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Missed opportunities cost BYU football against Boise State

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Jamaal Williams tweaked his ankle in warmups and didn’t play but it was the failure to capitalize that caused BYU to come up just short

BYU v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Thank goodness BYU played on a Thursday because now everyone gets few extra days to process what in the world just happened. This game had it all, from arguably the worst play call of all time to two defensive touchdowns in one half. The Smurf Turf Kids prevailed 28-27.

Boise State wasted no time jumping out on top as scored two quick touchdowns to make it 14-0. BYU was unable to get anything going throughout the entire first half on offense despite great field position. It wasn’t until a blocked field goal and a great return by Kai Nacua that BYU was able to get a field goal.

The Cougars started to gain some momentum and were able to capitalize with an AMAZING interception return for a touchdown by Fred Warner for 59 yards. And then, the unthinkable happened.

The Cougars lined up to punt on 4th and 19 from their own 5-yard-line. Linehan took the snap and somehow—someway—the play call was a fake punt. The play was immediately stopped at the 2 yard line. The debates have already started about whether or not this was the worst play call of all time. The other two in the conversation are the Seahawks end of game Super Bowl play not handing it off to Marshawn Lynch and the Colts incredibly odd formation and play they ran against the Patriots last year. But that’s a topic for another day.

Luckily for BYU, Boise State missed a field goal and the fake punt didn’t cost them any points. Later, Dayan Lake had a pick 6 of his own for 50 yards to put BYU up 17-14. Boise came roaring back with a 36 yard strike from Brett Rypien to Cedric Wilson to put them back on top 21-17 just before halftime.

BYU came out of the half with more of the same as they were unable to move the ball. Boise State got the ball back and drove down to the BYU 40. On 4th and 3 Sae Tautu forced a quarterback fumble and BYU was able to take over from there. Taysom then had his best pass of the night as he hooked up with Mitchell Juergens for a 36 yard play down to the goaline. Taysom was able to run it in one play later to put the Cougars back on top 24-21.

Boise State muffed a punt and fumbled inside the 10 yard line on back to back possessions but BYU was only able to come away with 3 points total to make it 27-21. Through three quarters, the BYU offense was absolutely pathetic.

On the next possession, Rypien hit Jake Knight for 46 yards to set up the go ahead touchdown on the next play. After back to back punts from each team, BYU took over down 27-28 with just under three minutes to go and two timeouts.

BYU was able to get to the Boise State 40 yard line with 50 seconds to go when they called timeout. Juergens followed it up by hauling in a pass to get up to midfield and out of bounds with 45 seconds left.

Taysom Hill then did what you absolutely can’t do and took a sack, causing BYU to spend its final timeout. But, then Mitchell Juergens hauled in a 13 yard pass and BYU spiked it with 15 seconds to go on Boise’s 27 yard line. BYU elected not to run another play and in came Rhett Almond for the field goal.

The field goal was blocked but the ball did not pass the line of scrimmage, allowing for BYU to retain possession. Neither hail mary was close and BYU fell short 27-28.

Many questions arise now that this game is in the books, none bigger than the quarterback controversy. Even the biggest Taysom supporter has to admit that he was just bad in this game. The offense was unable to capitalize on so many opportunities that makes this one sting just a little bit more.

Electing to punt it on 4th and 4 from the Boise State 40 late in the game down by one and not running another play with 15 seconds left to help Rhett Almond out on his kick are two items that need to be asked about.

It’s fair to say Boise deserved the win though, the Broncos gained more than 300 yards of offense and the defense made plays when they needed to. Brett Rypien finished with an astounding 442 yards as he sliced up the Cougars all night.

Taysom Hill finished with just 187 on 21/41 passing and 48 yards rushing. Jamaal Williams was unable to go as he reportedly tweaked his ankle in warmups.

BYU is now 4-4 but could be basically any mix between 1-7 and 7-1.

The Cougars now get a much needed bye week before the final four games. Next up is on the road to Cincinnati on November 5th.