuries before the bowl game. Paul Lasike had 12 carries for 44 yards and Skyler Ridley had 4 catches for 53 yards.
What we know about Idaho (1-9)
The Vandals have been, are, and will continue to be one of the worst FBS teams for the foreseeable future. They intend to go independent once the WAC officially becomes football defunct. As a fan of BYU independence, I wish them well. They may have an easier time scheduling than the Cougars, as there are plenty of teams out there eager for a cupcake win. Idaho wraps up their season at home against UTSA and on the road against Utah State.
What we know about BYU (6-4)
BYU has been streaky this year. Not honor-code-violation-streaky, but the other kind. Two wins, two losses, two wins, two losses, and now two more wins. The Cougars will look to break that cycle as they head on the road to face San Jose State and New Mexico State the next two weeks. San Jose State will be no pushover, but it's definitely a winnable game for the Cougars. New Mexico State is New Mexico State. Worst case, the Cougars lose next week and end up 7-5 heading into the Poinsettia Bowl.