Just how terrible was BYU's game against Missouri on Saturday night?
I'M GOING TO USE ONE OF THE WORST CHICK FICKS OF ALL TIME AS A TEMPLATE FOR HOW I AM GOING TO DESCRIBE HOW BYU LOST.
It was Matthew McConaughey pre-Lincoln Lawyer bad. Just let that sink in for a second.
Instead of rating the quality performances (I could honestly only think of Bronson Kaufusi and maybe Colby Pearson for his dope behind the back flea-flick pass) I am going to detail the specific plays that contributed to BYU losing this game. There were many more than ten but I decided to stay on theme and focus on the ones that really did BYU in.
So sit back, pop some popcorn and enjoy VTF's latest drama...
HOW TO LOSE A GAME IN 10 PLAYS
10) 2nd and Goal at MIZ 5 - Adam Hine run for no gain to the Misso 5
ADAM HINE IS NOT GOOD IN SHORT YARDAGE SITUATIONS. I've been saying this for the past three years but for some reason Robert Anae and the rest of the offensive staff have chosen to ignore my expert advice. I know that Adam was coming off of an ankle injury but even when he was healthy I didn't see him as a good short yardage running back. Compared to Algie Brown and Francis Bernard, Hine isn't nearly as physical as Algie or Francis. Adam runs tall, without any weight behind his pads, and goes down easily after first contact.
BYU had their first quality possession of the game and were knocking on the door of the end zone. On second down from the five yard line Adam Hine was stuffed for no gain. Now we could point to the third down incompletion as the key issue but a failure on first or second down in the red zone makes those plays that much more difficult. On first down they got four hard-fought yards from Algie. Instead of taking a shot through the air or giving the ball to a physical running back that could be a worthy match for Mizzou's tough front seven, they went with the Hine and didn't go anywhere. It was after that play I knew we were going to settle for a field goal.
9) 3rd and 2 at MIZ 15 - Adam Hine run for a loss of 3 yards to the Misso 17 Adam Hine fumbled, recovered by Missori's Kentrell Brothers
Remember what I said about Adam Hine not being a good short yardage running back? IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE ANOTHER PIECE OF EVIDENCE.
On a crucial drive to start the second half, BYU found itself in a third and short situation. Instead of going with Francis Bernard who just converted on a short yardage situation a few plays before, they went with Hine who squandered any chance that BYU had at points by turning the ball over. The play looked to be doomed from the start with the Missouri offensive line busting through the line but fumbling the ball that close the end zone took this play from bad to infinitely worse.
To be honest, I think Adam is a serviceable back on first and second down. When he has hole or a running lane, he can use his speed to pick up a nice gain. However, when BYU faces physical defensive fronts and the running backs have to make plays on their down, Adam struggles. I hope he can remain healthy for the last three weeks and provide BYU with some much needed help in the running game BUT FOR GOODNESS SAKES DON'T TRUST HIM ON THIRD AND SHORT.
8) Tanner Mangum pass complete to Francis Bernard for 6 yds for a TD, (Trevor Samson PAT MISSED)
ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT. BYU IS BACK IN BUSINESS WITH A SWEET TOUCHDOWN PASS AND WITH THE PAT WE'LL BE A....wait what? That's right. For the first time this season Trevor Samson missed an extra point meaning that instead of being down by a field goal, BYU was down four AKA it was a touchdown or death situation. Death won out in the end.
7) 3rd and 10 at BYU 26 - BYU Penalty, false start (Ryker Mathews) to the BYU 21
This penalty made an already difficult 3rd down conversion ever more daunting by tacking on five more yards. No penalties are ever excusable, particularly on a drive where BYU is trying to take the lead.
6) 3rd and 3 at BYU 49 - Russell Hansbrough run for 23 yds to the BYU 26 for a 1ST down
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK BECAUSE THE DEFENSE FORCED MISSOURI INTO A THIRD DOWN AND SURELY...nope, wrong. This was BYU's best chance to get the ball back with a reasonable amount of time on the clock but Russell Hansbrough looked like his 2014 self that ran for over 1,000 yards and danced right down the field for an easy 23 yard gain. No fight whatsoever from the defense. I'm not sure if it was a bad call or if the front seven was beat at the point of attack but either way, they defense couldn't get it done when they had the chance.
5) 3rd and 3 at BYU 19 - Drew Lock pass complete to Sean Culkin for 16 yds to the BYU 3 for a 1ST down
This wasn't the worst of the bad plays in this game but it was the final nail in the coffin. It's was BYU's final chance to stop the Tigers in the 4th quarter on a crucial third down. After running the same dive play up the middle, Drew Lock faked the handoff and rolled out on the bootleg to connect with Sean Culkin for an easy first down. Emphasis on easy.
4) 3rd and 19 at BYU 25 - Drew Lock run for 23 yds to the BYU 2 for a 1ST down
Even after Tanner's fumble, there was a glimmer of hope. Mizzou got bused for their second offensive pass interference of the game and BYU had forced the Tigers into a dangerous down and distance. Instead of holding them to a field goal, the defense lost contain on the outside edge and Drew Lock danced his way to an easy first down. This is a friendly reminder that the outside linebacker who was supposed to be setting the edge was playing in place of Sae Tautu who was ejected for his boneheaded penalty which I will cover in great detail shortly.
3) 3rd and 7 at BYU 24 - Lock, Drew pass intercepted by NACUA,Kai at the BYU 0, NACUA,Kai return to the BYU 0, touchback, PENALTY BYU pass interference (DAVIS,Michael) 15 yards to the BYU 9
THIS WAS IT. The BYU defense was FINALLY able to get a big play from their defense in the clutch but no, there was laundry on the field. While the ball was in the air, Michael Davis got tangled up with a wide receiver and was flagged for pass interference which not only negated Kai Nacua's interception but it gave Missouri another shot at points.
This is a very tough play because the ball was in the air for a long time and Davis had to cover his receiver for a long period of time. The fact of the matter remains that the receiver wasn't even remotely close to catching the pass and BYU had multiple defenders in the area that could have batted the ball down should Missouri make a play on the ball.
2) 3rd and Goal at BYU 12 - Lock, Drew pass complete to Hansbrough, R. for loss of 6 yards, PENALTY BYU personal foul (Tautu, ejected) 1ST DOWN MIZ
This play should probably be at the top of the list of ways to lose a football game because this mistake was a mental one. BYU had the stop for the second time in the drive but instead of using his head in a figurative manner, Sae Tautu literally used his head to pop Drew Lock and draw a flag. This gave the Tiger YET ANOTHER opportunity on the drive and sure enough the third time was the charm.
The disappointing thing is that this isn't the first time was have seen this lack of discipline from the outside linebackers. Sioni Takitaki was already ejected from the game earlier this season for a hit similar to that of Tautu's. I sympathize with Sae because football is the ultimate test of discipline in that in one moment we want the linebackers to murder quarterbacks and in the next we want them to avoid touching the quarterback altogether. But at the same moment, other players on other teams seem to have figured it out.
If it means that the BYU linebackers are less aggressive in their attack on quarterbacks, so be it. I'm all about laying the smackdown but if our players can't walk that fine line between a clean hit and a penalty, I'd rather they be safe than sorry.
1) 1st and 10 at BYU 22 - Tanner Mangum sacked by Marcell Frazier for a loss of 6 yards to the BYU 16 Tanner Mangum fumbled, recovered by Misso Michael Scherer
One red zone turnover is bad but a second one, right after Missouri took the lead, was death. Sure, the BYU defense should have put of more of a fight but gift wrapping another easy score for them was the low point of the game. Aside from this play Tanner had a relatively clean game. It's just too bad this blemish will overshadow his entire performance.