Make no mistake, Utah State is a very good team. But BYU was the better team last night, thanks to their incredible defense. This game had been billed as a defensive battle by fans and media alike. I, too thought it would be a defensive struggle, but at 21-17, I underestimated the BroncoD, and overestimated our offensive output. The 6-3 final score would be all the rage in the SEC, but leaves the Cougar faithful still wondering, "Where is our offense?"
Quarterback Who? I said last week that a healthy Riley is better than Taysom. After this week, I think Taysom is growing into the role. Sure, Hawaii was low-hanging fruit that even Jason Munns probably would have rolled over, but Utah State has a legitimate defense. Taysom's overall numbers in the game were absolutely on par with Riley: 24/36 passing for 235 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The difference in the game was a 25 second long, 61 yard drive at the end of the first half. The drive included three consecutive completions to Cody Hoffman for 8, 28, and 22 yards, and was capped by a 3 yard TD pass to J.D. Falslev. Was he stellar? No. But he made the plays needed to win the game. Something Riley was really good at...last year.
The Utah State defense had only been allowing an average of 281 total yards (174 passing and 106 rushing), but the Taysom Hill-led Cougars were able to beat those totals, ending with 380 total yards (235 passing and 145 rushing). Scoring aside, this offense had pretty good numbers.