Well my friends, here we are at 5-2.
I'm glad that BYU was able to survive a stretch in which most BYU fans proclaimed every week "YOU GUYS I'M WORRIED ABOUT ____ THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE AN EASY GAME".
It might finally be time for even the most pessimistic fan to accept that this might be a good football team. Now are they as good as Utah?
I'M NOT A RADIO PERSONALITY IN UTAH SO I'M NOT GOING TO SPECULATE ON SUCH AN IRRELEVANT SUBJECT.
With that let's get to the rankings.
WEEK 7 POWER RANKINGS
10) Riley Burt
I REALLY hate hamstrings. First it was Tanner in the game against ECU and this week Riley Burt goes down after showing off some serious burst out of the backfield on one the longest running play from scrimmage. We all had a sense that Burt had some serious potential after seeing him in limited action the last couple of weeks. His touches were limited once again, this time due to injury, but on his kickoff return and his long run you could see that he has a nice speed burst and he is going to run hard. I understand the need to ease him into the offense, hence why we haven't seen him get 5-10 touches in each game. The coaching staff did the same thing with Jamaal Williams in his freshman season. Instead of rushing him onto the field, they are giving him a chance to learn the offense and get used to the speed of the game. Fingers crossed Burt can bounce back and get some serious playing time against Wagner.
Riley Burt run for 41 yds to the 50 yard line http://t.co/AqCfBqjtAN— Daniel Haslam (@DanHaslam) October 17, 2015
9) Garret Jurgens
We haven't seen jack from the punt return unit this season until Friday night when Garrett busted off a 39 yard return to set up the BYU offense for a back-breaking touchdown. On paper a 39 yard return isn't all that impressive but considering the circumstance, it was huge. Also, the return was something to behold. Garrett made two guys miss (one of which looked like a sure tackle) before running down the sideline. He's just getting back to full health after breaking his collarbone and hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
8) Jonny Linehan
When they BYU offense was struggling out the gate, Jonny did an amazing job of flipping the field and preventing the Bearcats from gaining the edge on field position. All three of his first half punts were downed inside the Cincinnati 15 yard line. At a point in the game when nothing was going right for the Cougars, Jonny stepped up big and did his part to change the tide. It's the little things.
7) Kai Nacua
Boy that escalated quickly on Friday night. I mean things really got out of hand fast. I saw that Kai killed a man with his bear hands. Speaking of which, I've been meaning to talk to Kai about that. He should find himself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because he's probably wanted for murder.
But seriously is this is PERFECT way to deliver a blow from the secondary. He could have easily lowered his head and destroyed the defenseless receiver but it would have cost BYU 15 yards and Kai the rest of the game. It was a great hit and it was a clean hit.
6) Algie Brown
Our guy Algie didn't have 100+ yards or four touchdowns (he only had two) like he did against ECU but he continued to pound the rock in this game. I love that Algie runs hard downhill. You'll see that in the first half the Cincinnati linebackers would quickly fill the gaps to stop Algie but after facing the big fella head on, they were a little more hesitant in the second frame. He not the fastest or the biggest but the guy just flat out runs hard.
5) Tanner Mangum
At the end of the first half I tweeted out that the adjustments that we will see Tanner make in the second half will tell us if he is a good quarterback or great quarterback. It was clear in the first half something wasn't right. He was throwing the ball behind receivers and missing them high as well. A typical quarterback goes with the same mindset but a great quarterback makes adjustments. That's exactly what Tanner did. In a post-game press conference he said that in the second half he tried not to worry about his injury and instead played his game. The dude did more than play his game, he balled out in the 4th quarter, leading the Cougars to 21 points in the final period.
4) Sione Takitaki / Fred Warner
With BYU using nickel coverage for most of the night, the defense would only send out one OLB at a time. Since Sione Takitaki and Fred Warner basically share the single position, they will share the number four spot on our rankings. Individually they had a huge game but when you factor in that they were never on the field at the same time, it's even more impressive. 16 tackles, four tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks. The sophomore duo still has room to grow but dang these kids are fun to watch.
3) Nick Kurtz
It almost like the BYU wide receivers are drawing straws at the beginning of each game to decides who is going to have the best performance. This week it was Nick Kurtz's turn and the dude BALLED SO HARD. I could discuss every catch at length but I'm just going to leave this moving picture of his first ever TD catch as a Cougar. If this doesn't make you shed a tear, I don't know what will.
And what a catch it was from BYU's Nick Kurtz: pic.twitter.com/hbn9qmHPwu— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) October 17, 2015
2) Bronson Kaufusi
"Hey Hayden this is Kelly Olynyk, center for the Boston Celtics. I just wanted to call you in advance of the game you have scheduled against BYU and warn you about what Bronson Kaufusi is capable of doing to your body. You might be thinking to yourself, how is it possible that I would know such a thing? You see Hayden, a few years back that menacing defensive lineman decided to play basketball for BYU. He didn't so much play basketball as much as he physically abused anyone who came into the lane, myself included. On one particular occasion Bronson almost took me out for good. Now that I see you're about to play against him, you should know that he will try to eat you. Be very afraid for your life. Best, Kelly."
"Kelly, this is Hayden Moore returning your call. You were right. He metaphorically punched through my chest and ripped my heart out, similar to what Lloyd Christmas fantasizes about in Dumb & Dumber. I'm afraid to answer the door knowing that Bronson might be there, waiting to eat my face. How do I get over this constant state of fear? Thanks, Hayden."
1) Offensive Line
I am capable of writing 4,000 words about the performance of the offensive line in a game where their quarterback was playing injured but a meandering essay about the beauty of pass protection isn't what people want to read. What people want to read about is their quarterback (who went practically untouched) throwing touchdown strikes to wide open receivers. They want to see replays of running backs busting open long runs. Of course fans and TV analysts will mention the offensive line as an afterthought in the "we'll let's not forget these guys" type of tone but the lineman are fine without that empty praise. They know they dominated and that's all that matters.
STAT OF THE GAME
In the second half Cincinnati had four drives of ONE YARD OR LESS. Yes, you are reading that right. The Bearcat offense that looked unstoppable on their first few drives could only muster -13 yards on their last four drives. Does Bronco make adjustments at halftime? I think you have your answer right here.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
This week's tweet comes by way of Cincinnati's WR Max Morrison who was apparently tweeting from grave after Kai Nacua ended his life in the 4th quarter. His tweet (which was later deleted) is amazing on so many levels, mostly because the contents are generally false. Kai is nowhere near the age of 25 and if he went to middle school, which I'm pretty sure is a given, he's had at least 37 cans of Mountain Dew. I'm 97% positive you can't graduate from middle school without drinking copious amounts of Mountain Dew. I'm not going to speculate the last point of information that Max alludes to because taking about a college kid's virginity (or lack thereof) on the internet is wildly inappropriate.
WELL THAT WAS WEIRD
Did you guys watch the ending of the Michigan / Michigan State game? Of course you did. It was weird. And crazy. And heartbreaking. And beautiful all the same. The best thing about it? All BYU fans were able to realize that incredibly frustrating things happen to everyone and not just them. If you ever want to say to yourself "OF COURSE this would happen to BYU, we're cursed" just remember the ending to that game and know that it could MUCH MUCH WORSE.
UP NEXT: Wagner
I have nothing to say about Wagner aside from the fact that I probably could have played football for them. MIND YOU I was second team all-conference despite being the smallest left tackle in the entire state of New Jersey so that's nothing to scoff at. My great high school achievements aside, Wagner is very bad at football.